Project

Peacock Walk with Black-and-White Backdrop

These birds, a colorful departure from crows and ravens, bring an element of mystery to a Halloween party.

Peacock Walk with Black-and-White Backdrop

Photography: SIMON WATSON

Source: Martha Stewart

Introduction

Having a peacock -- a spectacular example of natural beauty -- in a Victorian garden was a kind of status symbol. Hang small birds in cages handmade from wire hardware cloth, and let larger faux peacocks (a splurge, but worth the investment for their drama) roam free. To make the black-and-white backdrops, we had photos enlarged and printed onto vinyl.

 

Use hardware cloth (a type of metal mesh) to make an enclosure for the two-foot peacock. The flat-bottomed version can stand on a table or the floor. The other is meant to be hung.

materials

  • Straightedge

  • Permanent-ink marker

  • 24-gauge wire

  • Pliers

  • Branch

  • S hook

  • Chain

steps

  1. Place hardware cloth horizontally on a workbench or picnic table (it could scratch the work surface.) Using straightedge and marker, mark outlines as indicated on the illustration for the hanging cage.

    msl_1010_peacock_howto1.jpg
  2. Repeat using the illustration for the standing cage.

    msl_1010_peacock_howto2_4.jpg
  3. Cut along those lines (indicated in green in the illustrations in step 1 and step 2) with wire cutters.

    mld106148_1010_cuttinght1.jpg
  4. Shape the cage: With piece on the workbench or picnic table, align a fold line (indicated in blue in the illustrations) with the edge of the table. Press on it, and crease. Repeat with other fold lines.

  5. Close the open side of the cage by using the pliers to loop wire prongs through a mesh square on the opposite side, and bend the wire closed.

    mld106148_1010_cuttinght2.jpg
  6. Close the bottom of the cage by folding in the flaps (four pointed ones for the hanging cage or the single square one for the standing cage); loop the wire prongs, and use wire to secure as necessary. Cut branch to fit snugly in cage. Position in cage, wiring it in place if necessary, and wire peacock to branch. Close top of the cage with wire.

  7. For the hanging cage, loop S hook through the top of the cage; hang it from the ceiling with the chain.

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