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Thatched Columns

Source: Martha Stewart Living Television


Arborvitae, a multi-hued evergreen member of the cypress family, is a fast grower, and its flat sprays of scalelike needles are smooth, not sharp, so they are easy to work with. If you can't collect greenery from your yard, you can find arborvitae at local garden centers, florist shops, or Christmas-tree lots.


  • Gloves

  • Tape measure

  • Chicken wire

  • Wire cutters

  • Pruning shears

  • Gold and green arborvitae, or other greenery

  • 20-gauge wire

  • Burlap

  • Twine

  • 4-inch-long chains, one for each column

  • S-hooks

  • Cable ties


  1. Measure height and circumference of columns.

  2. Wearing gloves, roll out chicken wire on the ground or on a work table, and using wire cutters, cut it to the size of the surface you wish to cover. Turn sharp ends of wire under to protect hands and surfaces.

  3. Using pruning shears, cut several 8-inch-long pieces of arborvitae or other greenery. (Branches that are too long will be too heavy to weave into the wire.)

  4. Determine which end of chicken wire will be used at the top of the column and which will be at the bottom. Beginning a few inches from the bottom of the chicken wire, hold greenery stem end up, bushy end down as you weave the stem into the chicken wire. If needed, use 20-gauge wire to secure stems.

  5. Work your way from one side to the other, using similarly sized pieces, setting up a fairly straight row. Repeat this step again for another row, laying it over the first row so as to obscure the woven stems.

  6. Continue thatching until the chicken wire is completely covered. Finish by threading a row of the arborvitae horizontally along the top to cover the stems of the top row.

  7. Before hanging the thatch, wrap the columns with burlap, securing with twine, to protect the wood. To help support the weight of the thatched wire, attach a short chain to the ceiling above the column, with an S-hook at the end. Hang the thatched wire, wrapping it around the column to completely cover it, hooking the S-hook into the top of the wire. Use cable ties to close and secure the thatch.

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