26 Ways to Use Chicken Wire That Have Nothing to Do With Chickens
You don’t have to be a farmer to appreciate the versatility of chicken wire. This mesh fencing is the go-to netting choice for chicken coops because it’s relatively easy to cut and super cheap — like you can get 32 feet for $20.
But don’t let chicken wire’s low price and low-profile utility fool you. This unassuming wire comes in all sorts of gauges and styles, making it the perfect material to tackle garden and decor projects alike.
Start thinking outside the coop with these inventive uses for chicken wire.
26 Creative Ways to Use Chicken Wire
Whether you take chicken wire outdoors or use it inside to pull off the farmhouse vibe, picking up a roll of chicken wire at the hardware store is never a bad idea. Here are 26 ways to use chicken wire.
- Privacy screen
- Vertical gardening
- DIY yard sculptures
- Pest control
- Concrete reinforcement
- Compost or waste bin
- Bird feeder
- Chicken wire baskets
- Jar or glass cozies
- Kitchen or pantry cupboards
- Chicken wire frames
- Chicken wire sconce or lampshade
- Magazine rack
- Firewood storage
- Chicken wire cloche
- Chicken wire shelves
- Treetop star
- Holiday wreaths
- Holiday card display
- Christmas trees
- Lighted Christmas balls
- Chicken wire pumpkins
- Chicken wire ghosts
- Jewelry organizer
- Chicken wire terrariums
- Papier-mache projects
How to Use Chicken Wire in the Garden and Outdoors
Snag a spool of chicken wire to use as netting, and you’ll find yourself using it in all sorts of outdoor spaces.
1. Privacy Screen
Urban neighborhoods with postage-stamp backyards make privacy a challenge. Create a screen to discourage prying eyes with 2x4s and some chicken wire. You can even coax vines or other trailing plants to grow up the gaps to create your own backyard oasis and block your neighbor’s view.
Looking to spruce up an outdoor space? Here are the details on how to do it with a $100 budget.
2. Vertical Gardening
Balcony or patio gardening is a challenge, but chicken wire can help plants grow vertically. Use this netting to form a trellised planter that’ll make the most of the space you have.
3. DIY Yard Sculptures
If you can dream it, chicken wire can give it shape. Use chicken wire as a medium for whatever takes your fancy, from garden orbs to giant butterflies. If you’re new to working with chicken wire, this tutorial on chicken wire art is a good place to start.
4. Pest Control
Chicken wire doesn’t just keep chickens in. It also keeps pests like rodents, rabbits and more out. Protect from animals that dig into gardens, by installing fencing six inches or more below ground.
5. Concrete Reinforcement
Reinforcing concrete in buildings is something best left to professionals, but you can apply the same methods to create outdoor concrete planters and smaller structures. See how to shape and cure your chicken wire concrete creations here.
6. Compost or Waste Bin
Need a place to put compost, garden waste or leaves? Ditch the bulky, expensive lawn bags and use chicken wire to shape a bin. You can even craft a lid, so your corralled compost or leaves stay put.
7. Bird Feeder
Galvanized chicken wire can make for an inexpensive bird feeder like the one in this tutorial. Just make sure the holes are big enough to let the birds peck through but small enough to keep the feed from spilling out.
How to Use Chicken Wire in the Kitchen
Fly the coop and head to the kitchen, where you can put chicken wire to good use in a variety of DIY projects.
8. Chicken Wire Baskets
Finding a way to keep fruit off your counter or a spot to corral bread can be a challenge, but chicken wire is up to the task. You can create a basket just like the ones you shell out money for on Amazon with dollar store supplies.
9. Jar or Glass Cozies
You might cozy up to this chicken wire idea of creating sleeves for glass jars or other containers. Not only does it help you get a grip, but it can be a fun choice for backyard barbecues.
10. Kitchen or Pantry Cupboards
If you see a gorgeous old cupboard that’s missing a door or a pane of glass at a second-hand store, there’s a cheap solution for that. Chicken wire can double as a door for cupboards and the open shelves provide a little farmhouse ambiance to your kitchen.
How to Use Chicken Wire for Home Decor
Take stock of your projects because chances are you’re missing out on an opportunity to put chicken wire to work.
11. Chicken Wire Frames
Stretching a little chicken wire across an empty frame seems simple, but it’s the start of a lot of practical crafts that are perfect home decor solutions. Use small clothespins and you’ve created a photo display, message board and more.
12. Chicken Wire Sconce or Lampshade
As a light fixture with a minimalist aesthetic, chicken wire really shines. You can stretch it to make a sconce for a wall or hanging fixture or use it as a chicken wire lampshade.
Looking to do a little redecorating? See our picks for the 20 home decor stores that’ll help you deck out your dwelling for less.
13. Magazine Rack
Skip the store version and put a fence around loose magazines and other reading materials with a chicken wire magazine rack. This tutorial shows you how to mount a chicken wire magazine holder using wire and a rustic wooden board.
14. Firewood Storage
Another popular use for this wire outside of the farm is for firewood storage. You can shape a basket for logs to stash by the fireplace or an outdoor netting to keep your wood protected from the elements.
15. Chicken Wire Cloche
Put a lid on pretty much anything with an open cloche like the one in this video tutorial. These wire filters are easy items to fashion and give your farmhouse decor a second life.
16. Chicken Wire Shelves
Redecorating on a budget? Lean into an industrial-meets-farm look with chicken wire shelves. You’ll still need wood to keep it steady, but the chicken wire provides backing and extra stability.
How to Use Chicken Wire for Seasonal Decor
Sometimes it seems like a waste to pay big bucks for decorations you use once a year. That’s why chicken wire offers fantastic options for shaping seasonal cheer on the cheap.
17. Tree Topper Star
Make a DIY chicken wire tree topper star that provides a touch of farmhouse fa-la-la to your Christmas tree. Just glue a few slats of wood or sticks into a star outline, wrap the joints in rustic twine, and use chicken wire for the backing.
18. Holiday Wreath
Because chicken wire is easy to mold, it’s a great material for wreaths. You can fill the chicken wire so it’s on the outside as a wrap or use it as a base for mounting craft or plant materials like ribbons and fabric.
19. Holiday Card Display
If the deluge of holiday cards is always sliding off your fridge, fashion a holiday card display from a chicken wire frame and some clips.
20. Christmas Tree
Does your holiday spirit take a hit when you see the cost of a fresh or artificial tree? Next time, mock-up and decorate a chicken wire Christmas tree.
It’s an allergy-friendly cheap option that’s easily customized, like this floor-to-ceiling one made with festive ribbon that can be rolled up and stored away. Weave ribbon through the wire, attach lights with zip ties, put a bow on the top and hang ornaments all over.
There are lots of other variations too.
- Tabletop chicken wire Christmas tree
- Lit chicken wire Christmas tree
- Newspaper chicken wire Christmas tree
- Framed chicken wire Christmas tree
21. Lighted Christmas Balls
Wrap them in lights and scatter a few cheap chicken wire balls in different sizes as Christmas decorations. To let it glow, secure them as orbs from the eaves or trees.
22. Chicken Wire Pumpkins
Chicken wire isn’t just for Christmas. Use it to shape other seasonal symbols like pumpkins to compliment your tabletop decor or giant chicken wire pumpkins that sit on your doorstep without making a mess.
23. Chicken Wire Ghosts
One of the spookiest things to come out of using chicken wire are life-size lawn ghosts. HGTV has a tutorial on how to shape and safely drape the chicken wire to create ghostly figures.
Other Great Uses for Chicken Wire
Got a roll of chicken wire kicking around and need more inspiration? These craft ideas make a little wire go a long way.
24. Jewelry Organizer
Start with an empty frame and stretch some smaller mesh chicken wire across to create the perfect low cost storage solution for hanging earrings, necklaces and more.
25. Chicken Wire Terrarium
Give your plants a breath of fresh air with farmhouse-style fencing. Use chicken wire either as a terrarium cover for delicate succulents or as plant display in this video tutorial from Refinery29.
26. Papier-Mache Projects
Chicken wire is a classic solution for giving more stability to papier-mache projects, like this bison head. From ornaments to leaning towers of Pisa, chicken wire can be the craft supply that really holds it together.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Chicken wire is a poultry mesh available in a variety of wire meshes and gauges. Mesh refers to how far apart or big the holes are in this hexagonal netting. Gauge refers to how thick the wire is. You can buy a variety of chicken wire sizes for relatively cheap prices online and in stores. You can get same-day delivery or free store pickup at most hardware stores like Lowe’s, Home Depot or Ace Hardware.
Don't worry about sticker shock at the checkout. It depends on the gauge and the length of the roll, but you can purchase 40 feet of chicken wire for around $30. Keep in mind, though, that chicken wire can rust when exposed to the elements, so look for galvanized chicken wire if you plan to use it outside.
Cutting chicken wire can be accomplished with a cheap pair of wire cutters or heavy-duty scissors for thinner gauge wire. The tricky part is keeping it unrolled while you work. Stabilize one end of the wire by fastening it to something using twist ties or twine or weight it down and then unroll and cut the chicken wire from the other end.
Kaz Weida is a senior writer with The Penny Hoarder.