Posted by Sara Jennings on April 10, 2016
Lay the Heart Work Form out in front of you, and spread out all the pencil ties that are on the OUTER ring. You will not need the ties on the inner ring, and it is up to you whether to cut them off with wire cutters, or leave them tucked inside.
We're going to start with the top two ties on the frame, tying the red mesh down at the top of each "hump" of the heart, twisting the ties tightly so they will not come undone.
From here, you will start "zig-zagging" the mesh across the frame, again, only using the ties on the outer ring, and using each set of those outer ties until you get to the bottom. I always place the mesh in each tie, laying it down from the top, going down (middle picture below), if that makes sense. This makes the zigzagging easier, and creates a better shape.
The only set of ties on the outer ring you will not use is the last set, at the bottom tip of the heart form. Stop here and cut the mesh, leaving a tail a few inches long, long enough to tuck away. You will also need to tuck away all of the pencil ties so that they are hidden. Tuck them in between the mesh zigzags, and I like to wrap them around the frame so they stay put. You now have your basic strawberry form.
Next, we'll work on adding the "greenery". The heart frame has an empty space where we need it to go, so we'll use the chenille stems to fill in. Flip your strawberry over and grab a couple of chenille stems. (Color is your preference. I just have a lot of black on hand and grabbed those.) Attach one end of a stem to the inside of one of the "humps", wrapping it around the small wire that runs between the inner ring and outer ring, so it does not slide along the frame. Attach the other end to the same spot on the other hump, keeping it tight. Take another stem and tie it onto the middle of the first one, then poke it through between the mesh, so it comes out the front. Flip your strawberry back over. This is what you will use to tie the greenery down with.
Now, using the 10" moss/apple green mesh, cut three large rectangles, about 16" long each. Take one rectangle and turn it on the diagonal, pinching one corner, and working your way down to the opposite corner, so you have it gathered in the middle. I like to make sure the long edges are somewhat tucked under, so the petals lay right.
Do the same with the second cut piece, then gather both pieces together in one hand, and tie down with the chenille stems. Add in the third piece the same way, or keep adding as much as you like.
Repeat these steps with the lime green open netting mesh, cutting just two 16" squares. Pinch and gather them together in the middle, and tie down in the same spot as the mesh
This is what your strawberry should now look like:
Next, we'll add in the "seeds" - the black stem balls.
Place each ball wherever you like, keeping in mind you will need to tie the wire stem down to the frame somewhere. I started with placing the first one near the bottom tip of my strawberry, poking the stem in between two mesh lines, keeping the ball pretty flush with the mesh so that it doesn't flop around.
Wrap the wire stem around the frame to anchor it down. Keep going, placing more stem balls, spacing them out evenly, until you have the desired overall look. They do not necessarily need to be placed in between mesh lines, the stem can even be poked straight through the mesh itself to place it in the desired spot. The picture below on the right shows how I anchored one ball by wrapping the stem around the pipe cleaner used for the greenery so that I could place a ball at the top of the strawberry, in the middle. You can also use more chenille stems to add to the back of the frame in this same way to add more balls if needed.
Once you are finished placing your balls, your strawberry should look something like this!
You can stop here, or, If your strawberry is more see-through than you like, or if placing your stem balls has left some holes in between the mesh lines, you should still have plenty of red mesh left on your roll to cover the back. The first picture below shows what the back of your strawberry looks like without covering it, the one on the right shows it after I covered mine. I used the same method as I did to make the strawberry, but only doing a few zigzags, and spreading the mesh out a little more to give a little more coverage. I started on the top right side, and did four zigzags, ending on the bottom right. Again, cut the mesh leaving a tail a few inches long, and tuck it away.
Once again, this is just the idea we came up with to make our strawberry. We encourage you to explore and experiment on your own and see what you can come up with! Happy crafting!