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Topic: Wire bonsai tree - the tutorial (with lots of pictures)  (Read 38008 times)
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« on: January 22, 2010 06:26:19 AM »

These photos have been sitting around for ages, so it's about time I posted this!

How to make a wire bonsai tree

First, gather your supplies.

You will need:
needle nose pliers
wire (I used old electrical cable copper wire, about 2mm in diameter. I probably used about 10m of wire, measured as a single strand)
beads for the leaves (I used uv reactive pony beads)
oasis or foam for the base (I used an old foam wrist rest previously used at my computer)
a dish to put the tree in
gravel to cover the base
glue to hold the gravel in place
bonsai decorations (I didn't use the bridge this time)

Cut the foam base to fit your container and strip the plastic covering off the wire if you need to.

In groups of 2 or 3 strands of wire held together, push them through the foam base from the bottom leaving the wire folded in half on the other side of the base. If you separate the bunches of wire from each other by a little bit, that can give a nice tree roots effect.

Time to make the trunk of the tree.

Twist all the wires together to form the trunk. In this case I wanted to have the tree growing over the rock (a bit of flint from the garden), so I positioned the rock and twisted the trunk over it.

Bend the trunk into a nice shape and then separate out the wire strands into 3 or four bunches. Twist them together for the main branches. Then make smaller bunches for sub branches and twist them together.

(sorry, a bit out of focus)

To put the leaves on, put a bead on a single wire and run it along until you've got it in a position relative to the trunk that works.

Twist the wire to make a small branch with the bead at the end. It's ok of there's a long tail of free wire at the end, you can use this to make more small branches in the same way.

Keep adding beads and twisting until you've run out of wire. (You can always cut off the extra bits of wire you don't need)

Do the same for you other branches. If it starts looking like a tree, you're set!
Put the base into the container, and sprinkle the gravel on top to hide the oasis.

To keep the gravel in place, cover it in a thick layer of PVA glue (it dries clear, so you won't see it once it's dried)

Admire your new bonsai tree, safe in the knowledge that it won't need watering!

« Last Edit: January 22, 2010 06:57:15 AM by sorcha.ni » THIS ROCKS   Logged
« Reply #1 on: January 22, 2010 06:33:33 AM »

 Grin THANK YOU SOOOOO MUCH!! I have admired these for a long time, but never quite got the courage to make them. You tute makes it seem do-able!!! And I never would have guessed it was electrical wire!!
« Reply #2 on: January 22, 2010 06:49:35 AM »

It's surprisingly easy, and doesn't take that long either - I made the tree in the tutorial in an evening. All that wire twisting can be hard on your hands though, so be warned!  Cheesy
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« Reply #3 on: January 22, 2010 01:57:23 PM »

Thank you for this! I really wanna make one for my dad now - he likes the look of bonsai trees, but can never manage to keep up with one.

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« Reply #4 on: February 24, 2010 11:21:27 PM »

Ooh, I love these, and yours is lovely! Thanks for the tutorial, it'll come in useful the next time I have wire.
« Reply #5 on: February 27, 2010 02:53:59 AM »

Very cool!  Thank you for the tut-- I will give this a try some night since I now know how to do it.  I think it'd make a fine present for my Mee Ma!  Smiley

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« Reply #6 on: May 17, 2010 12:19:30 PM »

Very nice! I really like it! I've been looking for easy fun projects, and I'll be sure to try this out!
Thank you so much for this great tutorial! Grin
« Reply #7 on: August 22, 2010 05:20:55 PM »

Thanks so much for posting this, my sister and I were in a shop the other day and she saw something like this (with a huge great heavy price tag) and she fell in love with it! I'm hoping if I follow your tute I can make her one when I find the right beads. Thanks!
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« Reply #8 on: August 23, 2010 05:43:30 PM »

Thank you for the great tute!  I've liked these trees forever and maybe now I can give one a try.

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