How to make trees using chicken wire

Written by heidi a. reeves
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How to make trees using chicken wire
Chicken wire (Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

You can easily make large tree sculptures from chicken wire. This open mesh material, made from thin, flexible wire, is easy to manipulate and available at any hardware store. It makes an excellent foundation material for creating large tree shapes, and it's easy to sculpt into shape. Making trees from chicken wire requires few specialised tools, and it's a project that anyone can successfully complete.

Cut a piece of chicken wire whose length is 75 to 100 mm (3 or 4 inches) greater than the circumference of your finished tree trunk.

Connect the wire edges together to create a cylinder. Fold the raw wires over one another and cover sharp edges with masking tape.

Add contour and shape to the tree trunk. Chicken wire is very flexible and yields to pressure. Gently squeeze sections of the cylinder to compress it. Pull some material out of compressed sections to create knots.

Mold some of the chicken wire into tree branches. Cut varying lengths of wire to create branches with different circumferences. Shape branches as described above.

Attach branches to your trunk. Determine where you want the branches to sit and twist the raw wire ends at the base of each branch around the trunk wire. Turn any sharp points toward the inside of the trunk and cover with masking tape.

Tip

You can use a variety of methods to cover your chicken wire tree sculptures. If you want to create dramatic outdoor sculptures, train vines to grow along the chicken wire base. Cover the chicken wire with papier-mache to create an indoor sculpture.

Warning

Always wear gloves when working with chicken wire--the cut edges are sharp and may pierce the skin.

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