How to Make Wire Tree Models

Written by megan shoop
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Craft wire is so pliable that it can be bent into any shape, from a simple circle to three-dimensional trees. Wire trees take many forms. They can either have gemstone chip beads as leaves, have bare branches or be covered with self-hardening clay and painted for model towns and dioramas. Whatever your purpose, making these trees always starts out the same way. The process is simple and ends with an inexpensive but very attractive wire tree model.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • 16-gauge craft wire, any colour
  • Wire snips
  • Pliers
  • Gemstone chip beads, drilled (optional)
  • Self-hardening modelling clay (optional)
  • Green poly fibre filler (optional)
  • Spray adhesive (optional)

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  1. 1

    Cut 6 to 10 strands of wire two and a half times longer than your finished tree will be tall. For instance, if you want to make a tree 10 inches tall, cut your wires 25 inches long. Gather them into a bundle and fold them in half.

  2. 2

    Place two fingers into the bend of the wires and twist them to form a loop about ¼ the length of the bent wires. Twist two or three times to make sure they are really secure. The wire loops at the bottom are your roots and the loose wires at the top will be the branches.

  3. 3

    Gently separate the wire loops at the bottom so you can see the individual loops. Twist together two or three loops for a few inches, stop, split the wires into individual loops and twist them out to the end. This creates a root system for your tree. Spread the roots out to provide the base for the tree to stand.

  4. 4

    Twist all the loose wires at the top together for several inches to create the trunk. Split the wires up into individual wires and twist them together in threes and fours for an inch or two to make branches. Create smaller branches and twigs by splitting the wires again and twisting them in pairs or leaving them single.

  5. 5

    Slip drilled gemstone chip beads onto the single wires to create leaves if desired. For a "real" looking tree, cover the trunk in brown modelling clay and let it dry overnight. Pull apart a little green poly fibre fill and use spray adhesive to attach it to the ends of the twigs and branches.

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