Materials Used for Artificial Bonsai Trees

Updated February 21, 2017

Bonsai trees are carefully, sculpted natural wonders with their twisting trunks and miniature size. But, these trees take a lot of work and you may just not have the time to maintain a live tree. You can, however, make your own artificial bonsai tree. You just need the right supplies which you can buy at nearly any craft store.


For the trunk of your bonsai tree, you have a couple of choices. If you want the tree to look as natural as possible, then invest in real wood. Driftwood is a type of wood that is shaped by water, and it is usually found washed up on beaches or shores. This wood is stripped of the bark and normally has a greyish colour due to its time in the water. You can purchase driftwood at speciality stores or find it for free along shorelines. The more twisted the wood the better.

Another option is wire. Twist the wire in any shape that you want. Then, wrap the wire with a paper towel and add glue to hold the paper towel in place. Die the paper towel beforehand and let it dry or paint it after the glue dries. For another option, wrap the wire in brown clay.


Your artificial bonsai must sit in a base to keep it upright and to give viewers the impression that you are growing a real tree. A square bowel works best for this purpose. Glue styrofoam to the base of the bowel and either glue or stick your trunk into the styrofoam to keep the tree upright. Fill the base with river rocks and/or mud. Add fake moss around the base for more authenticity. You may also want to add some clay at the bottom of the trunk for additional support or curl small sections near the base of the trunk to make the clay look like exposed roots.


You can make your own green needles using small, green pipe cleaners. Cut the pipe cleaners into multiple parts and glue or twist them onto your trunk. If you are using wire as your trunk then you can twist the trunk wire around the individual pieces. If not, then just glue the pieces onto it.

Another option is to purchase bunches of evergreen needles. These are similar to the needles found on your artificial Christmas tree and retail craft shops and online sellers sell them by the bunch.

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About the Author

Misty Faucheux became a freelance writer in 1998 and has been an editor since 2004. She has written for a variety of websites and blogs, specializing in topics ranging from digital photography to computer systems to digital media. Faucheux received a Bachelor of Arts in communications from Loyola University New Orleans.