I was not aware of wire trees until I saw this post by The Multicrafteral Lab. Later I discovered through Pinterest that they’re quite popular in Russia. More recently I came across such wire trees being called ming trees.
It was hard for me to find a tutorial on how to make a wire tree with beads, and when I did, most of them were very complicated and used two different gauges of wire. I found this tutorial by Ele on Cut Out + Keep to be helpful, and loosely followed this video tutorial by CamilleSharon because she used 22 gauge wire and it was one of the simpler ones. I had a spool of 22 gauge vintage bronze wire that I wasn’t sure what to do with, so I was hoping to use it for this.*
What I like about this project is that it doesn’t require precision. If I wasn’t paying attention and strayed from the original schema, it didn’t matter. It’s not necessary to make every branch uniform, because real trees aren’t like that. Besides, with all the branches and leaves, any “mistakes” aren’t readily noticeable. This made it quite a relaxing activity, except after some time, twisting the 22 gauge wire made my fingers sore.
The terra cotta pot that I have measures about 1.5 inches tall, with a diameter of a little under 2 inches at the widest part, so I wanted to keep my tree small so that it’d be proportionate. I started with a 16 inch piece of wire, then tried 20 inch pieces, and finally settled on 18 inch pieces. One drawback of having the tree be so small is that I couldn’t make more detailed branches.
I am currently working on a Christmas tree and a tree with spring blossoms, modeled after this tutorial, but I’m using 26 gauge wire, and I also have larger containers for them to go in.
* I bought it in an attempt to match the color of an antique brass chain, but the color in the photo didn’t match the color in reality, and it would cost more to send it back, so I kept it. Even antique brass wire didn’t match that chain. It’s incredibly difficult to match the colors of metals made by different manufacturers, because each one uses a different alloy.