Spring wire tree

I actually finished making this in March of last year, but didn’t get around to taking pictures of it until almost summer. By then it didn’t make sense to post about spring, which is why I waited to post it now.

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The entire thing stands a little under 8 inches tall.

I followed the basic idea from this tutorial. (The page no longer exists, which is why I’m linking to the Wayback Machine archive.)

I used an entire 20 gram bag of 11/0 seed beads for this tree. Cheap seed beads work well for this kind of project, because it doesn’t matter if the sizes aren’t uniform. Since most of the beads were so narrow, I ended up using 6 beads instead of 5 beads for many of the blossoms, to make them look fuller.

After twisting the wires somewhat randomly, I decided to aim for a peach tree look, so that’s how I distributed the blossoms on the branches. The hardest part was deciding how to assemble the branches, for a natural-looking tree form. Simply twisting all the stems together would result in a funny looking bouquet. I held the branches next to each other to see which ones looked better together, before twisting them.

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I secured the tree and rocks in the pot (it’s actually a 2.5″ diameter ramekin) with hot glue, as was shown in this tutorial.

I didn’t time how long this took me to make, but I’m sure I spent over 20 hours on twisting the wires alone.

A few days after completing it, I discovered a ladybug on my tree!

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My first wire tree

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.

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It can stand on its own, but the ends are sharp.

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.

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This whole thing stands 5 7/8 inches (15 cm) tall.

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.