Metallic Horticulture!

Trees have been driving me crazy lately. The store-bought or Internet-order choices you have tend to follow these themes, pretty much:
  1. Arsey looking plastic trees that look like foamy green poofs impaled on brown sticks
  2. Expensive arsey looking plastic trees that look like foamy conical green poofs impaled on brown sticks
  3. Really expensive arsey looking plastic trees that look like squiggly shaped green poofs impaled on brown sticks
  4. Arsey looking DIY tree kits that are basically identical to #1-#3, except YOU put them together yourself, and the instructions give you the distinct impression that 6 hours from opening the package, you’ll end up curled under your desk in a fetal position looking like the illegitimate lovechild of Oscar the Grouch and a porcupine
  5. Oh, and all of the above are in the wrong scale
  6. Overpriced injection molded trees from Games Workshop that look like evil refugees from a Disney cartoon or the baby-eating tree in Poltergeist
  7. Really nice looking and frighteningly expensive trees that look like they will break or fall apart the second Greasy McCheetofingers looks at them funny
So, since all of the store-bought options are pretty much ruled out, that leaves doing them myself. There are several methods, but I chose the twisted-wire method because I have everything needed except the foliage. In that method, you twist soft wire (copper wire or florist’s wire) into something approximating a tree, you spackle or putty over the armature, and then you glue clumps of foliage onto it.
This is the second wire armature I’ve done:
It looks semi-reasonably tree-ish to me. It’s also fun and dirt cheap to do, so I’m going to do several more wire tree armatures for practice. Once I hit on a flow that I like, I’m gonna experiment with various non-messy methods of bulking out the armature and giving it a nice bark texture.

4 thoughts on “Metallic Horticulture!

  1. Joe

    Mel, I like to wrap the complete armature with the sticky masking tape that florists use for flower arangments (sp) and then glue it to the base.
    Where I have the problem is getting foliage on the darn thing… any ideas??

  2. Irrational Athiest

    Did you decide on a foliage? Because the wire is a good trick, and all you need to do is paint it brown, the twist will look good for table top. I bought a 1/8 yard for green fake fur cut up into clumps for foliage

  3. Christopher Roe

    Nah, I never got that far. I threw the tree armatures out around the same time that I had to sell off most of my gaming stuff during the office clean-out a few months ago.

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