Spring is about to spring...soonish (at least in the East Coast, that is); flowers bloom, birds come back, trees turn green. Well as it so happens, my tree has sprung too, except it sprouted green buttons and because it's so windy today, it has gotten a little windblown.
Okay, hokie intro I know. My make today is a wire tree with green buttons for the Mixed Media Monthly Challenge 'button" theme for Mar. When I saw this I got excited because I have a lot of buttons of every color. My friend, who sews costumes, was destashing and gave me a ton of buttons, at the time, I had no idea what to do with them. I like making wire trees and have used beads as leaves see my wire tree blog post. So I thought I'd do the same with buttons.
How it's made
To make a wire tree, recommend using dead soft, color coated jewelry/crafting wire; it's nice bendable wire. Recommend using 24 gauge; below 24 begins to get a little tough on your hands to bend and above 24 begins to gets brittle. The hardware store wire will be tougher even if the same gauge as it tends not be dead soft. For this project, I wanted a slightly thicker tree, so I used 22 gauge; bending manageable for my hands, however, I could not make a trees with 20 or below gauge, way too tough.
Begin by cutting individual wire pieces. Whatever size tree you desire, you will need to cut individual wire pieces twice the length. So for instance, if you want a 6-inch tree, the wires will need to be 12 inches, as is the case with my tree. Plan out how long you want your roots too. You will need roots to wrap around a base like a rock. In my case here, I wrapped them around a button. This measurement assumes from the beginning of the trunk to the top of the tree; does not include the roots. The thickness of the tree will be determine the amount number of individual wire pieces needed. For this tree I used 36 pieces. I have done trees using 72 pieces of 24 gauge wire. Recommend not using pliers, for it nicks the wire, just use your hands. In some rare instances you may need to, then use it carefully.
Take all your wires, split them in half, then twist them together; this is your trunk. Leave untwisted wire for the roots. To make the branches, randomly take two sets wire pieces, vary the amount and twist them together, going about half or third of the end the wire, then stop. Take a branch and repeat this process throughout, always leaving some untwisted wires, this becomes part of branch and vary how far up you twist, as nature is random. To add a button, select one individual wire and insert into button holes and twist to secure it in place. If you want the windblown look simply twist all the wires toward one direction, also twist part of the trunk.
For the roots, I twisted them around a small button; use this same process if wrapping it around a rock. I then used a covex button to the hide the roots. For the base, I used a huge coat button. I secured the tree to the buttons with a smaller gauge wire, 24 gauge by wrapping the wire in between roots, down to the through buttons, twisting then end and hiding the tails. Twisting the individual wire pieces to make the branches can get tedious and does not require a whole lot concentration, recommend watching television when doing this step. Really hope you enjoyed my little windblow tree.
Mixed Media Monthly Mood Board
My Button Wire Tree