White Decorative Tree

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Posting another tutorial for a decorative multipurpose white tree.

This white artificial  bonsai tree was made for a friends  sister’s wedding. He wanted all the friends and family to write their wishes for his sister and hang them on the tree. The tree was to be devoid of leaves. After trying to get us to give our real bonsai tree to paint and strip of leaves, which was just not happening, he had to make an artificial one.

It took the three of us half a day. This is what the tree looked like at the wedding venue.

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Since in the colder areas due to snowfall the trees shed their leaves, looking at it, reminds me of the Christmas weather.

So here are the step by step pictures while making this tree with instructions.

Since we really were short of time, Jason collected dry fallen branches of trees from the garden of a friend’s house. We sorted these out and spread them out on the floor of my studio.

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Next we had to decide which branches would look good as the trunk. Placed a few, removed and again added so that finally we picked up 2 slightly thick branches to tie together. The consideration was that the trunk has to look natural as well as be strong enough to support the rest of the branches. Dry wood being brittle has a tendency to break. More so as we were going to use wire for binding.

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Since I do a lot of craft, as well as, teach art and craft I have a lot of material and tools in my studio. I do not know the gauge of the wire in the picture above, but it has to be soft enough for you to wind it by hand. If it is hard you will not be able to wind it tightly.

We cut the wire into manageable lengths.

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Holding the 2 chosen branches together I tied them with a wire piece.

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Using a pair of pliers I twisted the wires so as to tighten it.

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While Smriti held the trunk I attached more branches to it. We continued to tie more and more twigs and branches with the wire keeping the shape in mind.

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To hold it and give shape I used strips of old fabric and bandaged the trunk with it. I also used a lot of glue to give it stability. The two ends of the piece of wire make it difficult to tie, as they start to scratch you. So the fabric covers the wire ends and you are easily able to work on the tree. Do be careful, and take care not to snap the thinner twigs while winding.

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Wrapping the strips on the trunk area with layers of glue in between, Smriti and I managed to give the shape, required for the tree trunk.

Now the next part was to plant our tree in a shallow pot. For this Jason got an old terracotta pot. He washed and scrubbed it with a plastic scrubber under running water. This was required as all the dirt had to be removed. Jason then painted the pot white with a flat brush.

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Once the paint was dry we filled the pot ¾ with mud.

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And stuck the tree in the centre.

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Smriti mixed the required amount of Plaster of Paris with water in a bowl. As this is quick drying we had to be very fast.

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The POP paste was poured in the pot over the mud. Smriti putting the POP on the trunk.

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Build up the POP to give shape and texture to the rest of the tree as required. You will find that all the fabiric gets covered and the tree begins to take shape. You can also use the POP to make the shape of the roots. It now starts to look as if it is actually growing in the pot. Prune the branches to balance the shape of the tree. You may have to walk around to to see it from all sides.

Once the POP set Smriti and Jason again painted the whole tree and branches with white paint.

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Jason did try to use a white spray can, but found that a lot of paint was wasted. So they went back to painting it.

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The completed white tree.

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