Wire trees are one of my favorite art projects. I love seeing the different ideas that students come up with once I’ve given them the foundation. This project works great for both children and adults.
Here is what you will need:
- Wire – Jewelry or floral wire will both work. I’ve found 26 gauge to be the easiest to work with. Floral wire is cheaper, but jewelry wire is prettier!
- Buttons or beads – for your leaves/flowers.
- Anything for a base – we’ve used spools, wood pieces, rocks, etc.
First, cut about 10 strips of wire around 24 ” each.
Select 10 beads or buttons to be used as your flowers/leaves. You can always do more than 10 branches, of course. But this is a pretty manageable number for a class.
To add the beads, fold one piece of wire in half and thread your bead through the open end, putting both ends through (see below). If you’re using a button, only go through two of the four holes.
Thread the wire through until about 2-3 inches is hanging out and begin to twist – holding the wire tightly in your one hand and twisting the bead with the other. You will feel it start to tighten. Repeat this step for all of your beads.
Once you have all of your beads threaded, group them into 3’s or 4. These will become your branches.
Twist these groupings together to create your tree, bending the branches however you wish.Lastly, select your base and attach. You can wrap excess wire around a rock, hot glue it into a spool or onto cardboard. Whatever works! We happened to have a lot of wood scraps lying around the art room, so we used mostly them. Here are some student made trees featured in our summer program’s art show – both finished an unfinished.
You can easily link this art project to literacy, by pairing it with a book such as The Giving Tree and a writing component.
You could also create a tree for a particular season for science or write a math problem adding beads/branches. Lots of fun academic links!