My Handmade Model Tree


I decided to go with my initial instinct and add a tree to my Watermill Bakery display... The only problem: I didn't have a tree!

Not being able to find one locally, and trying to stay on as low a budget as possible, I decided to make my own.

I started off by doing some research on the internet and found that most modellers use a wire frame to start their trees off with, followd by some form of modelling media.

I stared by bending beading wire in the rough shape that I wanted my tree, with the roots at a right angle to my trunk and the branches raching to the sky. I wrapped each new segment of wire around the previous ones and soon I had a wire frame tree with roots keeping it upright by itself and different branches branching off in all directions.


Sylvanian Families Wire Frame Tree


At this stage, the tree was standing on its own and it was pretty upright for a wire frame... :-)

I searched about the house and had some expanding crack sealant foam left over from my beach project, so I went a bit crazy with it to create the bark of the tree. I wanted a really creepy tree for this specific display shelf, so I carved and molded some rally knotty and gnarled bark, bending the branches down a bit to droop more etc.

I used some acrylic paints to paint a basecoat and a few shading layers onto the tree.

The first attempt was very dark and dreary, so I ended up redoing the paint to lighten it up a bit. (I have to apologise for the poor lighting of my photos, it was done in near darkness with my cellphone camera!)


Sylvanian Families Handmade Tree in progress


After shading the tree back down again, I added some moss to the branches for foliage. I get the moss from our local craft shop s while ago, and it has just been waiting in my craft box to be used for some project or the other... In future, however, I will most likely look for a more solid medium, as the moss was really tricky to work with and kept falling out when shaken!!!

It took a lot of patience and a LOT of wood glue to get everything to stick in place and look remotely like a tree, even somewhat macabre and dreary in the end.


Sylvanian Families Handmade Tree Foliage added


I used an old Mayonaise bottle cap for a base for the tree. The wires at the bottom were bent to fit into the cap and they managed to hold the tree in position quite nicely! After the tree was set into the cap, and repositioned, bent and pulled into shape, I added wood glue to the base to secure the tree. Some shrubbery was added and I finished it off with some pink paper flowers.

When those were dry, I stuck some pebbles around the base plate to make a flower bed border.

I also had a little flocked bird handy to add to my tree, and as luck would have it, its branch was an excellent match to the trunk's colour! The flowers at the end of its branch were removed, some foliage stuck in their place and the birdie-branch was stuck to the most likely spot on my tree.

As luck would have it, I had a handy little nest with eggs close by as well, so that was added to my tree too!








Sylvanian Families Handmade Tree Finished Product


After allowing the tree to dry, this is what the finished product looks like. I have since added some more greenery to the base plate, and the glue underneath is no longer showing through as much. I have also been contemplating adding some form of faux soil, but this is still in the planning / consideration phase.

The next tree will most likely be made from modelling clay to produce a smoother bark and I will be looking out for other options as foliage as well.

Overall the project went well and I am happy with the outcome!

The finished Product