Make Fir Trees From Scratch

Fir trees from Scratch

To make truly realistic trees is not that hard, nor does it cost very much at all. It’s the time it takes to build them that is the investment here. Time is really the only check on the nay side from us. Follow along as Grove Den relays how he made his Scratch made trees.

The frame is made/built up with wires, the green ones from a florists shop.
The wires I use are:

  • For the core of the tree, I use a wire that is almost twice as thick as the wires I use to make the branches (about 0,7 mm). It will gave the trunk more strength when twisting the thin wires around it…
  • The branches are made with: 0,4 mm diameter green florist wires, the wire used for the core: 0,7 mm diam.
  • The trunk is made by twisting tight some wires around the bottom of the thick(core) wire.

On the tree I made, I used almost 3 wires, 12 inches long each, to wrap around the larger trunk wire.

Before making the loops for the first bottom branches, the bare branches are made by twisting smaller loops, 1/2-3/4 inch, and work your way up the main section. Make your loops a little bit larger than one inch, in HO, for the main section of the tree.

When making a large loop twist the wire at least 5 times very tightly around the core wire and then make a large loop. If the wire is still long enough to do so, continue to the top and, of course, because we try to make a fir tree, the loops can be made smaller to the top…

I added some drops of cheap super glue on the twisted wires all over the trunk..It makes it a lot easier when bending the branches & cutting wires from the loops in the right shape…

When the armature was “shaped” I primed it with spray primer. Painting can be done as well.

When the primer is dry, I add the very fine MDF sawdust on the trunk with a mix of white glue and some drops of dish detergent and a little bit of water.

Let it dry and paint the frame with, in my case, latex wall paint. I found/bought it cheap during a sale and it had just the right color!

Next step is cutting the furnace type filter, fibers and collecting them in a biiiiiig shoe box.

Spray the branches, ONLY, and carefully with spray glue and add the fibers on the branches, ONLY on the outside of the branches though!

Adding the fibers can be done by picking them up out of the shoebox and let them carefully fall over the top of the tree. By tipping against the bottom of the trunk the fibers that are not glued will roll and fall down over the other branches into the shoebox again…

Now go back and remove some fibers from places they don’t belong… It can be done with tweezers or just by fingers or a short haired brush dipped in turpentine.

I painted the top of the tree( the blue fibers) with spray paint.

Then I added the leaves/needles by spraying the outside of the fibers with again, spray glue, Then with a rough sieve apply the Woodland Scenics coarse turf over the branches with the fibers.

For a more realistic effect I add a thin “layer” of fine grassfibers first and then I add Woodland Scenic fine turf, dark green or conifer green for this result here.

When using even more tin wires for the bare/dead branches on the base of the long trunk you can make it a more realistic looking tree:

Spray the tree twice with matte varnish…


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  1. Roger
    19 hours ago

    Nice wire trees!
    Please check out for great fir tree scenery products.