Looking for something to do on these cold winter days? How about making a button tree! This is a fun project that is sure to add a touch of whimsy to your home.
I had so much fun creating this delightful tree, and I was surprised at how easy it was to make. I love the idea of designing a collection of button trees of various sizes, and colors to display as the center piece on a table or mantle. Once you try making one for yourself you will realize this DIY had endless possibilities!
Here are the materials you need to make a Button Tree:
- Buttons! Have fun choosing buttons. There is a wide assortment of colors and sizes to choose from. Just make sure they have at least two holes in the middle of them.
- 18 - 20 Gauge Wire (The larger the number the weaker the wire is). You can choose from a variety of colors here too! Michael's had several different metals (copper, brass, colored brass, aluminum, silver) to choose from in the jewelry section of their shop. You can also pick up a stronger gauge wire at a hardware store to make a larger, stronger tree.
- Needle nose pliers
Cut 22 - 25 pieces of wire about 20" long.
Hold all the wires in one hand. Take 2 - 3 strands of wire from the bunch and wrap them around all the wires starting about 3" from the bottom. Wrap all three of these wires completely around the rest of the wires to form the trunk of the tree. Once the trunk is formed, take one wire at a time and wrap it about 7 times around the bunch to form more of the trunk of the tree, and then leave the rest of the wire bent straight out as a branch.
Take the bottom 3" of wire and twist them together 2 - 3 strands at a time to form the roots of the tree. Have fun playing around making different sizes and length roots. Once they are all made you can twist and bend them into a position that forms the base of the tree.
After you have completed the roots and the trunk of the tree, you can continue to make the branches. I alternated bending the wire branches to the left and right which made it ease to create the tree and add the buttons.
Once you have made a few branches on your tree it's time to add the buttons!
There are so many options when it comes to deciding on buttons! I wanted to have just one bright pop of color on my tree. I chose red buttons because I liked the contrast of the bright red agains the dark steel wire. To add a bit of variation, I use three different size red buttons on my tree.
To start, you first thread a button onto a wire branch. It's good to vary the distance of the buttons on each wire branch so they will look random like leaves on a tree.
Once you have the button place where you wanted it to go, fold over the wire and hold both the wire and button with one hand.
Then twist the wire 3 - 4 time with needle nose plier.
TIP: Be Careful when twisting! I broke several strands of wire branches while twisting. This is due to the weakness of the 20 gauge. If you are heavy handed I would suggest using an 18 gauge wire instead of the 20.
After the button has been secured by the twist, you can straighten the wire back out to form the branch.
At the end of each branch it's important to curl the sharp ends of the wire inward for safety. It will also give the tree an added whimsical appeal.
The bottom to middle wire branches should be longer then the top, and can hold 3 - 4 buttons on each of them. I also played around with just threading the wire through two holes of the buttons (mostly at the end of the wire branch). This was a bit more challenging, but added to the playfulness of the tree.
This is the best part!
Once all the wire branches are made and buttons added, have fun manipulating the branches into the desired position of your choosing.
You can keep the branches mostly flat so the tree fits nicely on a shelf, or bend the branches out into all sorts of direction for placement as a centerpiece on a table.
My favorite part of this whole project was how stunning the end results turned out! It has the appeal of a one of a kind sculpture a person might purchase from an art gallery, yet it's super affordable to create yourself! This tree cost me less then $15.00, and only took me a couple of hours to make. Also, because I designed it myself I was able to customize it. If you are like me and love to find ways to express your own personality in your home decor then this project is for you!