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 Post subject: Sisal trees
PostPosted: Wed Nov 11, 2015 9:53 pm 
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I've seen how to make sisal trees online for awhile now. I've made some before but they really weren't great. Very primitive, but I am getting better at it. Here are a couple of photos of my trees which I think will do pretty nicely once they get glittered. Lucy


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sisal trees for little houses cc.jpg
sisal trees for little houses cc.jpg [ 42.46 KiB | Viewed 2411 times ]
close-up of tree for little houses cc.jpg
close-up of tree for little houses cc.jpg [ 46 KiB | Viewed 2411 times ]
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 Post subject: Re: Sisal trees
PostPosted: Thu Nov 12, 2015 12:08 am 
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Those look great, Lucy. Thanks for sharing.


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 Post subject: Re: Sisal trees
PostPosted: Tue Jan 12, 2016 12:19 am 
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Howard asked me if I would post how I make my sisal trees. It's an easy process but it does require some practice to get them kind of even.

Supplies needed:
Sisal rope from the hardware store. I think I got a 50 ft roll for about $12
Floral wire
Floral tape to wrap trunk
Drill (or you could use a pencil or pen to twist the wire)
Cup hook to be used a drill bit
Scissors
Needlenose pliers, hemostats, or vise to hold the loose end when twisting the wire
Wire cutters
Comb (I use a pet comb to comb the coarse sisal fibers into submission)

Cut rope into 3 inch segments, precision is not required because you are going to cut off a lot when shaping the tree. You only need 2-3 segments to make one bottle brush tree for a cardboard house. (see photo 1)

Untwist the 3 larger segments. Then untwist each of those segments into the 6 component pieces. You can tell pretty easily which way to untwist them. They come apart easily. (see photo 2)

Separate and kind of straighten the individual fibers from the smaller segment of rope (see photo 3). Then make a pile of fibers deep enough so you don't see through the pile and as long as you want the body of the tree.


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3 Sisal rope segments.jpg
3 Sisal rope segments.jpg [ 28.99 KiB | Viewed 2228 times ]
6 untwist again into6 segments.jpg
6 untwist again into6 segments.jpg [ 27.24 KiB | Viewed 2228 times ]
10 Separate smaller rope segments into fibers.jpg
10 Separate smaller rope segments into fibers.jpg [ 23.03 KiB | Viewed 2228 times ]
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 Post subject: Re: Sisal trees
PostPosted: Tue Jan 12, 2016 12:29 am 
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Next cut your wire to length. It will be folded in half. I make long trunks because I don't want my trees to obscure the details of the house, but you can do any length you want. In these photos I used 22g floral wire but I probably should have used thicker wire because it holds it's shape better and it's easier to make a straight trunk with thicker wire.

Center your fibers over the wire. It's ok if they won't stay exactly in the center, that's why you cut a 3 inch piece of rope so you have some flexibility of the fibers shift some. See the first photo in this section of the tutorial.

Twist a loop at the end of the wire large enough to go over the cup hook. Insert the cup hook into the drill. I used a cup hook because I happened to have them on hand. If you have something else with a hook in it that will fit in your drill use that. If you don't have access to a drill you can make a large enough loop to insert a pencil or pen to use that to twist the wire. See photo 2

Anchor the open end with pliers or hemostats or a vise. Spin the drill slowly while providing some counter traction (pulling gently against the drill) so the wire stays basically straight (if you are holding the wire with pliers). If it's in a vise you obviously don't have to worry about pulling against the drill. See photo 3


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12 Place fibers approx centered between wires.jpg
12 Place fibers approx centered between wires.jpg [ 26.68 KiB | Viewed 2228 times ]
13 Make loop at the end of wire.jpg
13 Make loop at the end of wire.jpg [ 21.96 KiB | Viewed 2228 times ]
15 place loop over cup hook in drill.jpg
15 place loop over cup hook in drill.jpg [ 26.45 KiB | Viewed 2228 times ]
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 Post subject: Re: Sisal trees
PostPosted: Tue Jan 12, 2016 12:35 am 
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Next spin the drill slowly. The tree looks pretty funky at first, but it gets better. Try not to spin so tightly that you break the wire because you will have to redo the tree. Also the fibers start wrapping around the wire if they are spun too much. See photos 1-2.

Then comb the sisal fibers. See photo 3.


Attachments:
17 Looks kind of bad at first.jpg
17 Looks kind of bad at first.jpg [ 23.43 KiB | Viewed 2228 times ]
18 After all the spinning.jpg
18 After all the spinning.jpg [ 21.15 KiB | Viewed 2228 times ]
21 After the comb out.jpg
21 After the comb out.jpg [ 22.77 KiB | Viewed 2228 times ]
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 Post subject: Re: Sisal trees
PostPosted: Tue Jan 12, 2016 12:40 am 
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Now the fun part (as Howard says), trimming the tree. Be sure to straighten the trunk before you cut. It takes a fair amount of trimming and combing to make the tree look good. And after you dye it some of the fibers relax and the tree needs more trimming. I wrap the trunk when I am ready to glue it on a base for a specific house. That way I have the length of the tree I want.

Just like when you make little houses, glue and glitter and snowtex and ornaments are your friend. If your tree is a little funky with bald spots, load it up with snow and glitter.

I will be happy to answer any questions. Lucy


Attachments:
22 Cut in tree shape.jpg
22 Cut in tree shape.jpg [ 23.74 KiB | Viewed 2228 times ]
23 Tree with most of trimming done.jpg
23 Tree with most of trimming done.jpg [ 22.64 KiB | Viewed 2228 times ]
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 Post subject: Re: Sisal trees
PostPosted: Tue Jan 12, 2016 7:12 am 
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Posts: 750
Lucy these are great step by step instructions as well as the pictures they are going to be very helpful when making these trees. Thanks so much for putting this all together!


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 Post subject: Re: Sisal trees
PostPosted: Tue Jan 12, 2016 10:50 am 
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lucy...

very clear instructions and photographs...i had a pretty good idea as to the "what and how" of your technique...i'd seen similar things on the internet and a model railroad site i follow...but i must tell you your trees are superior in quality...i really like their fullness...and the longer trunks that don't obscure the view of the houses...

howard...


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 Post subject: Re: Sisal trees
PostPosted: Tue Jan 12, 2016 1:01 pm 
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Lucy, these are very concise and helpful tips. Thanks for posting!


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 Post subject: Re: Sisal trees
PostPosted: Wed Jan 13, 2016 2:33 am 
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Joined: Wed Mar 18, 2015 10:37 am
Posts: 55
Love the tutorial. I have been wanting to make some of these for a while now. I already bought the rope and the wire. I had seen other tutorials, and I was wondering if you ever glue the rope to the wire first? If no, why not? Does the glue not take the dye? is a time issue, too impatient to wait for the glue to dry? I need to make me a whole tree lot for a cousin that sells Christmas Trees... Debbie


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Note: To ask a question, sign up for our "Christmas Times" newsletter, or learn how
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Note: All content on this forum is Copyright (c) 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 by Paul D. Race
and by the posters who have contributed specific content. All material is for your personal use only. No content
or plans may be republished or sold, nor may any plans be used to make products to sell without prior written
permission from Paul D. Race and the individual who contributed the content or plan in question.
For permissions or for questions about this policy, please contact us using our Contact page.



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