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Homemade Palm Trees

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tommy98 writes:

Im currently building a small 4x3 Caribbean themed board to use for a pirates vs royal navy skirmish game me and a few friends came up with i made some palm trees by twisting wire and wrapping it in string to make the trunk and using thin pieces of cloth for the leaves they look okay but i think I'll make some using this method to give some variety to the table if anyone has any suggestions on any other terrain for this type of thing it would be great to hear them. Thanks

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26 June 2012page first published

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Dervel Fezian writes:

So, after searching for commercially available palm trees, I found I was not completely happy with the way they looked. (Especially if you only used one or two of them for a show piece like a DBA camp.)

Then I found several articles on making palm trees, and was greatly inspired by this one from the U.K.

I did try this technique with some success, but then came up with some of my own modifications after a quick trip to Mexico, where I was able to better study the subject while relaxing in the shade of said subject. So I wanted to share the techniques I discovered on my quest for palm trees.

First, I start with Avery labels and floral wire (thickness or gauge can vary depending on the scale of the tree).

Wire and labels

Cut the floral wire to length. This is scalable to the desired tree size. Stick on a label by folding it over one end of the wire, and cut the label to the outer shape of a palm frond.

Palm frond

Now, using a pair of scissors, cut the individual fronds into the label. You can cut until the wire stops you.

Palm frond

You will then want to curl the individual leave slightly. I use my thumb or a paint bottle as a guide.

Palm frond

Palm frond

Now you have a collection of palm fronds. I find that 8-9 of these will make a nice-looking tree.

Palm fronds

Now you need about twelve inches of pipe cleaner. (Brown would be smarter, but I already had the pink ones.)

Pink pipe cleaner

Wrap the pipe cleaner tight around the bundle of floral-wire palm branches.

Palm tree

Once you reach the desired tree height, you can make a final trim on the floral wire, and then leave a little excess to bend out like roots.

Wire work

Now, adjust the palm branches for position, and you can even bend the trunk slightly.

Palm tree