Building a beautiful dollhouse is more than simply decorating the interior of the house; the outdoor landscaping is just an important to the overall appearance and atmosphere of your project. Wisteria vines add ambiance, mystery and springtime whimsy to your dollhouse's landscape. Miniature wisteria vines are quite expensive if you have them custom made, but the cost is minimal is you create them yourself.
Creating The Trunk
Cut 20 to 30 pieces of craft wire roughly 1.5 feet long. Use fewer pieces of wire for a thinner trunk or more pieces of wire for a well-established wisteria. Use longer wire for a more intricate vine or less wire for a simple vine.
Gather the wires together into a bundle and twist them together, corkscrew fashion, roughly 2 to 3 inches from the base of the bundle. The twist will separate the trunk of the wisteria from the roots.
Twist 10 of the 2 to 3 inch wires together. Make several twists, then divide the 10 wires into two halves of five wires each. Make several twists with each of the five-wire halves, then divide the five wires into two halves or two or three wires each. Twist the two- and three-wire halves together. Repeat this step for the second 10-wire half. These are the roots of the wisteria plant.
Twist the wires above the original twist made in Step 2 together, corkscrew fashion, for 1 to 2 inches, then separate the bundle into two halves of 10 wires each. Twist one half together, corkscrew fashion, for 1 to 2 inches, then separate again. Continue working upwards, separating the wire bundles into smaller bundles as you go, creating branches. Repeat for the second half of the wires.
Trim the ends of the branches if desired. Alternatively, twist single strands of wire around a pencil and remove the pencil to form curling tendrils.
Paint the twisted wire, which makes the trunk of the wisteria plant, with brown or beige craft paint. After the paint has dried, seal the paint with a clear sealant. Allow the sealant the dry.
Creating The Foliage
Purchase several purple or white silk flowers from a craft store, discount store or second-hand store. Choose flowers that have a few green leaves on them, or purchase some green leaves separately.
Use a fern frond hole punch to cut miniature leaves out of the green silk leaves, using the silk leaves as you would use a sheet of paper. You can cut the leaves by hand but specialty shaped hole punches, available at most well-stocked craft stores, only cost a few dollars and save you a lot of time.
Use a heart-shaped hole punch to cut heart shapes out of the purple of white silk flowers. Again, you can cut these by hand but a hole punch will save you time.
Choose a one-strand end of wire on your plant and string eight to 10 of the heart shapes onto the wire. To do this, simply press the heart shape onto the wire towards the base (the "V" end) of the heart. Alternate the hearts so that the curved edges of the heart form petals and slide the petals together near the end of the wire, forming the wisteria blossom.
Slide several black, gray or dark green seed beads onto the end of the wire, below the petals. Use a pair of needle-nose plies to bend the end of the wire slightly to secure the beads in place. Add a drop of glue to the wire end for further security.
Repeat Step 4 and 5 for each wisteria flower. The number of flowers is up to you. Some wisteria plants possess many blossoms while others have only sparse blossoms. One per wire (not counting the curled tendril wires) is usually sufficient. For a fuller wisteria plant, create additional flowers using separate pieces of wire and twist the end of the wire onto an existing branch.
Glue the ends of the leaves to the branches as desired. Several leaves should surround each blossom, with more random leaves along the smaller vines.
Setting Up Your Wisteria
Position your wisteria plant in the desired location. Secure the base of the plant with a little glue.
Twist the vines of the plant around a trellis, the eaves of the dollhouse or any convenient surface. To get an idea of vine placement, view photographs of real wisteria plants online or at your local library.
Glue vines into place if simply wrapping them around objects isn't enough to secure them.
Adjust the tendrils, vines and blossoms as desired. Tendrils and vines will grow in all directions and blossoms normally drape with their beaded centers pointed at the ground.
Tips & Warnings
- Cut vines to different lengths for a wisteria plant that has been pruned previously.
- Leave gaps occasionally while twisting vines together to represent the chaotic growth of the vines.
- Use caution when working with wire. Wire can prick your fingers if you aren't careful.
- Use paint and sealant in well-ventilated areas.
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