Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Palm Trees from plastic flower plants

Best source of plants and basic modeling supplies for me are plastic flower arrangements from craft stores. The 'previous' season is always discounted to clear it out so you can often get useful plants (pieces) for upwards of 70% off. Pictured at left is a fern bit I pulled off a cluster branch I paid 1.50$ for. Should be enough to make 15 palm trees. To prepare all I do is clip along the edge where the fronds meet the central spine. Get the hot glue gun warming up. The trunk is a left over piece from the flower leaf branches that your left with after you strip all the items off you want.
Wrap a light trail of hot glue around the very end of the trunk, let it cool. Next a small glob and stick the first frond to it. Start rotating the position of the next frond as you work around. Do not worry about stringy stands of film that trail all over. Tweezers pluck those out when your Done. Trying to keep it neat as you go will double or triple the time it takes to assemble the palm.

Gently blow on the center of the fronds if you want to pick up the tempo a bit. Having the fronds pre-cut, I did separate them into those that were more curved from those that are mainly longer and straight.

A few curved down ones to start for the older fronds that will drop away soon. Straight for the current growth, and again a few of the curved ones for the top. You can curve them by pulling one between your finger nails like you do to curl ribbons. At left I have completed the circling and cleared the filmy strands from the trailing hot glue process. Let it stand and solidify for about 10 minutes, this avoids a frond being pushed out of place at the last moment and have to cut and re-glue it.
At right we see the return of Dusty the tireless cowboy posing here for comparison with the palm tree. The tree is just Blue Tac'd in place for the picture. The miniature is 30mm from bottom of its base to the very top of his hat. Some wooden beads or seed of size to about the figures head could be tucked up in the bottom of the fronds for coconuts. Taking the same top and packing more fronds in it, change to a thick straight trunk and you have a Date Palm. Total assembly time was about 10 minutes. Vary the lengths of the trunks a bit and scatter on a beach front. Possibly leave mounting holes in the beach scenery to place the trees and take them down? Many ways to actually mount them. And there you have it.

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