Upcycle Progress: Artificial Japanese Bonsai

As discussed in my previous post, I aimed for artificial small bonsai trees using discarded copper wires from electronic waste. I also described the element of adding glowing or reflecting beads or leaves to the tree to purpose it to show as barriers at the edges during the night.

For this I began with gathering resources like copper wire, searching rock for the base of the structure as well as experimental crafting material to check out and craft various sample beads and leaves that can be added to the structure aiming for my goals. I came upon various tutorials and YouTube videos for making the wire structures and I stumbled upon the following tutorial example as shown in the below figure as well as mentioned in my refernces.

The above tutorial looks quite promising and I am trying to experiment with some samples. Also, I am trying to keep my options broad regarding the development of beads for the leaves. My primary goal is to make it glow when the light falls on it. For that purpose, I have collected various craft materials , with which I could try some combinations. There are some preliminary ideas in my mind like adding glitter to small and decorative paper ball cutouts or something with threads from wire straws, as shown in the image of the raw materials collected.

Still, I also have another perspective in mind. Utilization of retro-reflective materials. You must have seen such material on the safety vests,  at the direction boards on roads or on the cars at night. Here, is an example below.

So, the following material works on the following principles of reflection:

So having been researched upon the properties , I am trying to find ways to implement it into my structure. I plan to finish the base copper structure this weekend and make prototypes of few bead with my objectives in mind and try to complete this project as soon as possible.


1. https://excelblades.com/blogs/diy/wire-bonsai-tree

2. https://www.hivissupply.com/ansi-class-3-safety-vests.html

3. https://www.3m.com/3M/en_US/scotchlite-reflective-material-us/industries-active-lifestyle/active-lifestyle/how-retroreflection-works/


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3 Comments. Leave new

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  • Hi Aryan, this sounds like a really cool project! It’s definitely one of the more ornate/involved projects I’ve seen and I hope it turns out well. I’m interested to see how you incorporate the reflectivity with the bonsai. Do you think you’ll put the copper tree in a pot or leave it out? Also, I think Home Depot sells reflective spray paint for construction purposes—you might want to check that out!

  • Hello Aryan,
    I think you’ve made great progress so far on your project and I appreciate the images of your materials, it was very helpful in visualizing how you were going to approach this. Will you be using any Maker-Space labs to help with your project? Anything that could include soldering or helping with manipulating wire? Overall, I am able to follow your concept for the project and am excited to see how you will incorporate the reflective materials into your finished project!


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