Copper Wire Willow Tree

Matt Sipes wraps four cables of copper wire to form a tree trunk and then twists the wire to form branches for his willow tree.

Materials and Tools:


4 yards insulated 200-amp copper entrance cable, 20 strands of wire, 1/2" thick
scrap copper wire from the cable
utility knife
spray bottle with salt and water mixture
needle-nose pliers
8" diameter round saw blade
arc welder
welding safety equipment (hood, gloves)
3 nuts
propane torch
safety glasses
measuring tape
wire cutters



1. Cut the 200-amp entrance cable wire into four 36-inch pieces using a hacksaw. Secure the cable in a vise to hold it while you saw. Wear safety glasses.


2. Cut through the insulation along the length of each piece of cable with a utility knife and remove the insulation by pulling it away from the inside wire with pliers.


3. Bundle the four cable pieces together by tying them with short pieces of wire. Twist the short tying wires with pliers to lock them in place.


4. Starting at the bottom of the bundle, wrap a single copper around the four cables. This will be the trunk of the tree.


5. Keep wrapping until you reach one of the twisted tying wires. Cut it off with wire cutters.

6. Continue wrapping the trunk with a single wire. Add more wire if you run out by pushing the end into the bundle of cables and starting with another wire.


7. Wrap the trunk for about 6 inches, untwist the wires in one of the cables and bend them back toward the trunk. This will form the first branch.


8. Continue wrapping the trunk with a copper wire for a couple more inches. Untwist another cable for the second tree branch, bend it back toward the bottom of the trunk and continue wrapping the trunk. Repeat for the third cable. Past the third cable, wrap the trunk a short way up the fourth cable and stop wrapping.


9. Stick the bottom of the trunk through the center hole of an 8-inch round saw blade. Turn the saw blade over so the bottom is facing up. Clamp the saw blade to the worktable. Use an arc welder and welding protection equipment to weld the tree trunk to the saw blade.


10. Weld three nuts to the bottom of the saw blade for the base of the tree.


11. Remove the saw blade from the clamp. Turn the tree right side up. Unwind the strands of wire and twist them into branches.


12. Heat the wires with a propane torch to add a beautiful red patina to the copper wire willow tree.

13. Patina the saw blade by lightly sanding and spraying with salt water.

Matt Sipes is a happy environmentalist who loves living in Oregon. After earning his art degree, he moved to the artist-friendly city of Portland. When he isn’t making art with construction waste, he loves to be outdoors.

Next Up

How to Clean Copper

Exposure to water and even air can discolor copper or cause it to tarnish. Here are some tips on how to clean copper safely using ingredients commonly found in your kitchen.

Easy-Sew Food Plushie Keychains

These healthy 'snacks' smile back. Make adorable keychains with scrap felt and a simple sewing technique.

How To Use Tea and Cinnamon to Age Artwork for Halloween

Brew some tea, snag this free, printable Halloween art and make your own aged wall art in minutes.

How to Make Agate Slice Resin Bookends

Customize the color, shape and size to fit your personal design aesthetic.

Make Paper Teacup Gift Boxes With This Free Pattern

These adorable, handmade gift boxes are perfect for Mother’s Day or favors at a tea party. Download the free pattern and customize them to your heart's content.

Build Your Own Paper Unicorn Wall Sculpture With This Pattern Kit From Etsy

Make a large-scale, whimsical art piece entirely out of paper and glue.

Make an Origami Paper Wreath

Add a burst of color year-round with this simple paper wreath project.

Make a Tie-Dye Shower Curtain

It only takes 24 hours to brighten up a basic bathroom.

Make Festive Tomato Cage Yard Gnomes for Christmas

Add whimsy and cheer to your holiday decor by creating no-sew, larger-than-life gnomes out of tomato cages.

Craft a Clay Incense House Burner

Keep your house smelling oh-so-fresh all season long by crafting an incense-burning house out of oven-bake clay.

What's New in Handmade


Follow Us Everywhere

Join the party! Don't miss HGTV in your favorite social media feeds.