Repurpose a Bicycle Wheel to Make a Tree of Life

2 Materials
$10
2 Hours
Easy

I have always been fascinated by the Tree of Life and they hold a very special place in my heart. They are so majestic with their roots entombed deep in the earth and their branches stretching up towards the heavens. So with Halloween around the corner, I thought I’d make this one to remind us that everything is connected. All religions, all cultures and all people.
repurpose a bicycle wheel to make a tree of life, crafts, halloween decorations, home decor, how to, seasonal holiday decor
To make the tree of life we used a bent bicycle rim and 12 gauge round black jewelry wire. We measured the diameter of the rim and cut the jewelry wire into pieces that were about 1 1/2 times as long as the diameter of the rim. Put all the strips of wire together and twist them together tightly just off center from where the middle line would be to form the trunk. We placed the twisted wire strips over the bicycle rim to check that we were happy with the trunk length.
repurpose a bicycle wheel to make a tree of life, crafts, halloween decorations, home decor, how to, seasonal holiday decor
For the roots and branches we split the the wires at the top and bottom of the "trunk twist" into five groups. We didn't worry to much about making the groups the same thickness, it adds to the organic look of the tree later.
repurpose a bicycle wheel to make a tree of life, crafts, halloween decorations, home decor, how to, seasonal holiday decor
Then we simply twist and split, twist and split each group to form the roots and branches. I kept placing the tree of life on the rim to check if I was happy with the form and adapted as I went. Each tree will be unique. The one we made for our holiday home looks completely different. ( you can see it here ) To hang the bicycle rim we just used some twine.
repurpose a bicycle wheel to make a tree of life, crafts, halloween decorations, home decor, how to, seasonal holiday decor
And we made a small swing from a child's toy and put it on one of the lower branches.
repurpose a bicycle wheel to make a tree of life, crafts, halloween decorations, home decor, how to, seasonal holiday decor
I'd love to hear your thoughts? Are you also fascinated by trees? And if you're not keen on using wire to make a tree of life then perhaps this one made from t-shirt yarn will inspire you.
repurpose a bicycle wheel to make a tree of life, crafts, halloween decorations, home decor, how to, seasonal holiday decor

Suggested materials:

  • Jewelry wire  (amazon)
  • Bicycle rim  (thrift store)
A Crafty Mix - Michelle

Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!

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Have a question about this project?

3 of 18 questions
  • Maj5122180
    on Mar 20, 2018

    Hi Michelle,

    I have just now come across this amazing DIY, can I ask you how many meters of wire you used for this project please?

    • Oh my, I just had to pop outside quickly to measure one of the others we did for you. The bicycle wheel is about 50 cm (19.5") across and if I counted correctly I used 80 pieces of wire for the tree. Which means that's about 40 m (131 ft I think, sorry coming from S Africa converting meters to feet isn't my strong point). I would add a few extra feet (or at least 5 meters depending on your measurement system). I really hope that helps. I buy the wire in big rolls and one roll was more than enough for the tree of life. Probably your best and easiest bet is the take the width across your wheel (D), multiply it by 1/3 for safety sake and then multiply that by 80 (the number of wire strands to make a nice thick trunk). So to go all mathematical that would be D x 1/3 x 80. Please let me know if that all makes sense

  • Margaret
    on May 13, 2018

    How did you get the tree to stay in the rim? How was it fastened?

  • Ser572402
    on Jun 21, 2018

    Love this! And I happen to have a couple of rims. Going to make this! Where did you get the wire? Online? It is just fabulous.

    • Sorry, I just saw your question now. Yes I bought the wire online, but you should be able to find it at most bead shops too and hardware stores will carry the non coloured wire

Join the conversation

2 of 281 comments
  • Jane Pitman
    on Nov 6, 2018

    I love you tree of life bicycle wheel it is unique and fun xx

  • Alicia
    31 minutes ago

    I have always wanted to make a Tree of Life wall hanging but just didn’t know where to start! I LOVE your idea and what you have done!!! Thank you for sharing!!! Very Beautiful!!!!

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