Repurpose a Bicycle Wheel to Make a Tree of Life

Michelle Leslie
by Michelle Leslie
2 Materials
2 Hours
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.
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.
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.
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.
And we made a small swing from a child's toy and put it on one of the lower branches.
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.
Suggested materials:
  • Jewelry wire   (amazon)
  • Bicycle rim   (thrift store)
Michelle Leslie
Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!
Frequently asked questions
Have a question about this project?
3 of 23 questions
  • Bmi32050820 Bmi32050820 on Oct 08, 2019

    I love it but I guess I can’t read🥴🥴but I didn’t understand if you cut the spokes out or did you use them to make the branches??? Thanks

  • Melinda DeShazo Brenton Melinda DeShazo Brenton on Mar 27, 2022

    Not so much a question, that hasn't already been asked, so I can read the answers you explain to others here and not require extra time, answering the same basic questions, over and over again.

    I think that I wonder with the love of the trees of life, do you have other TOL projects that you would share? Thank you so very much.

  • Regina Dunlap Regina Dunlap on Oct 05, 2022

    I hope I have not completely overlooked this did you connect the wire to the rim?

Join the conversation
4 of 303 comments
  • Christina Woodcock Christina Woodcock on Aug 21, 2021

    Wow Michelle what an awesome idea! Turned out beautiful :-)

  • JosyPaigan JosyPaigan on Apr 30, 2022

    A tree of life is one of the most beautiful things regarding religious culture in all the parts of the world. It has a special place in every religion, and it is a symbol that everyone should respect. I was introduced to it when I went to the church in our town with my mom. One of the priests there wanted to impress me, and he showed me an artificial tree of life he had made himself. He had been working at for 25 years. He never stopped informing people about this great symbol and teaching them its importance to our culture and society. He made a mission out of that to give a purpose to his religious service.