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by Barb Zimmerman

Although Bonsai first appeared in China, it was not until the 1100’s in Japan that the art of Bonsai was developed. Bonsai is the combination of plant and container.

You will need:

  • 5 Brown bumpy chenille stems
  • 5 Brown 5mm chenille stems
  • 8” Round clay saucer
  • 6” Round Styrofoam® disk
  • Foam Sheets - light green, green,
    dark green
  • Sand
  • Teardrop hand punch
  • Paintbrush
  • Glue
  • Scissors
  • Pencil
  • Small pebbles


1. Glue styrofoam disk centered in saucer. Set aside to dry.
2. Bundle together four bump chenille stems and three 5mm chenille stems. Wrap an additional 5mm chenille stem around the center of bundle, twisting twice to secure. Fold the bundle of stems in half, twisting and bending together to form the trunk of the tree. Leave the two ends that are tied around the center standing straight up to form upper limbs.
3. Cut the remaining 5mm chenille stem and the remaining bump chenille stem in half. Twist two pieces of each together to form large lower limbs. Attach to either side of the trunk by wrapping the upper limbs around each large limb once to secure. Leave the remaining upper limbs standing straight. Bend and shape the lower branches as desired.



4. Apply glue to the tips of the chenille stems that are forming the roots and push into top of styrofoam disk. Let dry.
5. Trace and cut foliage shapes from foam.
6. Glue foliage to the trunk and branches, overlapping foliage and gluing together. Let dry. (Hint: Secure foam shapes together with straight pins while drying, then remove.)
7. Using the teardrop hand punch, punch out leaf formations in foliage. Use small teardrop shapes to form additional leaves that can be glued on for a dimensional affect.
8. Coat the top of the styrofoam and inside edge of the clay saucer with glue mixture (2 parts glue to 1 part water). While still wet, sprinkle sand over the base. Place a few small pebbles around base of tree.
Optional: Paint clay saucer.

Bundle chenille stems together. Wrap stem around center.


Glue foam foliage to chenille stem branches.

Punch teardrop shapes from foam. Glue to foliage.

Darice® Chenille Stems, Foamies™, Clay Saucer; Fiskars® Hand Punch, Scissors

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