Originally built in 1889 as the entrance to the World’s Fair in Paris, the Eiffel Tower was intended to be a temporary structure. Many Parisians thought the tower was unattractive. Today, millions of visitors flock to the monument -- more than any other paid monument in the world. You can make your own “dame de fer,” or iron lady, at home in a model version. Craft yours out of wire in a weekend as opposed to two years like the original.
Things You'll Need
- Eiffel Tower photo
- Fine-tipped marker
- Mild steel wire
- Needle nose pliers
- Wire cutters
- Paddle wire
- Fine metal file
- Spray paint
Determine how large you would like your finished model to be. If larger than a piece of your paper, tape pieces of paper together to create a sheet the size of your finished model.
Draw a scaled sketch of the front of the Eiffel Tower to the finished size of the model. This will be your guide for your wire. Place a mark at the top and bottom of the corners of the tower. Draw a curve from the top to the bottom marks. Sketch the inside curved triangular shape for the tower legs. Add the arch in proportion to the height. Place the four platform lines, including the roof on the top platform, on the drawing. Reference the photo as you draw to help you with detail and proportions. You can also enlarge a photo of the Eiffel Tower and use it as your guide instead of drawing one.
Measure out a piece of mild steel wire long enough to cover the outer shape of the Tower. Place the wire on the drawing and bend with needle nose pliers to follow the curved outer line of the structure. Move the wire across the top platform, which is the roof of the viewing area, and continue on down the opposite side of the Eiffel Tower.
Mark the wire where the platform line crosses it with a fine-tipped marker. Repeat the process three times so you have four frame patterns.
Measure a piece of mild steel wire to bend to fit the inner curved triangular shape of the tower. Indicate with the marker where the wire meets the crossing platforms. Cut the wire and set it aside. Do this three additional times for a total of four pieces.
Bend a piece of mild steel wire along the arch of the base of the Eiffel Tower. Cut the wire and set aside. Do this three more times for a total of four arches.
Measure each platform on the drawing with a ruler. Write each measurement down. Multiply the measurement by four and then add 2 inches. Cut a piece of mild steel wire for the adjusted measurement. Do this for each platform.
Pick up two outside frame sections. Position them so the legs are at a 90-degree angle to each other. Take the longest platform wire piece and wrap it around the two legs that are matched together at the ink mark for the bottom platform. Position another outside frame to a leg. Wrap with the platform wire at the bottom platform ink mark. Repeat this technique until all pieces of the outside frame are connected at the bottom platform marks. Cut off any surplus wire with wire cutters.
Wrap the second platform wire around one leg and pull tight to secure. Wrap the wire around each of the other legs. Remove any surplus wire. Repeat with the third platform wire at the third platform marks.
Measure and cut a 2-foot piece of paddle wire. Wrap the end of the wire around the bottom leg of an outside frame to secure. Grip an arch and inner frame in place on either side of the frame that was wrapped with paddle wire. Weave the wire around the arch and inner frame. Wrap to the outside frame afterwards. Position and grasp the arch and inner frame in the opening at a 90-degree angle from the previously finished wrap. Weave the wire around the arch and inner frame. Wrap to the outside frame afterwards. Keep wrapping in this way until the arch and the inside frame branch out from each other. Weave the wire around the outer and inner frame after the separation has occurred. Repeat with the other legs.
Wrap paddle wire on the inner and outer frame legs to create the ironwork patterns of the Eiffel Tower. Use the photo of the tower for a reference. Cut a piece of 3-inch mild steel wire and secure it to the top of the tower by wrapping paddle wire around it and to the top of the frames. This will create the spire at the top of the tower.
Cut the ends of all wires and sand any sharp edges with a metal file. Spray the completed model with spray paint, as all of the wire may not have the same color finish.