I originally got this idea by reading an instructable by Stico found here .
Now, I have an old bonsai tree that had died due to my neglect (as well as occasional flying textbooks). It was beautiful while it was alive, but it was coniferous, so it's pines haven't fallen off since it's died, they've just turned a nice colour.
The following is a list of materials and tools I personally used, and found useful. Keep in mind that this project can be done using any number of components and configurations, though of course (barring any strange quantum action along the way :P), I'll only show you the process for the one I built.
List of Materials
- A deceased bonsai tree
- An appropriately sized box OR the core bord reqired to build one (about the same size as the crown of the tree)
- many, many watch gears (I ordered them from these guys )
- small DC motor
- drawer key/lock
- electrical "turn-switch"
- thin core board/thick card to build the box
- two washers (fit around the lock, and the switch)
- old school film canister
- hot glue sticks
- solder (preferably lead-free. More expensive, but your lungs will thank you)
- 9V battery
- resistor (very small if your motor is brushed)
- a sheet of leather/fake leather (I used a leather table matt)
- larger (order of magnitude: 1-2.5 cm diameters) gears
- gold/brass sprey paint
- shafts for the larger gears to rotate around
- additional metal (preferably brass/gold/copper) nicknacks
- amber LEDs
- pen you don't mind destroying
List of Tools
- Hot glue gun
- Soldering Iron
- protoboard (just to test your circuit on, not really required)
- multi-tool with a knife ( I love my leatherman )