While many people associate gemstones with expensive jewellery, inexpensive stones can add a colourful touch to home decorating projects. In just a couple of hours, you can create a wire gemstone tree that will bring a dash of originality to any home decor.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- Copper wire
- Wire cutter
- 50 gemstone beads
- Gloves, optional
- Glue gun and sticks
- Small container
- Gravel or small polished stones
Measure and cut wire into 10 2-foot-long pieces. Each wire will create 1 tree branch.
Fold a wire in half. String one bead onto centre of wire. Holding both parts of wire together, twist wire below bead for about 1/2 inch.
Taking one strand of wire, bend about 3/4 inch from bottom of twist. String a bead onto bend. Twist wires below bead together to bottom of first twist. Take second strand, make bend, string bead and twist wires to bottom of first twist.
Holding both strands together, twist wire below all beads for about 1/2 inch.
Repeat steps 3 and 4 once more. Branch should have a total of five bead "leaves."
Repeat steps 2 through 5 with remaining nine wires, for a total of 10 branches.
Place one branch on top of another branch, keeping leaves slightly offset. Holding branches together at bottom of final twists, twist all wires together for about 1/2 inch.
Repeat step 7 for remaining branches, ending with five two-branch sets.
Place one two-branch set on top of another set, again keeping leaves slightly offset and holding sets together at bottom of final twists. Twist all wires together a few times. Add another two-branch set and twist all wires a few more times. Continue adding sets and twisting wires together until all five sets are joined.
Continue twisting all wires together until tree trunk reaches desired length. Allow knots and irregularities to remain in wires to imitate the natural look of tree trunks.
Coil remaining wires around trunk at bottom of tree.
Select desired container for gem tree, such as a demitasse cup, votive candle holder, or miniature plant holder. Coordinate colour of container with gems used on tree.
Apply a large glob of glue to inside bottom of container. Set tree into glue at centre of container. Add some gravel pieces to container to cover remaining glue. Hold tree upright until glue cools and dries. Squirt another layer of glue into container and cover with more gravel. Continue adding glue and gravel until gravel fills container and tree stands without support.
Bend and arrange branches to form desired shape of tree. Avoid bending them all to one side to prevent tree from falling over. If necessary, glue in individual gravel pieces to fill holes and complete desired look.
Tips and warnings
- Twisting wire may cut fingers. Wear gloves to avoid pricks from wire ends.
- This project requires lots of glue. Keep plenty of glue sticks handy.
- Hot glue guns and glue may cause burns. Do not touch either while hot. Treat burns by holding injured area under cold running water for several minutes, then covering with sterile gauze. Coat burn with ointment only after burning sensation has stopped.
- Items used in this project may cause choking in young children. Keep children and pets away from work area.
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