A gemstone tree is a lovely ornament. It consists of a tree sculpted from wire, with leaves or blossoms suggested by gemstones. As well as being pretty, gemstone trees have a place in feng shui: they are believed to draw positive energies when correctly positioned in the house, with various stones having different properties. You can make your own gemstone tree from craft wire and drilled gemstone chips. You can make a stand for your tree out of a small decorative dish or you can use a piece of natural rock or crystal.
Cut the craft wire into 15 lengths of 36". Thread a gemstone chip onto a strand of wire and position it in the middle. Fold the wire in half with the gemstone at the top. Twist the wire together below the gemstone, making five half-twists; you should have about a 1/4 of an inch of twisted wire.
Thread your next gem onto one of the wire "legs." Position it about 1/2 an inch from the base of the twisted section of the wire. Fold the wire back on itself so that you have a half-inch loop with the gemstone at the folded end. Twist the wire until you come to the base of the first twisted section. You should now have two twisted sections, each around 1/4 of an inch long (twisting shortens the loop of wire from 1/2 an inch to 1/4), with a gem at the top of each.
Thread your next stone onto the longest wire "leg." Position it 1/2 an inch from the base of the twisted sections. Fold the wire back on itself and twist again, till you come to the base of the last twisted section. You should now have three loops, roughly equal in length, with a gemstone at the end of each.
Twist the two "leg" wires for 10 or 15 half-twists. This completes the first branch. Make 14 more branches for a total of 15.
Divide your completed branches into five groups of three branches each. Position the two "legs" of each branch into a V-shape so they don't tangle. Stack a bunch of three branches together with the gems all at one end. Twist the bundle of wire "legs" together for ten half-twists. This completes the first limb. Repeat with the other groups of three wires to make a total of five limbs.
Take two tree limbs and twist them together to make one large limb. Do the same for another two small tree limbs. You should now have two large tree limbs and one small one.
Twist the two large tree limbs together to make a trunk. After 10 half-twists, add the final small tree limb to the bundle. Continue twisting until you are satisfied with the length of the trunk. Leave some wire at the end to make the tree roots.
Divide the wires at the base of the tree into three bundles and twist these a few times each. Position your tree in the dish or on the rock you have chosen for your base, arranging the wires to make the tree stable and also to give a pleasing effect.
Apply glue to the dish. Secure the tree to the dish with rubber bands or mini clamps. If using a rock as the base, glue one bunch of roots at a time, securing them in place with rubber bands or mini clamps until the glue sets. You tree is now complete.
As well as gemstone chips you can use other kinds of beads to make your tree. Try bunches of pink and white seed beads to make apple blossom, or Swarovski crystals for a sparkling effect.
Handle wire carefully. Long wires can whip about as you work and can scratch your face or harm your eyes. The cut ends of wire can be quite sharp so take care not to prick your fingers.
Tips and warnings
- As well as gemstone chips you can use other kinds of beads to make your tree. Try bunches of pink and white seed beads to make apple blossom, or Swarovski crystals for a sparkling effect.
- Handle wire carefully. Long wires can whip about as you work and can scratch your face or harm your eyes. The cut ends of wire can be quite sharp so take care not to prick your fingers.
Things you need
- Craft wire
- Wire cutters
- Gemstone chips, drilled
- Smooth needle-nose pliers
- Rock or dish stand
- All-purpose cement such as 527 glue; or hot glue