Instructions for a Gem Wire Tree

Written by linda donahue

Gem wire trees make a lovely focus piece for a room. They add sparkle and colour with an almost Japanese bonsai look to them. Kits are available, at hobby and craft stores and also online, for making your own tree. Of course, with the proper supplies, you can make your own tree from scratch.

Gem Wire Trees

Creating your own gem wire tree requires little more than a good rock for the base, a spool (or two) of craft wire, gemstones with holes drilled in them, and a bolt for anchoring the tree. With work, patience and a little artistic flare, you can create beautiful, miniature trees in myriad colours.

Since most gem wire trees are anchored on a decorative rock, often one covered in crystal growth, begin there. Select a good rock, or other suitable base to give your creation stability. A slab of rock also works well. Drill a hole up through the bottom. Be sure the very bottom opening is wide enough that you can insert a bolt and recess it so it won't interfere with the bottom of your rock. Your rock must sit flatly and securely. Push the bolt through the hole and use craft cement to glue the metal to rock, anchoring it. The bolt should stick up, out of the rock. This is the base for which you'll begin to wrap your tree's trunk.

Wrap the craft wire around the bolt. Instead of starting right at the base of the bolt, let some wire wind down, like roots, to hug against the rock. These will be decorative, rather than actually supportive. The bolt will provide the starting strength for your tree. Wrap the bolt and continue making the coils for the trunk extend beyond the bolt.

Anchor in another piece of wire, so you have two pieces coming off the trunk to make it fork and have two limbs. Anchor the wire by wrapping it around the bolt and blending it with the other. As these limbs coil off, growing, bend the wire and begin threading on gemstones or beads. So having stones with holes pre-drilled the size of the wire is a must. Wrap the wire back around itself, making tiny branches with gemstone leaves. Wrap back to the limb and continue wrapping before making another tiny branch with leaves.

You can work the branches and limbs as complexly as you like. The wire can wrap back down a branch and work out in another direction. Ultimately, it can wrap all the way back to the trunk and sprout into a new limb. The design is free-flowing and up to you. If you don't like where a branch has gone, unwrap it and start it again.

In making your gem wire tree, you can use all the same gemstones or create something in a rainbow of hues by mixing and matching gemstones. You can even purchase gemstones already cut in the shapes of leaves, instead of using beads or natural, rough-shaped stones. And while gold wire is a popular choice for gem wire trees, you can also use silver or copper coloured wire.

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