Introduction: Beaded Copper Wire Tree

Picture of Beaded Copper Wire Tree

This is a "tree" that I made out of copper wire as a pass-time and an experience-giving project. My estimation is that it took two hours to craft (as I am a piddler, I spent approximately four hours on it). My idea was for it to simply be a decoration, but the branches are adjustable and could be lifted and spaced in a way that would make it a nice holder for jewelry, such as earrings, rings, small chain jewelry, etc. I already had the materials on hand. I am not sure what they might cost if purchased for the project. My answers to the "Make-to-Learn Youth Contest" are as follows:

--What did you make?
-I made a copper wire sculpture that is designed to look like a tree. It is primarily a decoration, but could be used to drape jewelry on. The tools that I used were a pair of toothed needle-nosed pliers and my hands; the materials that I used were a section of copper cable (approx. four and one half mm total gauge),  copper thread (approx. three hundred cm), and various seed beads (approx. seventy). More of, less of, or different tools/materials could be used, however. 

--How did you make it?
-I used an approximately thirty-five centimeter (fourteen inch) section of  nineteen-ply copper cable to form the un-beaded base. I separated the wires on each end, leaving a "trunk" of around fifteen cm (approx. nine cm "roots", eleven cm "branches/fronds"). I then separated the "root" wires to stabilize the "tree", bent the "trunk" by hand to add curvature, and used a pair of toothed needle-nosed pliers to add decorative twists and patterns to the "limbs", adding and securing seed beads in various places. In some places, the beads would not fit onto the wires, so I used copper thread from a spool to secure the beads in place. I did this for eighteen of the wires, and with the last one wrapped a small stone onto the centre. I made the "branches" in three tiers of six wires, and each tier has a different design pattern.

--Where did you make it?
-I made this project at home (specifically, on the living room floor). I craft many things and enjoy working with metal and stone, thus this project connected to my everyday life. 

--What did you learn?
-The biggest challenge I faced was (embarrassingly enough) not breaking the beads. After slipping them onto the wires, I fastened them in place by bending the wire around them. Unfortunately, when I tightened the wire loops to hold them in place, I often broke the beads with the pliers. I imagine I would have saved nearly twenty beads by being more careful (not that I'm mourning them, but this slowed down the project). I learned a few wire-working/design techniques, and I learned to be more gentle with the wire. I had to use the pliers ambidextrously nearly half of the time, which gave be a bit more tool skill. The feature I am most proud of is the design of the top-tier wires. I used a more runic, squarish design than with the lower tiers, which I think was a nice finishing touch. If I were to do this project again (which I intend to), I would obtain and use a pair of jewelry pliers to avoid the "bite marks" that toothed pliers make in copper wire. I might also add beads to the "trunk/roots" and/or wrap the "roots" around a rock or other object of interest. 

Comments

jerlwe (author)2014-02-11

This looks great! What kind of wire is that/where could I find some?

Penolopy Bulnick (author)2013-03-27

So pretty :)

Thank you. I've seen some of your work also and must say I appreciate it very much. So many instructables you have!

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Bio: Little more than a [not very] quiet crafter living in Athens, Ohio, USA. I have no true home, but I like to adopt the land ... More »
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