Introduction: Make a Tree From Jewelry Wire

Picture of Make a Tree From Jewelry Wire

This instructable will show you how to make these fantasy style trees using jewelry wire. They are fairly quick to make, taking only an afternoon for me to make one for me, and could probably be done quicker. They don't need much concentration to create, so are great to make while watching tv.

*edit* just a typo!

Step 1: Materials Needed

Picture of Materials Needed

To make these trees, you will need just a few materials:

Jewelry wire (mine was 24 gauge gunmetal), about 70 or so yards, more for thicker wire, less for thinner. Really any pliable wire will do, though it's harder the thicker you go.

Beads: Either seed beads, or larger spherical beads

Wire Cutters: If you have a small enough gauge of wire, you may be able to use scissors as I did

A ruler or other measuring implement, if you can't find one, it's not too important

Pliers: If you have a thicker wire, you may need these to help further on

Step 2: Cut the Wire

Picture of Cut the Wire

To start with you will need a lot of cut wires, about 110-120 for a thicker tree. You should cut them into strips about 50 cms long, it doesn't have to be exact. After a while you will be able to tell how long each piece should be when you pull it off the spool and won't need to measure it anymore. Remember, if you are using a smaller gauge wire, you will use shorter wire, and larger gauge wire will be longer.
To make counting easier, I piled them into groups of ten and tied them in a loose knot.

Step 3: Add the Beads

Picture of Add the Beads

Add three of the seed beads (or one large bead) to the centre of each wire and twist to secure for about half a cm- a full cm each, repeat for each strand. This is by far the most time consuming part of the entire process, especially if you are using the seed beads.

Step 4: Twist Two Together

Picture of Twist Two Together

This part is almost the same as adding the beads, but instead of twisting shut to keep the beads on, twist two of them together just under the twist of the bead, twisting for about one to two cm. Every once in a while, to keep with the random nature of the trees, twist three together instead of two.

Step 5: Rinse and Repeat

Picture of Rinse and Repeat

Like the title says, repeat step four again, and again, and again until you have three large branches, each step will become successfully quicker since there's less wires to twist! Just remember, twist each section longer then the last.

Step 6: Make the Trunk

Picture of Make the Trunk

Making the trunk is just like making the branches, twist all three together, but leave some untwisted at the end, we'll be turning those into roots in a moment. Depending on how thick/stiff your wire is, this is the part that you will most likely need the pliers for.

Step 7: Onto the Roots!

Picture of Onto the Roots!

At this point we're going to twist it like before, but instead of adding, we'll be taking away. Start by seperating the wires into three groups and twist those, then keep splitting each one successively smaller and smaller till there are only three or four wires left twisted to your desired length. Trim any leftover wire off.

Step 8: Beautify the Branches

Picture of Beautify the Branches

The last step to do is to just bend the branches and roots to a position you like. Depending on the wire you use, you may be able to let it stand on it's own as the two I've made with jewelry wire can, or you may have to attatch it to something else to use as a stand as with my middle one. After that it's all finished and all you have to do is decide where to put it!


nickodemus (author)2010-05-27

Here's mine! I also made a smaller one from aluminum wire, I'll post some pictures of it when I get a chance.

frenzy (author)nickodemus2010-06-01

This Instructable has won the "I Made It" Challenge, Thanks for being a part of the instructables community!

vIDo (author)2010-03-14

what can I say..  I really had noting better to do today..

thank you for the lovely ible!

TheFawns (author)vIDo2010-03-14

 OMG! awesome!! lol

vIDo (author)TheFawns2010-03-14

thank you.. :D
personally I don't like the beads on this one. but I didn't have anything else and the shops are closed on Sundays.. :(

I'm thinking of making a big one as wedding present for my aunt. I was thinking about maybe making it look like two trees that have grown in to each other.
if I don't forget I'll post a picture.


Elizabita (author)vIDo2010-03-15

It looks great! And even if you don't like the beads, I love the idea of the two colours, I've actualy been thinking of using two different colours of wire in my next one, but the duo coloured beads look even better I think

vIDo (author)Elizabita2010-04-11

about a month ago I told you guys I was thinking about making one as a weding present for my aunt.. and I did..

~62 meters of wire.
~180 beads (three diferent colors of small wooden ones and 8 (fake) pearls)
and a 6 kg rock

ps. this is somewhat of a WIP. I'm trying to get a little engraved plate on the front with there names and the date.

Kristie-LeeM (author)vIDo2016-01-31

Can I ask how your roots are anchored? Glue?

Elizabita (author)vIDo2010-04-23

Wow, it looks beautiful! I'm so honoured that you used my instructable to make a wedding pressent! Send my congratulations to the bride and groom!

vIDo (author)Elizabita2010-03-16

I don't think you should over do it with th colors. ether take  colors that aren't to far apart  (like different shades of the same color) or if you use some completely different color only do a few. (like I did here)

but hey, I'm no expert... the only way to really find out what looks best is to try them all :D (I'm going to need more wire >.> )


TheFawns (author)vIDo2010-03-18

 i think it looks just fine :) it kinda reminds me of those trees with the white flowers on them, if the wire was like a purple color it would look even cooler :D

craftybutsmartlady (author)2015-06-25

i cant wait to try this

soumik_born_to_learn (author)2010-07-09

here is my first one... I didnt had much supplies...

So beautiful and inspiring! Thank you for sharing it with us. :)

jonathan.barreto.7121 made it! (author)2014-11-11

This has become my favorite hobby!!

here are some i made :)

FACEfun (author)2010-04-26

This is my first one, and I believe it turned out relatively well. I didn't have much wire, I only used 60 strands, so it's small.

holiday900 (author)FACEfun2012-05-24

very nice! i like the rock! good job.

whatnext (author)FACEfun2011-09-22

This is so beautiful!! Do you know what size pearls you used. I just bought 4mm plastic pearls online and i want to buy another color so I am hoping they are the right size. Also, did you use two different sizes of beads? Did you use stainless wire? do you remember what size the wire was? Sorry for all of the questions, I really love your tree. So much, that I am going to try to replicate it. Thanks! and great job! Really.

cryslhooq (author)2011-12-23

how did you make the trunk for the first one you did? I am using welding wire (.035) which is evilly stiff like your 18 gauge wire, but you manage to get the trunk to twist nice and tight. your reply would be much appreciated.

BonsaiArt (author)2011-12-01

I'll try once again...

tpayne15 (author)2011-01-25

i wanted to do something like this for my wedding guest list (build a big tree then have guests write their names on a leaf and hang them from branches)..but how much wire do you think thatd call for...the guest list is at least 100ppl?

Mirth Krafter (author)tpayne152011-09-05

I tried making a nice tall tree and found that the weight of the beads made it a weeping willow instead of a upright tree. I used floral wire and it just wasn't strong enough to stand up on its own until I fed super glue into the trunk. My final tree is about 1 1/2 foot tall plus the basket it sets on.
If you are still trying it I would strongly suggest putting a dowel rod in the center of the trunk and hide it with the wire.
Floral wire is still a good choice. The last suggestion is that you don't cut the branch ends and leave them as loops. This will help in three ways; first it will leave you with no sharp ends. Second you will have stronger branches. And third the loops will give you something to hang the tags from, try small paper clips.
Floral wire is cheaper, yet the correct color for a tree. Expect to use 3-4 or more paddles.
Congratulations on the wedding.

alexiabueno (author)tpayne152011-05-09

wow, that's such a great idea. and although you're not directing your question at me, i believe it should be no more than $50 worth of wire (get it at a hardware store, craft store wire is pretty pricey) but you will have to consider all the time (and patience) it would take for it to be built.

tpayne15 (author)alexiabueno2011-05-09

Thanks for your help! We have plenty of time before the wedding. Ill head over to lowes or home depot and see what they have. And ill definitely post the end result.

yordun (author)2010-05-18

 Where can you get jewelry wire, and what it is exactly? Nice instructable, by the way.

cboyer2 (author)yordun2011-06-28

For trees I would save money and get wire at a hardware store as the stuff you get at craft stores is more expensive. Unless of course you want your tree to be green or something along those lines, then you might want to get the colored wire. Check online pricing before going to your local store to see if you can find the same thing less expensively.

You also have the option of pickling the copper wire to get a verde gris (green) effect.

GeekyGirl1103 (author)yordun2010-05-20

Jewelry wire can be found in Michaels or WalMart by the beads. And it comes in many different colors. :)

Hoooyyat (author)2011-06-28

Thanks for the instructable. To get everything together and to finish it took me about an hour. Im thinking of using this technique to make framework for a fake bonsai tree but until then I have this.

freaknuggetz_chick (author)2011-01-19

thank you so much for this instructable! WOW!!! i was looking for that 'perfect' gift for my sister-in-law, and this was it. As the tree was intended to hold her jewelry, i used a heavier guage wire. but this made the roots too short, and it had to be 'potted'. i stuck the roots to an inverted plastic plant pot, and then placed that in the nice ceramic pot. Plaster of Paris was used to be the main base, and some extra beads and crafting glue decorated the top of the paster.

cherub6694 (author)2010-04-30

What a great idea! After receiving a mini bonsai tree kit for a present, I conducted some research on the topic. The jack pine seeds included in the box were not considered a great starter bonsai, and I didn't want to kill a tree. So, I decided I wanted to make a bonsai tree. I ended up making a smaller version of this wire tree with gold jewelry wire. Instead of using beads for leaves, I twisted the wire around some decorative green rocks. It looks very nice; thank you for the clear and beautiful instructable.

@FACEfun and vIDO- Your trees both came out wonderfully. I especially like the one vIDO made for the wedding.

danlab (author)2010-03-15

I've cut a lot of pieces of wire to certain lengths for my job and I figured out one of the easiest was of measuring is to put two pieces of masking tape on the side of the table at the distance you want (50 cm in your case). Then you can put the spool by one tape, pull the wire close to the other tape and snip it off at the spool.

verybluesky (author)danlab2010-03-17

It's people like you that make this site so amazing.  Simple solutions to complex problems.  Thanks for the tip.

verybluesky (author)2010-03-17

Here's my first tree. 

verybluesky (author)2010-03-17

Thank you for sharing this instructable.  I made my first tree and here's a picture.  I didn't use a lot of wire since I was eager to finish it.  There are only 3 roots but it can stand up by itself.

Cylvre (author)2010-03-13

My grandmother had a very large and full one of these on a wind-up rotating musical base.  This bring back wonderful memories.  Will definitely be filing this one away for future use.  5 stars!  Thank you for sharing.

Elizabita (author)Cylvre2010-03-15

My pleasure, I'm glad it brought back such warm memories for you!

ChrysN (author)2010-03-13

Nicely done!

Elizabita (author)ChrysN2010-03-15

Thank-you very much!

lady4feet (author)2010-03-15

They look great! Thank you for posting this. How did you attatch the tree to the rock?

Elizabita (author)lady4feet2010-03-15

I just used hot glue to attach it, easy peasy!

cokecola (author)2010-03-15

Cool! I have made a few of these ming trees and after twisting the wires for  a while my wrist would snap with each turn. I put a hook in the end of a dowel and would hook it into the "leaf" and rotate the dowel to twist it wires. It worked well for the smaller branches.

TheFawns (author)2010-03-14

 this is freaking awesome :DD i am gonna make my girl one of these :) the tree is gonna be shaped like a heart :D if i make it, ill post it on here

nickodemus (author)2010-03-14

I made something similar to this once. It had a metal nut for the base instead of the rock and had smaller metal nuts on the limbs to act as fruit. I'll try to put up some pictures later. Great Instructable too.

mdeblasi1 (author)2010-03-14

I've been thinking about something like this for a long time.  It just seemed like soooo much work, especially since I was apparently trying to reinvent the wheel.  Never the less, I had the idea of using a small torch to ball up the tip of each wire, so that, flattened with a hammer, it looked like a leaf. 
Building a patina from water oxidation sounds like a good idea,  There is also a simple peanut oil patina that I've seen on copper that gives it a lovely dark wood tone.

Oroka (author)2010-03-14

I have done something simular to this for model railroading.  I just couldnt find a realistic analogue for a decidious tree in the winter.  I just used standard rolled wire from the hardware store.  I twisted multiple strands, and twisted bundles of strands to form trunks.  Higher up, I seperated the bundles to make smaller branches.  Dipped in white glue to hide the strands, painted and weathered like a real tree.  Turned out really realistic for a N scale.

yellowexample (author)2010-03-14

 If you like these, check these out:

tok2 (author)2010-03-14

my father made a few of these back in the nineties. I'm happy to see someone else thought it out :)

Try spraying it a little with water once every week, it gets a lovely rusty colour that matches perfectly!

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