Introduction: Simple Wire Wrap Tree Tutorial

Picture of Simple Wire Wrap Tree Tutorial

I love making these and designed this tree of life tutorial years ago for my first wire work class.

(Since I sell these on my etsy shop I will request that you use my tutorial for personal use only and a launching point to designing your own variant before selling them.)

Step 1: Materials

Picture of Materials

Materials

28 or 26 ga wire

20 or 18 ga wire

stone chips (I like 3-5mm ones)

needle nose pliers

round nose pliers

flat nose pliers

ball peen hammer

anvil (or second hammer)

old prescription bottle (or something tubular and sturdy)

ruler

Optional but helpful

nylon nose pliers for straightening wire

masking tape for padding pliers

scissors

Step 2: Making the Frame

Picture of Making the Frame

Bend about 9" of 20 ga wire around the bottle, leaving the ends even. Where they meet in the middle, bend the wires up 90 degrees.

Step 3: Hammering the Frame

Picture of Hammering the Frame

Place the frame on your anvil (or the side of the second hammer) and hold the ends while hammering just the circular part.

First hammer hard enough to flatten the wire out (this will also harden the wire, but can make it fragile if you hammer too hard).

Then swap to the ball end and hammer lightly for a textured finish.

Step 4: Making the Bail

Picture of Making the Bail

Hold the legs together about 1/4" from the top of the frame and bend about 45 degrees towards the back (less textured side).

Wrap both wires around the round nose pliers towards the front and down. Straighten the long ends so they run parallel to the little stem you created before making the loop.

Bind with a few inches of 20 ga wire.

Step 5: Finishing the Bail

Picture of Finishing the Bail

Trim legs to 1" and bend perpendicular to the bail.

Make a small loop at the end of each leg with the tip of round nose pliers.

With (tape padded) flat nose pliers gently hold one of the loops and curl it along its wire to the bail, creating a spiral. Repeat on the other side.

Step 6: Starting the Tree

Picture of Starting the Tree

I lay out my stones in advance, making 10 rows of chips to be able to see color balance.

Cut 5 12" lengths of 28 ga wire and fold them in half. Unfold just enough to slip them over your frame and twist once or twice.

(Don't twist too tightly, the fine wire can snap.)

Step 7: Adding Foliage

Picture of Adding Foliage

Start with the middle folded wire, slide chips on both sides and then twist to keep them on.

Repeat with each set.

Step 8: Creating the Trunk

Picture of Creating the Trunk

There are 5 branches. Twist the 2nd and 3rd together, leave some space, and twist the 1rst in around them.

Twist the 4th and 5th together.

Leaving space between the two bunches, twist those together, until about 3/8-1/2" above the frame.

Step 9: Making the Root System

Picture of Making the Root System

Break the twisted together trunk back into 5 pairs of twisted wires and spread them out.

Carefully untwist the wires past the frame. Wrap the individual wires behind, up, and around the frame 3-5 times. There will be wraps on either side of the 5 twisted roots.

Step 10: Wrapping Up

Picture of Wrapping Up

Done. If you want, you can go in with needle nose pliers and very gently twist the branches and roots around for a more gnarled tree.

Comments

andybs66 (author)2017-04-28

dear Maggie, where do you buy your stone chips from? I've tried Hobby Lobby, Michaels, and Jo Ann Fabrics. No Luck.!

Generally internet and gem shows, look around to see if your local mineral societies have shows. But periodically check out Michaels, I know some of my students got chips at theirs. You might need to enlarge the frame a bit to fit the larger chips, but they got it to work :)

LizWhovian (author)2017-04-26

This is amazing! I might try to use the basics to make a White Tree of Gondor variant or something like that! (And as a fellow jewelry maker and seller, would that be okay to try and sell? Thanks!)

Please don't do an exact copy. I'm sure you understand as a jewelry seller, since I do sell these, including some as charity fundraisers. Please this as a bouncing off point and do some tweaks to make it more your own first. (Especially since I do my own fantasy inspired trees!)

Tomcv1 (author)2017-04-25

I will give this a try. Great instructions on how to try for the beginner

ForasteroEstelar made it! (author)2017-04-22

Que prolijidad. Muy Lindos

How neat. Very cute

S189 (author)ForasteroEstelar2017-04-25

Beautiful! Great color choices too.

Excelentes!

They look great, nice color choices too!

S189 (author)2017-04-25

Clever and beautiful!

JPod (author)2017-04-25

Lovely !! Thanks so much.

MalcolmM3 (author)2017-04-25

Very nice!

Thanks.

Nate Barry (author)2017-04-22

SWEET

mrsmerwin (author)2017-04-22

This is beautiful! I can't wait to see what you do next.

rainingfiction (author)2017-04-22

I always thought thesew looked so cool, and it appears they are not nearly as complex as I thought they were. Great job!

They're hard when you're trying to figure it out on your own, which is probably why there are so many great variations.

I have a friend who makes the tree first and then adds stones, then attaches to the frame. We tried each other's ways and it didn't go so well!

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