Introduction: Wire Wrapped Tree of Life Tutorial

Picture of Wire Wrapped Tree of Life Tutorial

The symbolism of the tree of life is widespread throughout history, and is often depicted in religious, philosophical and mythological contexts. It also happens to be a popular jewelry accessory. There are many different versions of the tree of life pendant, and once you learn the basic steps you can easily add your own unique spin on it. 

The finished examples shown use Baltic amber chips and peridot chips, respectively. 

To make this tree of life pendant, you will need the following tools and supplies:

One 6.5" piece of 18g wire
Four ~6" pieces of 26g wire
3mm-5mm stone chips of your choice (2mm-3mm round beads also work well)
Flush cutters
Round nose pliers
Chain nose pliers
Cup burr or file
Round object

Step 1: Making the Circle

Picture of Making the Circle

Take your piece of 18g wire and wrap it tightly around your round object. For this tree of life pendant, I'm using a cardboard tube that some hemp cord was packaged on - it creates a pendant slightly larger than a quarter when finished. Wooden dowels, metal mandrels and other scavenged household objects will also work. 

Step 2: Starting the Pendant Bale

Picture of Starting the Pendant Bale

To create the pendant bale, use your chain nose pliers to bend one of the wires up at a 90 degree angle. Try to make the bend as close to the middle of the circle as you can. 

Step 3: Making the Loop

Picture of Making the Loop

Rotate the pendant around so that the bend you just created is facing you. Using your round nose pliers, create a loop with the piece of wire that you just bent. 

Step 4: Finishing the Loop

Picture of Finishing the Loop

Slide your circle over your round object again - this will help retain the shape of the circle as you work on finishing the loop for the bale. Using your chain nose pliers, wrap the bottom wire around once, and the top wire that formed the loop around twice. Cut the excess wire off with your flush cutters so that both ends meet at the back of the bale. File down the cut ends or use a cup burr to round them off so that there aren't any sharp wire ends on your finished pendant. Using your chain nose pliers again, firmly bend the filed ends down so that they aren't sticking up anymore. 

Step 5: Step 5: Starting the Tree Roots

Picture of Step 5: Starting the Tree Roots

Take a piece of 26g wire and bend it in the middle. Place the bend that you just made on the bottom of your circle, and wrap the 26g wire around the 18g frame 3-4 times. You should have tightly coiled wraps when you're finished. Repeat this for the remaining pieces of 26g wire. 

Step 6: Finishing the Roots and Making the Tree Trunk

Picture of Finishing the Roots and Making the Tree Trunk

Group all of your 26g wires together at the bottom of the circle frame. Determine how large you want the root system to be, and start twisting all of the wires together. Keep twisting until the tree trunk is at the desired length - the shorter you make the trunk, the fuller your tree will end up being. 

Step 7: Separate the Wires to Start the Branches

Picture of Separate the Wires to Start the Branches

Separate the 26g wires in pairs to make the tree branches. When you're finished separating them, you should have four branches in total. 

Step 8: Twist the Branches

Picture of Twist the Branches

Now that the branches have been separated, start twisting each wire pair together. I usually make 5-8 twists. Once you're finished with this, you will end up with eight branches. 

Step 9: Add Leaves to Your Branches

Picture of Add Leaves to Your Branches

Starting with the first branch, add stone chips or beads to the 26g wire. Once you've added the beads to the branch, take the 26g wire and wrap it tightly around the 18g frame 3-4 times; don't cut off the excess wire yet. Repeat for each branch until all of them have leaves. 

Step 10: Cut Off the Excess Wires

Picture of Cut Off the Excess Wires

Once you're sure each branch is positioned the way that you want it, cut off the excess 26g wire. Don't forget to use your chain nose pliers to push the cut ends down against the 18g frame so that they are poking up anymore. 

Step 11: Add the Finishing Touch to the Tree Roots (Optional)

Picture of Add the Finishing Touch to the Tree Roots (Optional)

Once I'm finished with the branches, I like to go back and bend the roots to give them a more natural look - feel free to leave them neat and straight if you like how that looks. Add your tree of life pendant to a cord of your choice and it's ready to wear!


FaejuT made it! (author)2017-11-17

inspired by cherry blossoms in Japan, this is my take but using 16ga & 26ga wires respectively

Shesammy made it! (author)2016-03-18

my take on your pattern thanks

nancyjaneyoung (author)Shesammy2017-11-09

Is that a wee owl I see? What a "HOOT" :) Nice touch.

Shesammy (author)nancyjaneyoung2017-11-10

Nancy, yes, I had a pair of owl earrings and decided to add this little fellow to my trees.

JakeH4 made it! (author)2014-12-11

I didn't twist up the trunk and branches as much as you did, and I used five wires instead of four to really fill in the space of the arc. I also used malachite chips instead of beads. A brilliant piece, a Christmas present for my girl friend, and a matching souvenir first attempt for me!

nancyjaneyoung (author)JakeH42017-11-09

His and hers ... l lke it... which one will you keep for yourself?

delvonna (author)2014-12-19

Great tutorial! I have become obsessed

nancyjaneyoung (author)delvonna2017-11-09

Very fancy wire shapng!

mandrews15 made it! (author)2014-12-27

my first one turned out awesome! the shape didn't stay round but thats fine with me. I also wrapped blue wire around the outside :D thanks for the easy instuctable!

Everyone has their own path to follow and their own Tree of Life. I like yourr tree.

smcrorie made it! (author)2015-01-04

the more I make these, the better they get.

nancyjaneyoung (author)smcrorie2017-11-09

I am not certain which was made fist but they are all perfect. My favourite is the first one starting on the left.

bkinbirmingham (author)2015-05-05

Can't wait to make this with my babies birthstones.

Such a wonderful keepsake. Has the baby been born yet???

nlb333 (author)2016-05-19

I made this with a hula hoop. Im not sure about it. But ur tutorial helped

nancyjaneyoung (author)nlb3332017-11-09

like the scale of the tree. I can picture it on a wall being embellished for celebrations in your home!!

Tbgelfling (author)2017-02-21

There are SOOOO MANY loose ends to tuck and hide; it's really hard to get this to the point where it won't snag. I was wondering if you had any tips. I don't have bent flush cutters so I can't get a perfectly flush cut. Tips? Tricks? I know I need to get a metal file but I'm not there yet lol

Perhaps you can adapt....if you have stainless steel manicure scissors, they will easily cut and tighten lesser gauge wire. That is what used :)

rockman67 made it! (author)2017-07-25

your tutorial is great.i'm new to wire wrapping and have trouble doing beginner wraps,but i used your tutorial and i did great.

nancyjaneyoung (author)rockman672017-11-09

It is a great piece. What colour is the wire you used? I am colour blind in some respects.

cedwards16 made it! (author)2017-08-07

Great tutorial! It came out nice!

It always amazes me that all the pieces are unique, even when we supposedly follow the same pattern :) Great result ... I would never have considered black wire...even though it makes total sense.

lady_faircloth made it! (author)2017-09-23

I didn't have stone chips so beads had to do. But I like the way it turned out for the first one. Will be trying out some more ideas! Thanks for the tutorial <3

It looks wonderful!

nancyjaneyoung (author)2017-11-09

Hello, Thank you for posting this excellent tutorial! I did not sign up for the lessons but I would be happy to do so! I used a key ring for the circle and heavier wire to make the tree. I did not add any embellishments because I will set the stone into a resin to for some aging adults as a comfort when they are alone.

rockman67 made it! (author)2017-07-25

my first wrap that came out pretty good after several fails of beginner wraps.this tutorial was very helpful.

Randideluna made it! (author)2017-06-20

added a little more to the design to make it more complex. Thank you for the tutorial, I love it ;)

BarbaraF63 (author)2017-05-14


Your trees are fantastic! Compliment!

. I like to
make a wire warped moonstone tree, but I don't know how to fix the flat stone
behind the tree...

Have a nice day, Barbara

MichelleL268 made it! (author)2017-04-08

First one ever. Not bad . thanks for the instructions.

Tbgelfling made it! (author)2017-02-21

Tips for all the loose ends? I have to get rid of those and weave the bale, but for a first try what do you think?

Charchar1970 (author)2016-04-19

I just kinda went with what I had around the house..

Charchar1970 (author)2016-04-19

Love this so much!! Going to add more branches, and I think my frame wire is too big

MelissaC87 made it! (author)2016-01-15

I added a little more but the instructions were very easy to understand. Thanks!

ultimatecraftfan made it! (author)2015-12-28

Thank you so much for sharing!

ultimatecraftfan (author)2015-12-28

This is really cool! I'm so going to try it, maybe with white beads for the Tree of Gondor...

j_4321 made it! (author)2015-11-21

thanks for the instructable, really nice result.

dano27 made it! (author)2015-08-06

it's easy to do

eyeswiredawake (author)2015-07-11

Thanks for the guide! 18G silver frame with 20G copper branches. Peridot rough for leaves.

bkinbirmingham (author)2015-05-07

A gift for my mom this Mother's Day. I am loving making these. Ty

MelanieD5 (author)2015-04-07

Do you have a tutorial for that beautiful ring you're wearing?

BadBCreations made it! (author)2015-04-05

My first attempt, and its fun!

victoria.malarkey made it! (author)2015-04-01

Just made my first one following your tutorial! My thin wire is 24 gauge (the smallest I could find at Michaels), and I used lapis lazuli and fancy jasper chips :)

carole.j.cann (author)2015-03-12

Just finished my 1st attempt of this . Excellent tutorial :) Pic to follow. Thank you

KadenL (author)2014-12-10

This was one of the first wire projects I've done, so the first one didn't turnout particularly good but the second one came out perfectly! Makes a great gift.

smcrorie (author)2014-11-18

here are a few I made.

ToraP made it! (author)2014-11-17

So easy to follow! I made a few changes to what you suggested -- size and ring wire gauge. But I absolutely love my pendant! It will be such a nice gift for Christmas! The colours look a little off because of poor lighting, but they are green! I also used a brass-coloured wire to have more of a tree effect.

Thank you so much!

jennifer.bellina.3 made it! (author)2014-11-07

This was my first attempt and it came out beautifully! I made it a bit larger than instructed, but same rules apply! Thank you so much for the awesome instructions!

jennileerose made it! (author)2014-08-17

I didn't have any of the thicker gauge wire, but I had some that was sort of thick, so I double wrapped it and went from there. Two metals, but it's what I had. Not bad for someone who has never done any wire wrapping before.

LucilleMarie made it! (author)2014-05-13

This was my first attempt and I am pleased with the outcome.

The only thing is the thickness of the wire for the circle was hard to work with and I found 6.5" a bit short.

Tarun Upadhyaya (author)2013-03-10

This is absolutely gorgeous, I am definitely going to make one soon for someone :).

About This Instructable




Bio: Nature inspired handmade gifts. Hand sculpted pendants, real butterfly jewelry, wire wrapped rings & more!
More by CaterpillarArts:How to Make a Ring by Steam Bending WoodHow to Make a Simple Wire Wrapped RingWire Wrapped Tree of Life Tutorial
Add instructable to: