Tiny Tree of Life Pendants

A couple of nights ago I was lying in bed when I thought I should attempt to make a tiny Tree of Life pendant (more like a charm). It actually wasn’t my idea; I had read about a challenge to make a wire wrapped Tree of Life that’s smaller than a nickel.

Yesterday evening I gave it a try, and here’s the result.

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The nickel is in there for scale. My use of purple seed beads would make these resemble flowering Jacaranda mimosifolia.

I struggled at first with making the frame, because I thought a wrapped loop would look disproportionately large on a small ring. That’s why I did the three loops, and secured the ends of the ring when wrapping the tree branch. Then I discovered the three loops are practically impossible to replicate exactly. (It’s possible that I just need a lot more practice, or maybe it can be done using a jig.) At first I thought I would use these charms for earrings, since they’re small and light, but then decided against it. When it comes to earrings, I prefer that the frames be close to identical. I don’t mind if the trees aren’t identical, because it’s even more difficult to make identical trees than it is to make identical frames. (But if people actually want mismatched earrings that don’t look deliberately mismatched—like the outer two in the photo above—then I’ll make them.)

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Although the trees aren’t identical, the size and style of the frames are similar enough for me to use them for earrings.

The tree part was actually fairly easy and enjoyable to make. I used 26 gauge wire for it, so it’s easy to bend. It takes me about half an hour to make one piece from start to finish, so I am seriously considering selling these. Because they are so small, there’s no room for complicated details, so the design remains simple, and I like that.

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The smallest one has a 1.4 cm diameter, and the larger one has a 1.6 cm diameter.

I made the ring by wrapping the 18 gauge wire around a ring mandrel. I started out at size 5. Making the tree was easier than I thought it would be. Then I decided to try size 2. Once again, no problem. To challenge myself more, I tried size 1. (After wrapping the loop, the ring got smaller so that it no longer fit on the mandrel.) That one actually was challenging, and it took the longest to make. I’m satisfied that the whole piece fits on a nickel. I don’t plan to make another one like that any time soon.

DSCF7437qThe next morning, I couldn’t wait to try to make more, with wrapped loops, so they could be used for earrings. My fingers were still sore from the night before, so I didn’t have as good control of the wire as I would have liked. It took three attempts before I had two frames that were close enough in size, but during the process I scraped the silver plating off the wire on one of them. However, it’s not noticeable after I wrapped the 26 gauge wire on.

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Clip-on earrings, because I don’t have pierced ears, but I have ear hooks for those who do. This one has a 1.6 cm diameter.

Tree of Life Ornament

Last week I took a class to learn how to make a wire wrapped Tree of Life ornament.

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The second one that I made.

The instructor decided to teach it as an ornament since it would be larger and easier for people to manipulate the wires. She had also made the outer circles and cut the wire for us, since she wasn’t sure they’d have enough tools for everyone to use. That took a lot of the work out of it. The method she taught started it by twisting the wires together to form the trunk. (I was aware that there are two other methods: one that starts from the roots, and one that starts from the leaves.)

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The first one that I made.

All the materials were provided, so I didn’t have a choice in the color of the wire, and the color choice for the beads was limited as well. This was why, by the time I got to my second one, there weren’t enough purple beads for me to finish it entirely in purple. However, given how low the materials fee was, I didn’t mind that much.

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The larger one measures almost 2.5″ across. The smaller one has a 1.75″ diameter. The frame was 12 gauge wire and the tree was made from 26 gauge wire.

The wire wrapped Tree of Life is such an elegant design and it’s fun and easy to make. I definitely want to make more, and make them smaller so that they could be worn as pendants. I’m thinking of giving the bottom to top method a try. There is a pretty good tutorial at Instructables, if you’re interested in making your own.