Saturday, August 4, 2012

Tree of Life Pendant

I am joining Ginger Snaps Crafts for {wow me} wednesday with this little creation. It's my third attempt at jewelry-making. You can see the other by visiting the "What I'm Crafting" tab above. Thanks for stopping by!

These pendants were one of my first discoveries on Pinterest that I fell in love with. I love trees. I love statement jewelry. Add the two together and you get the Tree of Life pendant. I looked through several examples, and had a few abandoned attempts before I invested in this design and finished it... and l-o-v-e it!

My biggest challenge was trying to find a silver hoop to start the project. The "magical" size was not to be found. So I narrowed my choices down to a set of bracelets I found at Michael's that were 2 1/2 inches in diameter, and a hodgepodge packet of rings in various sizes- the largest being 1 1/2 inches.

Well, since we are in the south, I decided to "Go Big or Go Home!" (even though I was already home)

I did try to make my own circle from a heavy gauge wire as many of the tutorials suggested. But that did not go well at all. Many failed attempts to make a silly circle!

Next you are going to take medium-gauge wire, cut many strips about 8-inches long each and bend in half. This wire came in an unmarked spool from Wal-Mart for $1. I would guess it's about 18-20 gauge.

There are many methods to attach the wire to the hoop. What worked best for the aesthetic I wanted was to loop the wire around the hoop once and then twist tightly twice.

Continue this method until your trunk is the desired thickness. I used 24 wires. However, I wanted a design with a very wide trunk and... well, this pendant is close to the size of a CD hanging around my neck (not really... but close ;).

Then, it's just twist- twist- twist. This is when your creativity shows and you make the piece yours. Do you want many or few branches? Keep in mind that the more you twist, the less beading you can add. 

Once you have figured out all your branching, then begin adding your beads, one strand of wire at a time.

As your beads reach the hoop with each wire, use your needle-nose pliers to tightly wrap the remaining wire around the hoop.

Just continue this method all the way around the hoop. When you have excessively long wires in some areas, you can trim them before beading to give yourself an easier branch to work with. I also cut some branches shortly after the twist and wrapped it down on the twisted wired beneath it, just to be able to comfortably fit all all branches around the hoop.

I did not like the inconsistent look of the sporadic wrapping around the hoop. So, I took a lighter wire, 24-gauge, and wrapped the entire hoop. It was easiest to do this by folding the wire in half and just tucking it between any two random branches then using needle-nose pliers to wrap it tight along the hoop, replacing with a new wire and repeating when needed.

The end result was a much more meticulous look.

Below are some ideas for other Tree of Life pendants I want to try!


elenita said...

Están divinos todos los modelos.

Violet Davis said...

Thanks this is very helpful, as it is detailed. Very hard to find a good tutorial.