In my last post, it was all about the supplies you would need. Here we will detail out how to construct a 3 leaf branch.
Cut your craft wire to 36”. String a stone or multiple stones if small on one wire, folding it in half with your stone(s) at the folded end. Hold the wire in between thumb and forefinger of one hand in the shape of a V and the stone in the other hand. Twist the stone 5 half twists for approximately ¼ inch. Be sure to keep the end (loose) wires separated and to hold your hands away from your face as the loose wires can poke you in the eye if you are not careful.
String your next stone on the longest wire approx. 1/2 inch away from the twisted center. Fold the wire in half with the stone at the folded end, holding the stone in one hand and the wires in the other hand at the center, twist the stone until the two twisted wires meet at the center.
String your next stone on the longest wire and leave approx. 1/2 inch away from the twisted center. Fold the wire in half with the stone at the folded end, holding the stone in one hand and the wires in the other hand at the center, twist the stone until the all twisted wires meet at the center. Finish off this branch by twisting the open wires approx. 10 to 15 half twists. Finished branch will resemble Diagram 1.
If you only want to learn this 3 leaf branch, then you can set this one aside and continue making branches. For a mini tree, you will need at least 15 of these.
Separate out all your branches into sets of 3. You should have 5 sets. Twist three branches together at the open wire end by stacking all three. Hold the stones in one hand, splay out the leg wires to create a V shape and with your other hand twist the wires at the bead end all together 10 half twists, as in Diagram 2 to create a limb. Do not twist the wires up towards the beads but twist the loose wires together. Continue joining branches to make limbs until you have 5 sets that look like the finished Diagram 2. Please remember to keep your end wires separated into leg like structures, otherwise they will tangle and not twist well.
To put your mini tree together, take 2 limbs as in finished Diagram 2 and twist together 5 to 10 half twists. Take another 2 limbs and twist together. Twist both double sets together at least 3 to 5 half twists to start your trunk. Add your remaining limb to complete your trunk by twisting down 10 half twists or as tall as you want your tree.
Finish off your tree by dividing the loose end wires into three or four sets and twist to make roots 1 ½ to 2” long. Roughly place your tree, roots down onto your base, spreading the roots out enough to make the tree stable. (If placing on a rock, use the rubberbands to secure the roots prior to gluing.) Clip off excess wire with wire cutters. Place some glue on the roots and set in dish (or secure rubberband around the root onto the rock). Mini clamps work well also when gluing to rocks. Glue all roots using the same method. Allow at least 2 hours to dry before taking the clamps or rubberbands off. Clean up any glue messes with fingernail polish remover on a Q-tip. Arrange tree limbs and branches to your satisfaction and you’re done.
Enjoy your tree. These make great gifts for everyone and the wonderful thing is you made it. Watch for my next segment that will spot light a 5 and 7 leaf branch.
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