Monday, April 20, 2009

2 Leaf Gem Tree Instructions

I may be discontinuing one of my other crafting blogs and wanted to make sure I had these instructions out here for all you gem tree addicts. I wrote this a couple years ago and have included it in my new book with updated pictures and more complete instructions....sorry if you want those instructions you will have to buy the book.

Speaking of the book, I talked to my publisher on Friday and she indicated that it will be end of April, first week of May before I get to see it. I was hoping it would be this week.....oh well.

Back to the 2 Leaf tree. This is a simple design and one that displays charms really well. Build in the same manner as my mini tree only instead of 3 leaf branches you will have 2 leaf branches.

Basic Gem Tree Construction for a 2 Leaf Branch

This tree can be as big or small as you wish by continuing to make and add branches and limbs to the trunk.

Materials used:
Gemstones or beads with holes in the middle
24 guage craft wire in gold, silver, copper, or any other color complimentary to your stones.
527 Craft Glue
Wire cutters
Smooth Nose Pliers for helping to twist the wire on the trunk
Rock for the base of tree or a Dish (Terra Cotta Pot Saucer works well filled with sand)
Bowl to hold gemstones for sorting (helps so they don’t roll all over the place)
Rubberbands or Mini Clamps (clamps can be found at hardware or Sears stores)

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. Finish off this branch by twisting the open wires approx. 5 to 10 half twists.

If you only want to learn this 2 leaf branch, then you can set this one aside and continue making branches. For a mini tree, you will need at least 16 of these.

Separate out all your branches into sets of 2. You should have 8 sets. Twist two branches together at the open wire end by stacking one on top of the other. 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 5 to 10 half twists, to start your 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 8 sets that look like the 2nd picture in the bottom row of the diagram. 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 shown in the 2nd picture in the bottom row of the diagram and twist together 5 twists. Take another set of 2 limbs and twist together. Twist both double sets together at least 3 to 5 half twists to start your trunk set this aside. Twist your other four remaining limbs together the same way. For more depth make one limb longer by adding a few more twists at the bottom. Join these two together as shown below and twist your trunk. You may want to use your smooth pliers to get a nice tight twist. Twist down as tall as you want your tree to be.

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.