Make a Beaded Wire Tree of Life
The tree of life is a symbol which appears in a variety of different cultures. In most religions, it represents not only fertility and rebirth, but also the connection between the realms of earth and sky. It appears in Kabballah, as well as in sacred geometry. Within the Norse pantheon, some practitioners connect the tree of life with Yggdrasil, the World Tree. For many Pagans and modern Wiccans, the tree has personal meaning — it often can symbolize rebirth and fertility, spiritual journeys, and growth.
If you’d like to make a tree of life pendant to wear, you can make one like this with just a few basic craft supplies.
- Jewelry wire
- Seed beads
- Needlenose pliers
- A chain or cord
Form Your Circle
The first thing you’ll need to do is shape the outer circle of the pendant. The one in the photo is about an inch and a half wide, which seems to work well, but you can make it smaller or larger if you wish.
To make your circle, wrap a length of wire around a broom handle or dowel rod twice, leaving a bit of extra wire on either end, forming a double circle. Slide the wire circle off the dowel rod, and wrap the extra length around the double circle so that your wire won’t unravel as you bead.
To form a ring at the top of the circle (which is where you’ll thread a chain or cord through), simply twist a bit of the circle around the needlenose pliers before you secure the ends in place. Another option would be to slide a jeweler’s “jump ring” onto the circle and crimp it with your pliers.
Create the Roots
To form the roots of the tree, you’ll need to cut four equal lengths of wire — 7 to 9 inches is plenty (you’ll be trimming off the excess later). Fold each of these pieces in half. Position them equally along the bottom where the roots of the tree will be, and wrap them around the outer circle as shown in the diagram. Use the needlenose pliers to crimp the wires into place. This will leave you with eight pieces of wire sticking off your outer circle.
Twist the Trunk
The next step is to create the trunk of your tree. To do this, pull all eight of your wires into the center of the outer circle. Bring them together about a quarter to a third of the way into the circle, and twist them together as shown. Once the trunk has been twisted into place, fan the eight wires out to form the main branches of the tree.
Add Your Beads
Thread your seed beads onto the wires, working with one at a time. Once you’ve put enough beads on a branch to reach the outer circle, wrap the wire once around the circle to keep it in place. Repeat this with all eight branches.
Fill in the Gaps
Here’s where things can get a bit tricky. Once you’ve filled all eight branches with beads up to the circle, you’ll still have some spaces left. Add a few beads onto the remaining wires, and weave them in and out of the existing main branches. Use the needlenose pliers to help you guide the wires in — it may get tight as you add more wires and beads. Continue doing this until you’ve filled in as much of your tree as you want.
Wrapping Things Up
Once you’ve filled in as much of the wires and beads as possible, use the needlenose pliers to weave any poky bits of wire into the design — you don’t want them jabbing you when you wear it! Trim off any excess strands of wire after you’ve woven them in.
Add a chain or cord, and wear your new pendant!