Wire Jewelry Making: Tree Thee For Christmas




Don't just deck the halls this Christmas. Create a piece of wire jewelry that lets you take a bit of holiday cheer wherever you go. Make a wire Christmas tree pin. Wear it on your sweater, coat, scarf or hat for a unique holiday touch that's bold and creative too.

Creating your own bold wire Christmas tree pin is pretty simple. Once you get the hang of it, you'll want to make a Christmas tree pin for every friend on your Christmas list.

Tools
  • Pliers
  • Round-nosed pliers
  • Wire cutters
  • Files or sandpaper (Try cushioned emery files)
  • A hammer and anvil or block (Optional)

Materials
16 Gauge Wire
If you are already creating wire jewelry, use precious metals if that's what you prefer. If you don't have much experience working with wire, try experimenting with copper wire until you get the hang of the technique. Switch to more expensive metals, like sterling silver or gold filled, once you feel comfortable.

Cut Your Wire
  • Cut a 12 inch piece of 16 gauge wire.
  • If you're using sterling silver or gold filled wire, 18 gauge wire is a less expensive option.

Form your tree base


  • Use your round nosed pliers to make a loop at one end
  • Hold the looped end with your flat pliers (Illustration #2)
  • Create a coil (aka swirl) by rotating the loop counterclockwise approximately 3 rotations.
  • Use your fingers to curve the wire into place
  • Use the end of your needle nosed pliers to form an angle at one side of your coil. (Illustration #2)
  • Create another angle at the other side.
  • This will be the bottom of your tree and also where you will form your pin "catch."

Form your tree "branches"



  • After forming two angles, continue curving the free end of the wire over the top of your coil. (Illustration #3)
  • Decide how wide you want your tree pin.
  • At the widest point, use your round nosed pliers to curve the wire back to the opposite direction. (See illustration #3)
  • Do the same on the other side.
  • Continue pattern, forming a curve on one side, then the other. (Illustration #3)
  • Make 4 levels of curves on each side, each next level should be a little narrower than the previous level.
  • You can make more curves if you choose, but be sure you have at least 6 inches of wire for a spring and pin at the back.
  • (Optional) Hammer the curved areas. It helps them to retain their shape.


Create a spring



  • Use your round nosed pliers to make a spring at the top back of your tree. (Illustration #4)
  • Create a pin catch at the bottom by pushing out the center coil loop to form a "catch" at the back (Illustration #5)
  • Cut the remaining wire so your pin point will end just above the bottom of the tree.


Finish your pin back



  • Hammer the pin to flatten and harden it.
  • File the tip into a point. (This works best with a metal file.)
  • Use sandpaper or your emery file to continue smoothing away rough edges and make your point a bit pointier.
  • Options
  • If you have a tumbler or other mass finishing device, use it to polish your wire Christmas tree pin to a shine.
  • If you don't have a tumbler, smooth your Christmas tree pin with sandpaper or an emery file.
  • Try making a smaller pin using a set of mini jewelry making tools. Your Christmas tree pin will be a bit more petite and you will use less wire.
  • Create a tree with matching earrings.

Add "Tree Me" earrings for a pin set



Previously publishe on Yahoo Voices

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