DIY Network

Beaded Tree

How to create a beaded Christmas tree, a simple decorative stand and beaded ornaments to hang on the tree.

More in Decorating

beaded holiday tree makes a unique decoration

Materials and Tools:

To bead the tree:

5 hanks, size 11" green beads
60 yards copper coated wire, 24 gauge, green
11 re-sealable bags (to store branches in separate layers)

To assemble the tree:

3 stem wires, 16 gauge
green floral tape
1 pound non-drying modeling clay
industrial strength multi-purpose adhesive
7" round brown paper mâché box, painted

To decorate the tree:

1 strand of miniature lights (20 lights)
star for the top of the tree
tree skirt
miniature packages or toys to put under your tree

Decorations for the tree:

use single large beads
make seed bead candy canes
make seed bead candles (try bugle beads)
purchase miniature decorations already made (1/2" in size or less)

Steps:

The Christmas tree is made in a series of layers. There are 11 layers to the tree. All the branches are made in the same manner.

Layer 1: 3 loops—make 4 branches—1 branch requires 3.5" of beads
Layer 2: 5 loops—make 4 branches—1 branch requires 6" of beads
Layer 3: 7 loops—make 4 branches—1 branch requires 8.5" of beads
Layer 4: 9 loops—make 4 branches—1 branch requires 11" of beads
Layer 5: 11 loops—make 5 branches—1 branch requires 13.5" of beads
Layer 6: 13 loops—make 5 branches—1 branch requires 16" of beads
Layer 7: 13 loops—make 6 branches—1 branch requires 16" of beads
Layer 8: 15 loops—make 6 branches—1 branch requires 18.5" of beads
Layer 9: 17 loops—make 6 branches—1 branch requires 21.0" of beads
Layer 10A: 15 loops—make 4 branches—1 branch requires 18.5" of beads
Layer 10B: 17 loops—make 4 branches—1 branch requires 21" of beads
Layer 11A: 19 loops—make 4 branches—1 branch requires 23.5" of beads
Layer 11B: 21 loops—make 4 branches—1 branch requires 26" of beads

The number of inches of beads required to make one branch has been given for each layer so that you can judge if you have enough beads on your wire to make that size branch.

Make the Branches

1. Leave approximately 2" of wire before the first loop. Make a loop with 16 beads. Twist the loop two half-turns to secure. Press the sides of the loop together to make it an oval rather than a circle.

2. There are 6 beads between every loop. Every loop is made of 16 beads. Therefore, push 22 beads up to the first loop. Make the second loop leaving 6 beads between the 2 loops. Again, press the sides of the loop together to make an oval. Do not leave any bare wire showing between the loops.

3. Continue making the required number of loops in each layer. After all the loops have been made, leave 2" of wire and cut from the spool.

4. Fold the series of loops in half and twist the two end wires together directly underneath the beads. You will always have one loop at the top and pairs of matching loops along the sides.

5. Twist the beaded wires once between each of the loops including the loop at the top. Flatten out the branch.

6. Angle all the loops in the branch toward the top loop. This will help to make it look like needles on a branch.

7. Accumulate all the branches for each layer in a separate re-sealable bag. Label each bag with the layer number.

Assemble the Tree

1. Wrap each of the three stem wires with floral tape. Cut each stem wire to a length of 11". Put all three wrapped wires together and wrap again with floral tape to from the tree trunk.

2. Attach a star or tree top ornament to the top of the tree trunk. If you would like to make a natural tree, with no decorations or no star, attach on of the four branches from layer one to the top of the stem wire. If you prefer to have a star or other ornament on the top, you can discard on of the four branches and replace it with the star or ornament.

3. Using floral tape, attach each of the three remaining branches from layer one, one at a time. Bend the branch at a right angle to the stem and place the stem flat against the tree trunk and tape. Circle the branches around the trunk of the tree. Attach them at the very end of the tree trunk.

4. Attach the second layer of branches. Leave approximately 1/4" between the first and second layer. Add the branches one at a time, circling around the tree trunk.

5. Attach the branches of layer 3. Leave approximately 1/4" between the second and third layer. Add the branches one at a time, circling around the tree trunk. Try to place the branches in the spaces created by the layer above it. This will give you a well rounded tree.

6. Attach the branches of layer 4. Leave approximately 3/8" between the third and fourth layer. Add the branches one at a time, circling around the tree trunk. The tree trunk will become thicker as you descend down the tree.

7. Attach layers 5 through 11 in the same manner. Leave approximately 1/2" between each layer. Add the branches one at a time, circling around the tree trunk.

8. Layers 10 and 11 consist of two different size branches in each layer. Alternate branch A and branch B within each layer. The staggered sizes will make the tree look more real. Set aside your assemble tree and prepare the base of the tree.

9. Cut a hole in the lid of your box large enough to fit the trunk.

10. Glue the floral clay to the inside bottom of your prepared box with the industrial adhesive.

11. Insert the trunk through the hole of the lid and push the trunk into the floral clay. Close the lid and let the glue dry overnight before you begin to decorate the tree.

12. Decorate the tree and the area under the tree.

Project designed by Donna Dickt.

Advertisement

Resources

  • Beads, tool and bead spinner from Studio Baboo