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Six or seven years ago I was able to learn how to make a simple gemstone tree, since then I have had a lot of fun not only making them, but teaching others - including a pack of cubscouters once - whew! -, then a couple years ago someone asked if I could email the directions to them, so I created an online pictoral tutorial and have sent it to a couple dozen folks since as well as taught others how to do them. So I got to thinking that it would be much simpler to share if the tutorial was included with all the other wonderful lessons here on McRocks, so I contacted Mike and with a lot of help from him in getting it set up correctly it is now available.

I hope any of you who have wanted to do this, or perhaps have children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews etc. who love to do crafty things (makes great birthday or Christmas presents for others), then you can use these instructions to learn or teach.

Thanks Mike for all your help in getting this on here!


Click Here for Gem Tree Tutorial
Bruce Skubon
Awesome, thanks for the tutorial! Our club is offering classes this upcoming meeting on how to do that along with wire wrapping and scrimshaw. I wanted to learn how to make a gem tree but didn't want to be the only guy. I figured they'd make good Christmas gifts without spending a lot of money. Now I won't have to go and be the only guy.....or maybe I will still go and learn hands on too. We'll see.

Thanks again.
Joe D.

Are you trying to get me hooked on making trees now. It's bad enough my bride keeps making me trim and cut down the trees on our land. When we were first married she had me plant all these trees. I think it's a conspiracy to get us too busy to do fun things. I grew most of them from acorns or cuttings from trees we admired on our wanderings across North America.

I just came up from the basement after making some hearts and other shapes for possible wire wrapping. I haven't wire wrapped anything for close to a year now. It took me a long time to get out of the habit of wire wrapping everything off my Genie. These latest pieces are exceptional so I'm going to wrap them and present them to my wife for her birthday. She already has about 30 of them. Every time I make a new design or rock type she claims it for herself.

Thanks for the tutorial. I think I'll forward it to my Daughter-in-laws to give them something to keep their daughters busy.

Joe D.
Bruce, who knows they may teach a slightly different way to make them then you will have two ideas.

Joe, the hook is trying to figure out how to make them look like different types of trees - oak to pine to maple etc - that's where it gets it hooks into me.

and one of the most important things to remember when you, or anyone else, makes one - NO TWO TREES IN NATURE ARE ALIKE! Trust that the finished project will be great - I can not tell you how many times those I've been teaching were overly concerned with how theirs was looking as they shaped it - but everyone is pleased when it is done. Don't expect yours to look just like anyone elses', just enjoy the process.

Cool! i should try that. i see them everywhere in sttores and shows never thought i could make one
Jay Loch
Interesting way to make a gemtree Docia ! Also a very easy way to get started I should mention. You start from the trunk up were the way I was taught was from the topmost branch down, were u looped a cut strand around a hook inbedded in wooden dowel and spun to twist the wire. The rock then eventually gets glued to the loop, after many more added branches, then branches twisted into limbs, twisted to a trunk and roots . . . Your way looks so much easier! I have a master gemtree maker in my club and her trees are phenom ! She uses the small alligator gar scales for leaves, each one painted a diff color, her fall leaves are awesome! And theres usually a few fallen... leaves glued to the base also.
Evan - you can certainly do this! you can find the glues, craft wire, and roundnose pliers at walmart or a craft store and can attach it to any base rock you find interesting.

Jay, I've done one tree from the top down - was not easy to get it to look the way I wanted it too - my biggest challenge so far was doing a willow tree for my daughter - using very thin wire and teeny stones. I've put butterflies onto some of the trees using same size paua shell pieces - now that takes patience and a steady hand.

doing them this way makes it easy for youngsters to make the trees.

Bruce Skubon
I started to make my 1st tree today. Here are a few pics of it, the base is a piece of pegmatite from the Ray mine that has a couple small pieces of beryl. I am going to use amazonite I collected from Amelia, VA that is currently in the tumbler for the tree (assuming I tumble them right).

George Finley
Docia. Your Tutorial of making a gem tree has to get a lot of people trying it. GREAT JOB. On the Gar scales you can put in a gar and add Green Food Color for green leaves. Other for other colors. I like your way in making the Gem Tree. How do you keep from having a droop under the stone of glue?
My type of Tree
I also start the same way you did when I make a Pine Tree. I don't cut the wires. What ever I wrap around to make tree short or tall. I pull of and place two wood or metal rods one in each end twist to make trunk of tree. Then I cut wires on one end and cross some and twist to make the roots. Then on other end I cut these wires and move one wire at a time, two or three wires about 3/4 way down the trunk. Twist these wires about 1/2 to 1 inch leaving 2 or 3 ends. Do this two or three times. Then you do the same but this time you go half way from top to other limbs below. Shape your limbs upward in Pine Tree Shape. The 2 or 3 wires at the top just leave upward. Take round nose pliers and make a loop in the end of wries for stones.
I also have another type Tree that takes three wires and uses 7 stones. I was told it was not a tree but a bush. I have made these so small that they went inside a sea shell.
Thanks again for a great way to make a Gem Tree.

Bruce your tree is looking good! I'm sure the tumbled stones will work wonderfully - I like using rough stones as well as smooth ones. looking forward to picture of it when complete.

George - I love sharing this hobby/craft and it is something so simple to complete that young children can do a great job at it too. A few weeks ago I volunteered to teach it to the kids at the Wednesday evening church program - that was the hardest group I've ever had to work with, some very unruly young fellas, but they all got their trees completed and it worked into a good bible lesson too so I was happy with that. Bad part is I caught a cold/flu from them - at least I figure it was from them - and have been sick for over two weeks now, but still glad that I did it. anyway! I digress! I'd love to see some pictures of how you do your pine tree. I recently got out my booklets with instructions of various trees and sat down and did a Christmas tree, here are the pics:

this first picture shows the druse base best - it indeed looks this fine crystalline white!

I had been saving that very white, fine piece of druse just for that purpose for several years - had tried a few different ways to make one but was never quite happy with it, but this turned out pretty good - very time consuming however. I'm thinking of doing some with silver wire and all blue stones as a retro tree sort of thing.

I think folks are wrong, your little tree is not a bush, perhaps just a sapling!

The 527 glue is so fast drying it just doesn't have much of a droop problem - you can kind of scrape the glue tube nozzle across the loop and it brings out a flat section of glue across there - or sometimes when it does droop I just take my finger (would be handy to have a craft stick available for this) and wipe it across the bottom removing the excess. Sometimes when I want to make very sure my stones are good and secure after it sets up for a couple hours to overnight I hold the rock and turn it upside down and go back and apply a drop of glue to each stone again - this gets glue around the bottom of the wire loops and across more of the bottom of the stones.

George Finley
Docia. That is one great Christmas Tree. Working with young ones can be a pain in the neck or a great reward. I have been the one who works with our young one at our club for the last fifteen years. I have the members who want see what I'm doing set in and help with the kids. Works out very well.
I forgot to say on Pine Tree make odd number wraps, like 7, 9, 11, and I have not gone over 15. The more wraps the taller the tree.
Several Tree makers I know hold a piece of wax paper under loop when putting on glue. I also wet my finger so glue will not stick to it.
I have not taken any pictures of my Trees. I have wrote up a one page article on how to make them and given to my Editor for our club Newsletters.
Some of my wire projects are in different club Newsletters on our club web site.
On the home page open number 12, Newsletters.
I'm getting ready to be in our City of Choctaw, Oklahoma Christmas on Main Street for the 7th. year. Ho! Ho! Ho!
On the 8th. of December I will give a Demo on making a Bead Ring and simple kid ring. All rings are with 20 and 24 gage craft wire. I wish to again thank you for the great Trees you have shown us. They look great. Geo.
Mike Streeter
Hey gang,

I can't tell how tickled I am to see Docia's tutorial stir up the creative juices of Bruce and others. And Bruce, likely following instructions from Tom K on how to properly tumble polish, is making his own tree gems from self collected material! This is all way cool! And, very pretty tree you got there, Docia!

Bruce Skubon
Its done...I cheated though. I ordered some stones from the site Docia mentioned. The rocks I am tumbling are still going to take a while and I wouldn't wait. Already started on another tree thats going to use the rocks from the tumbler.

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I am going to take better pics when we get back from New Orleans...I love the piece of beryl in the base rock.
Tom K.
That is a super tutorial Docia,,,,,,

Way back when,,Everett sent me some of his semi finished trees and I still couldn't do it.

This tutorial and technique makes it very simple so even I can take a whack at it!

Thanks for taking the time to put this together!

Tom K.
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