Bead tree is a quite young and very interesting branch of bead fancywork. By knowing the main methods and patterns of bead tree creation, you will be able to weave both, an unpretentious money tree, and a highly artistic bonsai. Furthermore, we will tell you what you will need to work on a bead tree. You will also get acquainted with the beading tutorial .
Bead tree: Materials and instruments
Beads. To create a tree you are not going to need well-calibrated beads. The size, shape and material of the beads need to be selected according to the kind of the tree you are going to make. For a tree of an average size, you will use 200 g of beads.
Wire is the basis for the branches and trunk of your tree. For the thin twigs, the 0.01-0.02 in thick wire is used (on average 1 yard for 1 tree) but for the big branches and the trunk, apply the wire that is 0.1-0.2 in thick (about 4 yards for 1 tree). Aluminum or copper wire is suitable for this purpose. Steel wire is hard to work with because of its rigidity.
Threads or floristic tape are used to shape the basis of the trunk and fix the tree’s branches to it.
Alabaster (gypsum) or plastique (better self-hardening one) is used to shape the trunk and the tree’s bark, and to fix the tree to the base.
PVA glue is used to mix with alabaster.
Support. For this purpose various pots, vessels, large stones, etc. will be suitable.
The materials to decorate the soil around the base of the tree can be include natural or artificial rocks, bark, ornamental moss, probably sisal or even scattered beads..
Tools: a wire cutter, pliers, round pliers, brushes, sticks and spattles. Also, you need vessels for mixing alabaster and glue.
Acrylic paints to paint the trunk and the varnish to cover on top.
How to make a bead tree or step-by-step beading tutorial
Step 1. Before starting your work on the tree, you need to decide on the shape of its crown, the length and the kind of the branches. To make a branch, string enough beads on the wire making sure not to cut it off the bobbin yet. Leave the wire’s end at the required length and tie up the necessary number of the loops-leaves out of the wire with beads through certain intervals. You can also make coral-like branches for the winter tree without leaves, or even weave flat leaves using parallel weaving and arcs on the framework.
The length of wire ends depends on how you are going to make the base for the tree trunk. If it’s going to be a piece of thicker wire, you can leave 3-4 in of wire at the ends of the branches. If you don’t have additional thick wire, then you need to leave as much wire for the branches so that it’s enough for the visible part of the trunk and the part that will be fixed at the base.
Step 2. Put your work piece together with the woven leaves and twist the wire’s ends between each other. You can place the leaves of the bead tree opposite one another or with a shift. It depends on the type of the tree branches. You can make a bead tree with the leaves located symmetrically or asymmetrically. If your tree has falling flexible branches, make them longer, but if the branches go up, make them shorter.
When creating the branches, twist the wire evenly, but don’t twist one wire around another. Twist carefully and tightly to prevent the beads from hanging loosely. When joining single branches, you will get the branches of the second order, third one, etc. Remember that the closer you are to the tree’s top, the thinner and the shorter the branches become. It is also the other way around as the lower the branches are, the thicker,
longer and more branched out they are.
Step 3. Then, fix the branches you’ve made to the previously prepared trunk, made from thick wire, in the planned order. Try to avoid thick and uneven twisting, and spread out the ends of the branches along the trunk. Thick solution of alabaster or gypsum with PVA glue (ratio 1:1) is put on the wire and the framework created this way. Put a few layers of thick solution, and before putting the next layer, allow the previous one to dry well.
Step 4. Make thickenings in the places where you join the branches to the trunk. After you make the shape of the trunk and the branches, use the brush and the solution, similar to thick sour cream, to create the bark structure. To create the furrows on the bark, you may use a toothpick or any other suitable tool.
Step 5. The finishing stage. “Plant” your tree in the pot using alabaster solution, decorate the ground around the tree with decorative materials, and enjoy your creation!
Hopefully, this beading tutorial will help you grow a beautiful Bead tree.