April 30, 2010

Family Tree Brooch or Pendant Tutorial!

A few years ago I was working in the fine jewelry department of a department store, and every Mother's day I could count on people wanting one thing: Family Jewlery.

The family jewelry selection was what made me decide that, if I ever had children, they would only be allowed to be born during April or June, because those were the only stones I liked. :o) (My due date with Paige was the end of April, and wouldn't you know it-the little darling was born May 1st! A rebel from birth.)

Anyway, as most of you know, buying jewelry with all your children's birthstones can be quite expensive; so I came up with a cute little alternative that you can make yourself. And you don't need any jewelry-making experience!

The Family Tree Brooch
(or pendant!)

The tools you'll need:
  • needle-nose pliers
  • wire cutters
  • bendable wire (in a heavy weight)
  • jewel-tone beads
  • 1 headpin per bead
  • 1 safety pin

1: Cut 7-3 inch lengths of wire.

2: Using your pliers, bend one end of each piece into a circle:

3:Gather all the pieces and wrap wire around 3-4 times, starting about 3/4" from the bottom.

4: Open your safety pin, (I used a flat-backed one, but I think a regular one would work just fine, too!)and lay it down just above your wire loops and continue to wrap the wire around until about 1/8" from the top of the safety pin. (The space will allow the pin to close without obstruction)

5: Use your thumb to bend your "branches" slightly, like so:

6: Thread each bead onto a head pin and trim it about 1/4" from the top of the bead, then loop into a circle with pliers:

7: Twist the end of the loop up slightly to open, and attach to the loop on one of the branches, then close the loop again with your pliers.
8: Repeat for the rest of the beads!
You can also skip the headpins, and simply thread the beads onto the branches before you make the loops in them, but I dangly things. :o)

To make a pendant instead of a pin, skip the safety pin, and attach the loop of the center branch to a chain, using a larger loop or jumpring.

You can find chains and bendable wire in all sorts of colors, so feel free to pick mom's (or your own!) favorite!
I think I like the silver best, myself!

The copper version was my first try, and turned out a little crooked, but I grew to like it I think! But the second version was a lot easier! So if at first you don't succeed.....
I hope you have fun with it!!

Have any of you tried Dana's first "Celebrating MOM" tutorial yet? I loved her idea for the no-sew flowers, and Paige's May Day birthday party is this weekend, so I had fun making these:

Thanks for the idea, Dana!

Check out what else she has cookin'!

And come back later today for a fun giveaway!!


  1. that is really cute! it almost makes me wishi had more than 2 kids! (and of course they were both bornin the same month-novemeber. a pee yellow stone!)

  2. So lovely! I think my mom will love this one. So unique!

  3. This is something my mom would like. I'm so trying it :D

  4. How cool! Disney, you are absolutely beautiful! Cute cute pics:).

  5. What a fabulous idea!

    So unique and pretty!

  6. Oh, so great! I love this idea. I love the empty branches you left...for future grandchildren? My mom will point to the empty ones meaningfully and try to guilt my brothers and me into giving her a few more babies!

  7. Disney, this is fantastic! I also 'did time' in the retail jewelry world and totally agree with your comments. Thanks for this gorgeous idea! (And Happy Birthday tomorrow Miss Paige)!

  8. What a great idea! Can't wait to try it!

    Crafting by Candlelight

  9. I absolutely love that idea, Disney! I love giving mothers family jewelry for mother's day. Back when my ex and I were married, I would collect money from everyone to buy these expensive pieces. We're divorced, now, and I don't have anyone to go in on it with me. So, I quit buying it. This is a great idea to do instead and very affordable! Thank you!!! -Karen

  10. Disney, once again, you literally take my breath away with your amazing ideas! I LOVE THIS! This is a completely feasible for my tight budget. My mom has been amazing (And my Mom-in-law, too.)and I want to get them something special. Thankyouthankyouthankyou!

  11. AAAAAAAAAAAAAH I cant believe how amazingly cute this is!!!!! why on earth didnt you tell me about this? I'm your sister I should get inside information :) I must have one! or three :) I think I better try one in every color I have! AAAAAAAAAAAAH!!!

    ok I'm fine...really :)

  12. aaaah! I just made two of them and they are sooooooooo even better in person :) la la la la la I cant breath I'm going to wear this every day for the rest of my life.

  13. Very cute! Wouldn't it be neat to make a slightly bigger version and frame it??

  14. Just a quick note to let you know that a link to this post will be placed on CraftCrave today [30 Apr 02:00pm GMT]. Thanks, Maria

  15. this is such a clever idea! thank you for sharing! it's on my to-make list :)

  16. I. Love. This! Thank you so much for the idea, I will be making several of these for family!

  17. So lovely and unique...thank you for the how to's!! Will have to give this a try for my Mom!!
    Happy Weekend xOxO Nerina

  18. Gorgeous!!!!! You are so creative!

  19. Love this, I am making two today, I might even make myself one. Thanks

  20. these are so stinkin adorable!! I will have to try your tutorial :) thanks for sharing!

  21. I made a trial version for myself just now :) Had to make sure that it would look nice when I made it. It's adorable! Thank you yet again for a wonderful tutorial! Now off to make more for the mothers in my life.

  22. Very nice! And Happy Birthday, Paige!

  23. Wonderful idea! Love those flowers too!

  24. This is so perfect for my mother-in-law! Thanks for the idea!

  25. I just made 4 of these in less than an hour & for less than $35! Thank you so much! I made them bigger & free-standing so they can be on a desk or dresser. Each stone is attached w/an extra swirl to maybe even hold a small photo of that person. Thanks again, I'm sure they will be treasured gifts. :)

  26. May 1 rawks. Its my b-day too. ANyways, thanks for this inspiration, my daughter wants to make a broach like this for her granny for Mother's Day! Thanks a lot!!!!

  27. These are sooooo beautiful. I've added it to a list I put together of great crafts for a Road Trip. :)

  28. These are great! Very clever idea and so elegant

  29. Your family tree pendant is an awesome inspiration! Many thanks for sharing. I would like to feature it at

    Contact me here if you have a concern.


  30. cute one...I would like to try it

  31. Thanks so much for this cool tutorial. They're so easy to make -- I'm going to make one for my mom♥

    Jessica http://cubettescorner.blogspot.com/

  32. Hello! This brooch is so nice! I tried doing it but in polymer clay. Here's the result: http://monikozi.blogspot.com/2012/05/pagina-237-brosa-ruffles.html
    Thank you very much for the tutorial!

  33. What a fabulous idea. This is so cute and very unique. This would make wonderful mothers day gifts. Thank you for sharing.

  34. Finally a site that gives you SIMPLE EASY TO FOLLOW AND MAKE things! Thank you for this very simple and lovely idea! Bring us some more. You're wonderful!

  35. I have read many of your ideas and they range from cute to sophisticated ! I am an amature ! But I love the idea of the Family Tree Brooch or Necklace! My 4 girls are more into silver or gold. But at least on present this year will be one of these projects. In the day it was something always done we made out presents because there was not a great deal for presents, well this isn't because of rough times, I would like my 5 children to know, its not the cost but the love that went into it. I don't know that it will go over, but I have to try and when I am gone maybe they will think its precious.

  36. Thanks a lot for sharing this tutorial :) I lost one of my favourite earring, but I love it so much so I've been keeping the other half in the shelf. Thanks to this tutorial, I pull it apart and made it into a beautiful brooch instead. Thank you very much.


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