Tree of Life over an Irregular Agate Slab Pendant- TOLA

by Deborah Kelly

Now available made-to-order from DCDK.Jewelry

Materials Needed

  • 18 inches of 16 or 18 gauge round wire

  • 5 feet of 26 gauge round wire

  • 8 pieces of 24 gauge wire 3 ½ times as long as your agate slab

  • 1 irregular agate slab

Tools need

  • Flat or Chain nose pliers

  • Round nose pliers

  • 6 step bail making pliers

  • Wire cutters

  • Masking tape or quilters tape


Step 1

Take the 16 gauge wire and shape it to be just a little smaller then the agate slab.

Make sure to shape it the the side of the agate slab which is the back of the slab.

To shape the wire start at the bottom of the slab with the middle of the wire and shape one side of the wire then the other.

Have the excess wire meet where the bail is going to be.

Bend the excess wire up away from the slab at a 90 degree angle.

Step 2

Take one end of the 26 gauge wire and wrap it around one of the wires at the 90 degree angle 3 times.

Make sure you are wrapping the wire away from the part of wire which has been shaped.

The wire with the 26 gauge wire is now the 1st base wire, the other wire sticking out at 90 degrees is now the 2nd base wire

Step 3

Bring the weaving wire (the 26 gauge wire) to the opposite side of the 2nd base wire and wrap it around one full time.

Take the weaving wire back between the base wires to the opposite side of the other base wire and wrap the weaving wire around the base wire one full time.


For example if the weaving wire is coming off the bottom side of the first base wire bring it up between the 2 base wires to the top side of the 2nd base wire and then wrap it around the 2nd base wire a full wrap like in the picture.

Note: one full wrap will have the weaving wire going over the top of the 2nd base wire two times.

Step 4

Repeat this cross over weave once or twice.

Bend the base wires into a gentle V.

Continue this weave up the V.

Once the weave gets about 1/3 of an inch wide bend the base wires parallel to each other.

Continue this weave for about an inch.

Step 5

Once the weave gets about an inch long bend the base wires back together.

Where the base wires meet back up bend them parallel to each other.

Continue the cross over weave to where the base wires meet back up.

It is helpful to keep the weave in place with a thumb nail or something so it does not try to slide down the wires.

The full wrap on each base wire also helps the weaving wire not to slide down the base wires.

Step 6

Once the weave gets to where the base wires meet wrap the weaving wire around one of the base wires 3 times.

Step 7

Next wrap the weaving wire around both base wires twice.

Then wrap the weaving wire around the one base wire which it was already wrapped around, 3 more times.

Repeat wrapping the weaving wire around both base wires twice and then the first base wire 3 times.

(in this case the 1st base wire is the wire in which the weaving wire was wrapped around 3 times at the end of the cross over weave.)

Step 8

Continue this weave (three two weave) till it is about ½ as long as the slab is tall.

End this weave with the three wrap around the one wire.

Cut the weaving wire off and smooth the end down with pliers.

Cut the little tail end of wire off from where the weave started also.

Smooth down with pliers.

Step 9

Bend the bail part (where the weaving began) slightly to the front of the wire shape.

Bend the bail to the back of the pendant frame around the largest step of the bail making pliers.

Make sure to bend the bail til it touches the beginning of the bail.

Put a slight curve in the bottom of the bail so the three two weave is hanging straight down the back side of the pendant frame.

Step 10

Curve the three two weave into the frame.

The size and shape of the slab will determine how much room there is in the frame to shape the three two weave.

The frame in this tutorial is about ¾ inch wide by 3 ½ inches long so there is not much room to work with.

Bend the ends of the base wires to begin getting a curl in them.

Step 11

Cut the base wires off about ¾ of an inch from the end of the weave (or longer if they are a good distance from the frame)

Curl the end of the base wires up to they just touch the inside of the frame.

Play with the position of the wires till it is attractive.

Step 12

Use a bit of what is left of the 26 gauge wire to secure the ends of the base wire to the frame.

To do this wrap a piece of 26 gauge wire around the frame by where the curl meets it three times, then around both the frame and the curl two to three times then just the frame three times again.

Cut off the wire and smooth with pliers.

Repeat with the other curl.

Step 13

Take one of the bits of 24 gauge wire and wrap the middle of the wire around the bottom of the pendant frame 4 times.

Twist the end of the wire together for about ¾ of an inch.

Note- put the wires at a wide angle from each other, grasp the wire with the thumb and forefinger and twist the wire together makes a nice even twist.

Step 14

Repeat with the other 7 wires.

For a skinnier tree try using only 6 wires and for a fatter fuller tree use more wires.

Step 15

Use a small amount of tape to hold the slab onto the frame.

Do not wrap the tape all the way around the stone and frame.

Its better to use a few small pieces of tape then a large piece.

Step 16

Bend the twisted wires at the bottom of the pendant up around the bottom of the stone and twist all the wires together, this forming the trunk of the tree.

Once the trunk if formed its time to make the branches.

Pull off 2 or more wires and twist them together to form a branch.

Twist the rest of the wires together some more to extend the trunk.

Repeat til the wire runs out and there is a tree shape over the stone.

Step 17

Untwist the branch wires some and separate them some to form smaller branches.

The twisting of the wire and untwisting puts kinks into the branches for a more organic look on the tree.

Step 18

Pick one wire and bring it to the back side of the pendant and wrap it around the frame three times.

Pick a wire on the other side of the pendant and repeat.

Pick a couple more wires from around the frame, top and bottom to secure.

The goal of picking a couple wires around the frame is to secure the slab into place.

Step 19

Once a few wires are secure around the stone carefully remove the tape from the pendant.

Step 20

Secure the rest of the wires to the frame by bringing them to the back side of the pendant and wrapping them around the frame three times.

Step 21

Check the placement of the branch wires.

If the wires are where you want them cut off the ends off the wire and smooth with pliers.

Step 22

Take the round nose pliers and put some bends into the tree, both the branches and the trunk to give it a more organic look.

Also put some bends into the roots of the tree so they are not straight.

The pendant is now done, enjoy.

Deborah Kelly

View posts by Deborah Kelly
I grew up on top of a mountain in the middle of nowhere Oregon. Met and married my Husband before going to OSU and getting a BS in Apparel Design in 2002. I started out making beaded jewelry in my early teen years. Both free hand and on a loom. Year after graduating I moved to MO and started making cosmetics and continued experimenting in soap making which I started in college. During my years in MO I started getting into baking and did events as a self employed concession stand vendor. I really did love my cotton candy machine. At events I did more then just cotton candy. I had a 2 head espresso machine, hot dog steamer, made hard candy to sell, and did 21 flavors of snow cones. While doing all of that I also learned to fix my own vehicles because when I did take them to a mechanic I had to fix them when I got them back. After our 3rd child was born in 2010 we lost our house and hit the road in an RV. One winter we ended up in Quartzsite AZ where I started making wire jewelry. Since then I have started designing wire jewelry, became an instructor at the gem club in Quartzsite. Started teaching independent jewelry making classes. Writing and selling tutorials for jewelry making. In the summer I am a property locator, photographer and videographer. I also spend my summer working on my own project to give back to the universe by making and giving away my jewelry because everyone needs something pretty.
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