Sunday, May 3, 2009

gem stone trees

When I was young my most favorite time of the year was the ten days spent at summer camp in the mountains of North Carolina. And I think one of my most favorite parts of summer camp was arts and crafts. Actually, I eventually became the arts and crafts director at that very same summer camp. One of the crafts that I will never forget doing was the gem mom still has the one I made for her 20 years ago. I decided it was time to revisit those summer camp days with a 2009 version of the gem tree....except it ended up being about 20 versions....once I started I couldn't stop.

I can think of so many ways these could be a baby gift, using the baby's a wedding gift, using the couples birthstones or wedding colors (usually the invitation is a good hint), mother's day gift, father's day....oh i could go on forever.

They require minimal materials:
  • floral wire
  • craft glue
  • "chip" beads
  • a rock
A good place to order the chip beads is Fire Mountain Gems (actually, a good place to order any kind of jewelry making supplies). But you can also find them at Michaels, Hobby Lobby, AC Moore and sometimes Walmart.

When I lived in Vermont I could just walk outside and find perfect rocks for the trees (the flat ones work the best), but here in Alabama I had to go to a nursery and purchase them for a few cents each.

These are adorable when you add a little tag with a quote or verse or name on them. They are the perfect gift to personalize.

On another note: Today was the first day of the Unraveling class I am taking with Susannah from one of my favorite blogs, Ink on my Fingers. If you aren't aware of the class you should check it out. I feel like I am on a constant learning adventure in my life. The day I quit learning is the day that someone needs to check my pulse.


  1. You are after my heart!!! I remember these from camp! Soon you are going to need to start your own Etsy shop - tap a PR person (LIKE ME!) - and get your amazing talent to the masses!! Ready?!

  2. Forgot to mention - GOOD LUCK WITH UNRAVELING! Can't wait for a glimpse into your life!

  3. The lil trees are very pretty!
    I tagged you :)

  4. What a fun crafty thing. I spent several summers at Girl Scout camp but I don't remember making anything as cool as this!

    p.s. I noticed you live in Gulf Shores. My family and I will be there in July. My parents have taken us there on vacation every year for the last 30+ years

  5. Psst, you were part of my homework assignment because I love your blog. See you in Unravelling next. :)


  6. thank you for posting this! inspiring.
    believe it or not, but i never made one of these trees! how did i get by not doing one?
    i want to make one. how?
    trees are my favorite objects, especially interpretations of them.

  7. Ashley, great post on your gem trees and I'm so glad you tried it again as an adult. I love making gem trees and do have free instructions for anyone interested on my gem tree blog.

  8. Looks unfinished... Good luck!

  9. sorry, but here are some finished gem trees: