DIY Upcycled Tree of Life

November 3, 2016 at 9:38 pm
hugging a eucalyptus tree

hugging a eucalyptus tree

Birth junkies are generally, from what I have observed, also tree junkies. Perhaps it’s because placentas look like trees. Perhaps it’s because our Divine Mother is associated with trees. Perhaps it’s because natural birth is what tree huggers often choose when they enter the world of childbearing. It doesn’t really matter why. I don’t love trees because it’s trendy. I love trees because I always have, always will.

Related side-note… I bought myself this piece of tree art for my birthday last month from a cool etsy artist…

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Tree of life necklaces are all the rage on etsy and among lovers of birth, trees, and precious stones and crystals. I was thrilled when my friend Kylie started making tree of life necklaces a couple of years ago. Her etsy shop, the Sister Tree, is fabulous. When I was waist-deep in suicidal depression, Kylie gifted me this necklace…

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A year later, it was this very necklace that aided me in accepting that I wasn’t carrying the boy child I had been waiting for and embracing my beautiful gift of Hope instead.

For a while I had been wanting to create a large tree of life wall-hanging. I wanted it to be similar to a tree of life wire necklace, but I didn’t want it to cost me a fortune to create. This past spring I made my first attempt, starting with a free hand-me-down hula hoop and some jute twine.

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13323593_10154080524416900_4639637000718870153_oIn order to give the twine tree some structure, I used some copper wire I already had and then wrapped the wire with strands of twine. I found a large bag of colored wooden beads at Goodwill for a few dollars to use for the “leaves.” I was pretty happy with the final result.

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After completing my first tree attempt, I started envisioning a wall full of trees made from different materials, but several months passed before I got around to my second attempt. Yesterday I completed DIY tree of life upcycle #2. This one was inspired by something I found while looking for ideas on Pinterest–a small grapevine wreath to which the artist had added a wire-and-bead tree. OOoohh… grapevine tree could work!

So I disassembled a grapevine wreath I purchased at Goodwill for $1, soaked the vines in water for a day to soften them, and then attached them to a large wire circle (scavenged from a gigantic Goodwill lampshade). Once I had the outer circle started, I began to create my tree shape in the middle. At this point I was using twisty ties to hold the vines and wire circle together. Eventually I secured everything with hot glue.

My next task was to find some beads or other items I could use for the “leaves.” I looked at Goodwill for some beaded necklaces I could disassemble, but none of them really had the quantity, size, shape, or colors I was going for. Then on Tuesday afternoon I stumbled on two clusters of old-school plastic grape decorations at Goodwill for a few dollars. The grapes were already assembled with wire, so it was the easiest thing ever to pull little clusters of grapes out of the bunch and then wrap their wire twigs around my tree branches. Score. I am in love with the final product. Most especially that it only took a few dollars and a few days to create.

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Now I’m rubbing my hands together, brainstorming what I could make a tree out of next! Can’t wait. :-)