Wire-Wrapped Stone Christmas Tree Ornament: A Tutorial

Every year I make a Christmas ornament for my husband, my son, and now this year for the baby soon to join us. I try to commemorate a specific event or interest from that year. My goal is that eventually we will have a tree full of ornaments, each one carrying a special memory, instead of just pretty but generic store-bought ornaments.

This Fall we took a trip together to Washington State and spent a couple of days on Whidbey  Island. It was gorgeous. I loved the pebbly beaches at the edge of the evergreen forest. Eli threw rock after rock into the waves.

We brought home a few of those rocks which Eli enjoys playing with on an almost daily basis. I stole a couple from his collection for the purpose of making ornaments that will remain with us for years after Eli’s play rocks have been scattered and lost.

I was inspired to use this technique by seeing this blue agate wire wrapped necklace and earring set from A Little Bit of Craft.

Here are the materials I used.

Materials: thin wire, beach stone, glass seed beads, and needle-nose pliers

I began by sliding a bead onto the wire and twisting the wire around it to hold it in place. The length of the wire you will use depends on the size of your stone and how many times you want it wrapped.

I then repeated this at intervals all along the length of the wire. (The first ornament I made I wrapped the wire around the stone adding the beads as I worked. I found this new method much easier.)

Then I picked up my stone and stared wrapping. It can be a bit challenging to keep the wire tight so it doesn’t slip out of position along the edge of the stone. A flat shaped stone works much better for this project than a stone that curves on every side.

When it looks like you have as much wire and beads on your stone as you want, or you are coming to the end of your wire work both ends up to the place you want to be the top of the ornament. Give them a couple of twists to hold them in place.

Now form one of the wires into a little loop and wrap the other wire around it where it meets the rock. Then wrap the end on the loop around a few times too so it won’t just slip out later. Trim off the excess of the loop wire and then continue wrapping the second wire to fully cover the pointy end.

At the end tuck in the end point of the wrapping wire.

Add  a whatever kind of hanger you’d like and your ornament is complete!

Next time you are on vacation, or want a memento from a special location, send forth your little one to collect some rocks! (As long as it is legal to do so, of course.)

Here’s where I’m linking up:

Christmas Craft Linky Party, Tea Rose Home,

Sunday:

I {heart} Naptime,  Flamingo ToesMy 1929 Charmer Blog,

jembellish clothes upcycling pageBlissful and Domestic,

Monday:

Get Outta My Head PleaseSkip to My LouThe Gunny SackSew Can Do,

Singing Three Little Birds,  C.R.A.F.T.,  diy home sweet home,

Craft-O Maniac, Sew Chatty, Sarahndipities The Cure for the Common Monday

Tuesday:

Not Just a HousewifeHope StudiosFunky Polkadot Giraffe,

Kammy’s KornerHome Stories A to Z, Tell Me TuesdayCrafty Confessions,

Homemade Tuesday, Tuesday To DoToday’s Assignment,

Antiprocrastination TuesdayTake-a-Look Tuesday,  Nifty Thrifty Tuesday,

The Creative Itch BoutiqueSchwin and SchwinHeart and Soul Blog Hop

Wednesday:

Sew Much AdoFrugally Sustainable,  Lil’ LunaSomeday CraftsWhimsy

WednesdayWhatcha Work Up Wednesday

Thursday:

Mom On TimeoutThrifty DecoratingBear Rabbit BearThriving on Thursdays

The Crafty BlogstalkerThe Shabby Creek CottageHouse of Hepworths,

Sorta Crunchy, Delightful OrderAnything Goes Linky Party,

Friday:

Simply DesigningWhipperberry,  Happy Hour Projects

Joyful StamperMaking Lemonade BlogThirty Handmade Days,

Naptime CraftersRomantic HomeFinding Fabulous,

Shabby NestFrench Country Cottage, The Charm of HomeThe Grant Life,

At the Picket FenceFingerprints on the Fridge, One Artsy Mama

Saturday:

The Gingerbread BlogToo Much Time On My Hands,

Six Sisters StuffSerenity YouBe Different Act Normal

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19 Comments

  1. faerylandmom said,

    November 10, 2012 at 8:01 am

    I like the idea of ornaments having memories attached. I never decided to do that, but we kind of already do, and the pretty store ones just fill in the gaps. 🙂

    • November 10, 2012 at 8:07 am

      At this point we have more pretty store ones than handmade, but as the made ones accumulate over the years I expect eventually we won’t need to replace the store bought ones as they are broken or worn out. Unfortunately I packed away a few years worth separately and put in a place where I was sure to remember and they’d be easily grab-able if we ever had to evacuate for a natural disaster. Haven’t seen hide nor hair of them since!

      • faerylandmom said,

        November 10, 2012 at 8:19 am

        Totally sounds like something I would do!

  2. ReStitch Me said,

    November 10, 2012 at 9:23 am

    My kids are all teenagers, but they still love to re-tell the stories attached to some of our ornaments. Eli (and baby!) will love doing this too! Your stone ornaments are really clever and pretty. 🙂

    • November 10, 2012 at 9:27 am

      That’s what I’m envisioning as I make them… those family times in years to come as we decorate the tree together and remember share experiences. Then when they eventually move away they will each have a collection of the ones I made specifically for them to decorate their tree and perhaps use as a vehicle to share their childhood with their spouse and their own children.

  3. November 10, 2012 at 11:33 am

    So creative and simple! Thanks for posting

  4. November 11, 2012 at 1:05 am

    I LIKE THIS BLOG

  5. Joy P said,

    November 11, 2012 at 7:11 pm

    Hi Karen, here is the Almond Mousse recipe you asked for in your comment last week, first chance to take pictures and write out the recipe was today.

    http://www.avintagegreen.com/2012/11/mousse-of-almonds-recipe-from-mould.html

    Have a great week.

    Joy

  6. Maysem said,

    November 12, 2012 at 6:17 am

    What a great way to preserve memories! Wonderful idea Karen!

    • November 12, 2012 at 2:55 pm

      I suppose if we did this for every trip we took we’d end up with a very weighed down tree after a while, especially with the way little boys like to pick up rocks! I think the idea might be able to be applied to other natural items perhaps as well, like a little piece of driftwood, etc.

  7. November 13, 2012 at 1:30 pm

    That is such a creative idea! And simple enough that even I can do it! I like the use of souvenir rocks– very practical!

    • November 14, 2012 at 8:46 pm

      Thanks! I think it especially works well when kids are this age and forever picking up little “treasures” that they find outside. One thing I love about having a toddler is it makes me start to notice all the details again. You don’t get places walking very quickly, but everything is pointed out to you and exclaimed over. 🙂

  8. Mikaila said,

    November 15, 2012 at 7:12 am

    Thanks for the shout out!! The ornaments turned out great 🙂

  9. November 17, 2012 at 8:28 am

    What a great idea!

    I nominated you for the Laine Blogger Award.
    http://naiadandthemoonof.wordpress.com/2012/11/16/the-laine-blogger-award/


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