I am updating the instructions to this project, as I found out that it is not best to use a LIVE tree branch, because it will die and shrink, leaving it loose in the base (and the leaves will fall off). So even though it looks better using a live tree branch in the beginning, it will look worse in the end :) Sorry if any of you have already tried this using the live tree branch. You can also try to buy a tree branch from a local crafting store if they sell them (already dried).
Let me preface this by saying that I am NOT crafty. Far from it. I have tried for many years to cultivate any specimen of a craft gene that may be in my body, but have failed. So if I can do this, anyone can! I have been thinking of cheap gifts to make people for Christmas, and my sister mentioned in passing that she wanted a jewelry tree (and jokingly said "maybe you can make me one!") So I sought out to do just that. Here are two pictures of the jewelry trees I made just yesterday (not the best quality photos, but hopefully you get the idea):
One in Silver:
One in Gold:
Here are the supplies you will need for one jewelry tree:
-1 glass votive holder (or any container) as a base
-1 tree branch with many offshoots (mine were from a lemon tree, and I chose one about a foot high), dried for about a week before the project.
-Plaster of Paris (from your crafting store)
-Mixing tool (to stir the plaster with water)
-Spray Paint (any color you want)
-Put adequate amount of plaster of paris into base and mix with water (2 parts water to 1 part plaster).
-Immediately put tree branch into base
-Hold in place with one hand use the tape to form a "net" around the tree branch bottom, secured to the base so that you can take your hand away without the branch falling over.
-Let dry for about an hour
-Spray paint when dry, and let dry for another hour or two.
On one base I just sprayed it silver, while on the other one I took some ribbon and glued it to the base to make it prettier (the gold tree). I left the leaves on for effect.
The most expensive part of the project is the Plaster of Paris (about $8 a box, and the spray paint for about $8 a can). However, once you have these, you can easily make dozens of trees. I bought my votive holders at IKEA - 4 for $1.50.
Enjoy, and if you have any questions, please let me know!