




STEP 1: The Starter
The core of the tree is based on the Open Round Chain Maille technique. We are borrowing the beginning of that tutorial for this project.
The easiest way to assemble this chain is to make a starter. You need a dowel (3/16" diameter) a piece of masking tape and (3) 20ga 3.25mm ID Jump Rings (Dark color metal).
Close the three jump rings.
Images shown using larger rings for better clarity.




STEP 2: Stick 'Em
Press the 3 closed jump rings into the sticky side of the masking tape. Make sure at least half of the jump ring is visible above the tape.




STEP 3: The Roll
Attach the dowel to the edge of the tape. Make the end of the dowel equal with the tape, and roll the dowel so that the tape and jump rings are packed inside.




STEP 4: Looks Like This...
Press the tape firmly against the dowel and jump rings to secure them. Your finished starter should allow you to add jump rings to the starter jump rings.




STEP 5: The Triangle
The jump rings on the starter should form a triangle. You will be adding new jump rings, one each, the the corners of the triangle where the jump rings meet.




STEP 6: Starter Complete
Optional: Hang the starter from your work lamp or third hand to give you access to the chain.




STEP 7: Pair #1  first new ring
Locate the point where two rings on the starter are touching. Open a jump ring and attach it to that pair.




STEP 8: Pair #2  second new ring
Rotate the work to the next point where two rings from the starter touch. Add a new jump ring.




STEP 9: Pair #3  last new ring
Turn your work and find the point where the rings from the starter touch and add a new jump ring.
Row Complete!




STEP 10: Add a new row  new ring #1
You are going to repeat the steps 7, 8 & 9. But lets continue following the chain to reinforce what it should look like




STEP 11: Then ring #2, then ring #3
Find the point the the rings touch and add a new ring. Each row requires 3 new rings.
Note: The first several rows can be tricky. Make sure that your new ring only connect two rings and does not grab the previous row.




STEP 12: Continue the Chain
As you chain progresses in length, it will stabilize and you will no longer need the dowel. I find it easier to keep track of the chain by making small piles of three rings.




STEP 13: Make approx 3" of Chain
Using 20ga 3.25mm ID jump rings, make a chain approximately 3 inches long ( 84 jump rings).
Note: We are using two different color rings in the instructions to make it easier to follow. You may use one or as many metals as you like.




STEP 14: Divide the Chain
Divide the chain into equal halves. On for each earring.
Note: Starting the chain can be difficult. It is easier to make a continuous chain and divide it than to start two chains.




STEP 15: Add the Hanger
Add a new row like you did in Steps #7, #8 and #9, but use a 20ga 2.5mm ID (light color) jump rings. You only need to add (2) rings the 3rd ring will not be used. 



STEP 16: Add the Hanger part 2
Use a 20ga 7.0mm ID jump ring and attach it to the two 20ga 2.5mm ID rings that you just added. Now you have a hanger to attach to your earwire.




STEP 17: Locate Where the Branches Go
The core of your tree has three sides. Located the spot where two rings touch. You will be adding a new ring to that location (total three per row) Start at the top, just underneath the hanger. 



STEP 18: Top Row of Branches
Adding from the top down, smallest to largest ring, add a 20ga 3.0mm ID jump ring to each connection point on the top row. Total of (3) rings.




STEP 19: Identify the Next Row
Identify the next row. Look for the point where two rings touch. 



STEP 20: Add Row #2
As you add each row the ring diameter (ID) will increase. For Row #2 add (3) 20ga 3.5mm ID Jump Rings




STEP 21: Continue Adding Rows
For each row, use the next size larger jump ring. 



STEP 22: Double Up on the Last Row
When you get to row 9, (uses 20ga 7.0mm ID rings). insert an additional set of rings on the same row. It will be a tight fit but they will fit.
This gives the tree some flair at the bottom.




STEP 23: Ring around the Trunk (option)
It you want a traditional tree shape, add a 20ga 5.0mm ID jump ring on the trunk of the tree. Slide it up under the branches of the last row and crimp it in place with your pliers. This will make the bottom rows stick out more. 



STEP 24: Trim the Trunk
Adjust the length of the trunk to your liking by adding or subtracting rings.




STEP 25: [option]Add Earwires
To make your trees into earrings just add your favorite earwires. 





