Saturday, December 6, 2014

Reposting an old favorite… Easy Winter Tree Polymer Cane Tutorial

Hello again! And welcome back to another re-run post… yet again. I apologize to all you wonderful readers for not having something totally new and exciting to share with you today. I was working long hours to complete a big wholesale order (super exciting times!) and have just now recovered from my coffee overdose (who really needs sleep, right?!) and at the moment, I'm in the midst of the Christmas making craziness, creating as many beads as I possibly can (plus a few extras ;-) before I take my year-end break. So, for today, I hope you'll enjoy this old favorite post of mine…

Winter sunsets are my absolute favorite! There's something so magical about the vivid colors of the sky and clouds traced by the stark black of the leafless trees… it's like nature's own stained glass!

I don't do a whole lot of caning these days, but for today's post I wanted to share one of my own cane designs that I created a few years back inspired by the winter trees.

It starts with a log of translucent clay—you can of course use any color. I trim the ends so it stands straight.

Next I make an off center cut all the way through the log and cover one side with a sheet of black clay. And then I put the log back together—that forms the main part of the tree branch.

To make the twigs on the branch, I make several more cuts through the translucent log, each time inserting a sheet of black clay and putting it back together before the next cut.

Once I get all the twigs I want, I reduce the cane by rolling and stretching.

Here's the branch reduced.

Then I cut my reduced branch cane into six equal lengths.

And then using the black line from the base of the branch as a guide, I give each length a tear drop shape.

I place all the branches side by side and press them together, making sure that the base of each branch is against the table and straight. I then cut that arrangement in half.

The two halves side by side—it's starting to look like a tree!

To the base of each half I add three strips of translucent clay—they will outline the trunk.

I make the trunk with one sheet of black running to the base of the top branches and then on either side of that I add another sheet about 2/3rds of the height to give it some taper.

I add a bit more translucent clay to the base of the trunk. And from there I just pinch and stretch the cane until I get it reduced to the size I want.

The finished cane! I hope you'll give it a try!

And one last thing… when I first posted this tutorial, you all had asked me to show what I made with it… so, today I went digging through my photo archives… and I found it!

"Flight of Autumn"

No beads with this cane, believe it or not! This was back in 2009 when I was still in my decor making phase. This little box was one of my very first polymer decor pieces—I'll admit it didn't quite turn out as I had originally imagined it, but it is fun to look back on the early days and see how far I've come! And looking back now, I really want to revisit this design with my beads!

I hope you enjoyed today's re-run post!

Rebekah Payne


  1. This is amazing! I liked how you put all the trees together to make the finished cane. Ingenious!

  2. Gracious! I'm amazed at how this is done. I've watched a person do it but it was really simple, Fimo stuff that has NOTHING on this!

  3. Hi Rebekah, I thoroughly enjoyed this post. I would not have guessed that the box was one of your first. It is gorgeous and complex.


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