I Heart Hearts!

16 01 2011

Valentines day is just a few weeks away, so I figure now is the time to post a tutorial for making a simple wire heart pendant! This is a basic heart, but once you create it, you can embellish it however you want…

You will need basic wire jewelry pliers (chain or bent-nose, round nose, cutters), a small file, a hammer and steel block. You will also need 16g wire and 24g or 26g wire, and a mandrel about 1/2 inch diameter… a fat marker works well.

Preparing the Wire

To start…. cut a piece of 16g wire 5 inches long, and file the ends so that they are flush. Then bend the wire using your chain nose pliers, so that one side is 2.25 inches, and the other is 2.75 inches.

Shaping the Heart

Now use the mandrel (ie: fat marker) to shape the sides of the heart. 16 g wire is a bit difficult to work with, so don’t get discouraged….! Start by holding the wire tightly on the marker, and then rolling (you are pushing – not wrapping!) the wire until you get a nice rounded shape – repeat for each side:

 

Shaped Heart Sides...

Once the sides are rounded (one side will be longer than the other), it’s time to turn the ends further inward, using the round nose pliers. It is very important to make sure that you don’t pull open the shape you just made on the mandrel! This may take a bit of practice since 16g wire is a bit difficult to work with.

 

Turning in the Ends

It is more effective to grasp the end of the wire tightly in the round nose pliers, and then PUSH the wire around the pliers, rather than trying to pull the wire, which will warp the shape of the sides and pull them straight.

 

Shaping the Heart

After you turn in the ends, you can shape the sides by PUSHING the ends toward each other, and gently pushing the sides out a bit, until it is the shape as shown on the right.

 

Hammering - the Final Shaping Step

Using a nice slightly rounded hammer and a steel block, flatten the heart frame – the ends may open a bit, and the sides may separate a little… that’s normal, you just need to tighten up the ends and bring the sides back together, as shown above. Next, we will use thin gauge wire to wrap the sides together, so the heart doesn’t open.

 

Closing the Heart

Cut about 4 inches of the thin wire (24g or 26g), and make a small hook at one end, then start to wrap the sides of the heart, as shown above. Wrap the wire through the loops on each side 3-4 times, and pull the wire taut, using your pliers as needed. Decide which side will be the front, and make sure that you pull the wire through, and cut both ends on the back.

 

The Wraps on the Back

The photo above shows the wraps neatly cut, and pressed down on the back… the only thing left is to add the bail, and hang on a chain.

 

Shiny... or Antiqued - Either Choice is a Winner!

I made a simple bail by wrapping a piece of 16g wire twice on the base round nose pliers, cutting and filing the ends, and hammering it a bit for texture. I then opened it and slipped it thru the loop of the higher side of the heart, so that it hangs balanced. Personally, I’m a fan of the antiqued look! If you have some wire wrapping skills, you may want to embellish the heart with additional wire wrapping, or adding some beads.

 

Bold Heart!

This photo shows a heart frame with spirals (the technique is similar), which is then wrapped with some faceted garnets… this is a class I’ll be teaching locally next month… just in time for Valentines Day!

You may want to check these posts for info on Hammering and on using Liver of Sulpher for Antiquing.

 


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28 responses

16 01 2011
Kay

I love this simple little heart pendant. I love copper and wire. This is so elegant, too. Thanks for the short tutorial. Will check out the hammering post.

18 01 2011
Györgyi Varga

How lovely heartshapes! And great tutorial – excellent work. Thanks for sharing! Györgyi

18 01 2011
yan

Wow!!! I heart your metal heart

18 01 2011
dragicap...made by me ...

Simple and elegant heart,I sead ! Beautiful!

19 01 2011
Creative Mind

so cute…

19 01 2011
Dax58

Thanks so much everyone – I always appreciate your comments, and I’m so glad you like the project!

21 01 2011
Valentina

Hi!
I found tis tutorial on “totally tutorial”, and a wrote an article on my blog in which I also talk about your tutorial. If you want to visit me, this is the link of the article: http://laperlanerabijouxedaccessori.blogspot.com/2011/01/cose-interessanti-dai-blog.html

Bye!

26 01 2011
Anna M.

It’s so pretty.

28 01 2011
Alba

Love your heart, thanks so much for sharing!!!!!

28 01 2011
Gayle

I just love this! I shared it on my blog today!

28 01 2011
Dax58

Thanks for posting on your blog…. always appreciated!

31 01 2011
Amanda

What a great tutorial! Thanks for sharing!🙂

3 02 2011
CraftyStaci

I love everything about this necklace and your tutorial is so easy to understand. I’m featuring it in my Friday Favorites tomorrow!

3 02 2011
Dax58

I’m glad folks are liking this tutorial! And I love your site Staci – I’ll be sure to add your site to my blogroll!

4 02 2011
Friday Favorites–Valentine’s Day, Part 2 «

[…] never tried making hammered wire jewelry, but StudioDax’s tutorial to make this Heart Necklace makes it sound easy enough I might give it a […]

11 12 2011
http://bluewhitejewelrywear.etsy.com

This is awesome and looks easy enough for even me to try! Thanks so much!

23 08 2012
Lori

This is beautiful!!! Thank you for posting this tutorial. Can you tall me where you purchase your wire or where I can get it?

7 02 2013
Heart Wire Jewelry « ngnrdgrl

[…] a similar technique to StudioDax’s I Heart Heart’s tutorial, I made this Heart […]

11 02 2013
Jessica Stark

Beautiful! I hope you don’t mind, I pinned your blog post at http://pinterest.com/pin/166703623679086870/ I made sure to attribute the content to you.

12 05 2013
bewishful

Hi, thanks so much – is heart is lovely. I am trying to teach myself wire work and will be giving this a go. Thanks.

31 05 2013
bewishful

Reblogged this on bewishful and commented:
This is a fantastic tutorial and a good way to practice your wire work skills.

29 06 2013
adventurousandrea

I am so excited to try this out!

10 07 2013
Severine

lLove wirework and this heart especially, thanks. sevie2013

13 11 2013
DIY Wired and Wire-Wrapped Bracelets and Pendants

[…] bracelets using wires.  The next project would feature a wire pendant that is heart shaped.  This tutorial is from the StudioDax blog.  While she made the wire into a heart shaped pendant, you can actually […]

24 01 2015
Joan Phillips

I’m typically not a fan of hearts but I really love this one. I might try to make a much smaller version to use as a dangle on a red glass caged bead bracelet. Thanks so much for sharing. Really like how you added the crystals as well.

13 05 2015
pendantnation

The style is simple, and the pendant design will add a classic element to most outfits.
heart shaped necklace

3 02 2016
16 Stunning Wire Heart Jewelry Projects - i can make metal stamped jewelry

[…] I Heart Hearts from Studio Dax […]

4 02 2016
Dax58

Thanks for including this project in your great “Hearts” collection!

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