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Wednesday, January 22, 2014

The Valentine Project - DIY Valentine Heart Necklace

Cousin asked the Creative Circle Ambassadors to come up with a project inspired by Valentine's Day.  This is what they asked us to do:
"We would like everyone to come up with their own interpretation of Valentine’s Day in a project that you will be submitting. What colors, materials and symbols remind you of romance, love and affection? Some classic examples are hearts, arrows, keys and doves/birds. This does not have to be a standard jewelry item, and may be used as a craft in a non-traditional way if you like. Of course we always appreciate that you use all Cousin product if/when possible. We would really love to see a new take on something traditional to add some variety to our current offerings. Anything goes with this project and it will be fun and interesting to see what everyone comes up with."
Hmm........Not too bad of a project to do except the fact that I don't usually create heart jewelry or even think about the traditional colors when it comes to Valentine's Day.  When I think of romance, I think more on a time period in history when romance and love were innocent, a time in which lace and pearls were the height of the fashion world.  The Victorian and Edwardian eras were to me the most romantic periods. Images of Downton Abby dance through my head (even though that is set Post-Edwardian). Lace, pearls, and hints of crystals pop instantly cross my mind. The only problem is that isn't what is being asked for.

So, with that in mind.....I tried something that turned out better than I had hoped.  Below is a project for more of the advanced jewelry maker.  With that said, I believe a beginner can also pull this off with a little effort.

Skill Level: Intermediate to Advances
Crafting Time: 1 to 2 hours depending on skill

Tools Needed:
Flat or Chain Nose Pliers
Side or Flush Cutters
Round Nose Pliers
Two different sized mandrels or cylindrical objects such as marker barrels
8oz. Ball Peen Hammer
Steel Bench Block

34722027 -  51pc 8-10mm Pearl-Crystal Mix Pink-Bronze (Prima Bead)
34718092 -  100in Small Silver Curb Chain (Prima Bead)
34719059 -  134pc Starter Pack- Silver (Prima Bead)

162089 - Bead Landing 10/12 mm Bronze Pearls (Michael's)
20 Gauge Jewelry Wire (I used Beadalon's German Style Wire - Available at most craft stores)

Create the following by threading beads onto an eye pin and forming a loop:
Three 10mm bronze pearl connectors
Two 12mm bronze pearl connectors
Two 6mm pink crystal connectors
Two 10mm pearl/crystal/8mm pearl connectors

Create the following by threading beads onto a head pin and forming a loop:
Three 6mm crystal dangles
One 8mm pearl/crystal/10mm pearl dangle

Measure and cut two 5 inch sections of curb chain. Using a jump ring, attach the clasp to the end of one piece.  Cut a 3 inch section extender chain from Starter Pack and attach to one end of the other 5 inch section of curb chain. At the end of the extender chain, attach one of the pink crystal dangles. Set aside.
Measure, cut and straighten two 6 inch sections of wire and one 8 inch section.
Using your round nose pliers, find the center point of each piece of wire, form a loop by crossing the wire over itself around the barrel of the pliers. Bow the ends inward.

Using your smaller mandrel (1/2 inch diameter) curl one end of the wire loosely around crossing over the other end of the wire. 

NOTE: I used a steel graduated ring mandrel to make my curls.  I placed the wire at size 1 for the smaller hearts and size 4 for the larger one.  

Lace the loose end of the wire into the loop and pull towards the loop. 

Place back on the mandrel and push against it to make a smooth loop. Remove from mandrel. Tug the loops slightly apart to loosen. Push the bottoms of the loops up until a heart shape forms.

Wrap the ends of the wire around the bottom edge of the loop to secure the shape. Trim excess wire. Repeat for the other two pieces of 6 inch wire. Following the same steps use the larger mandrel for the 8 inch piece.

Place heart shape on a bench block and hammer the top of the loops and the very bottom loop of the heart taking care not to hammer where wire crosses wire.

Attach a small heart on each side of the large heart using 6mm jump rings. Attach the crystal dangles to the smaller hearts. Add a 10mm pearl connector to the bottom loop of the larger heart. Attach a 4mm jump ring to the bottom loop of the connector. Attach the last heart to the jump ring with two 6mm jump rings. The jump rings should be placed through the top loops of the heart.
Attach the 8mm pearl/crystal/10mm pearl dangle to the bottom loop of the small heart.

Attach a pearl/crystal/pearl connector to each side of the hearts. Attach a 12 mm pearl connector using a jump ring on each side, followed by a crystal connector and a 10 mm pearl connector.

Attach the chain using jump rings to the last connectors.

Finished piece

Close up of hearts

If you find that some of the silver plating has come off when hammering, you can touch it up with a Krylon Silver Leafing Pen available at most craft stores.