Birthstone Heart Pendant
Designed by Judy Larson © 2013
Skill Level: Intermediate
Technique: Shaping and Weaving Wire
This 1-3/4" x 1-1/8" woven heart pendant will be a perfect birthday gift and also great for Valentine’s Day or anniversaries. Most heart pendants are much smaller and meant to be worn with 18" or shorter chains. Judy designed this heart pendant for a 20" or longer chain so it can be worn with a turtleneck or warm clothes in winter months.
- 20-gauge dead soft or half hard round wire, 16"
- 26-gauge dead soft round wire, 72-76"
Hint: Use 24-gauge wire if you want the wraps to have more texture and definition.
- Straighten and cut two 8" pieces of 20-gauge wire. Mark the center of each wire.
Straighten and cut one 72"-76" piece of 26-gauge wire and mark the center.
Note: The amount of wrap wire you need depends upon how close together your wire wraps are. 72" is the least you will need and 76" is the most you should need.
- The 20 gauge base wires of the heart are covered with a basket weave of 26-gauge wire. If done correctly, the front and back of this weave look the same.
Center the mark on the 26 gauge wire on the mark on one of the 20-gauge wires. Wrap the 26-gauge wire around the 20 gauge wire once.
- Match the mark on the other 20-gauge wire (this will be called the upper wire) to the mark on the wrapped wire(this will be called the lower wire), placing it behind the wrap wire. Pull the wrap wire up, over and down behind the upper wire.
- Pull the wrap wire to the front between the upper and lower wires. Then pull the wrap wire up, over and down behind the upper wire.
- Pull the wrap wire up to the front over the lower wire. Pull the wrap wire to the back and down between the upper and lower wires. Note: Step 5 is replicating Step 2.
- Pull the wrap wire up, over and down behind the upper wire. Note: Step 6 is replicating Step 3. Continue wrapping in this manner until you have 1/2" of wraps.
- Turn the unit around and wrap 1/2" out from the mark on that side, making a total of 1" of wraps.
- Centering one side of the wrapped section on an 1/8" mandrel, curve it around an 1/8" mandrel, crossing the ends at about an 80 degree angle. You may need to use soft jaw pliers to flatten the wrapped section after curving it.
- Continue wrapping each side until the length is 1-1/2" from the cross over point.
- Use your fingers or a 1/2" mandrel to make the curves in the top of the heart shape. The wires should cross as close to the end of the wraps as possible.
- Using the flat nose pliers, bend the two upper wires up. As close to the bends as possible, use the shorter of the two wrap wires to secure the bail wires together with two wraps. Do not cut this wire off.
- Mark the bail wires 1/2" away from the bend. Spread the wires no more than 3/16" apart at the marks, making a "V" shape.
- Using the longer wrap wire, wrap in a Figure 8 manner up to the marks, keeping the base wires spread apart in the "V" shape.
Figure 8 Wrap:
Pull the wrap wire over the upper wire, down and to the back. Pull the wrap wire to the front between the upper and lower wires. Pull the wrap wire under and behind the lower wire. Pull the wrap wire up and to the front between the upper and lower wires.
- Continue the Figure 8 wrap, pulling the 20-gauge wires together as you go, until the bail section measures 1" in length.
- Form the bail around a 3/16" mandrel, matching up the beginning and end of the wrapped section and bending the wire tails out slightly.
- Using the wire tail from wrapping the bail, secure the bail wire ends to the front of the pendant by wrapping around the base of the bail wires twice.
- Thread the wire tail into the center of the bail. Pull tightly toward the base. Trim the wire tail off. Use the tip of a toothpick or stiletto or beading awl to tuck the tail down between the front and back of the bail. Repeat with the other wire tail. (The piece you cut off will be used to attach the bead.)
- Trim the bail wires to 3/8". Curl up using the tips of round nose pliers.
- Cut the front inner wires to 3/4". Using round nose pliers, curl as shown.
- Use the 26-gauge wire piece cut off in Step 17 to attach the gemstone bead to the wire curls.
We'd love to see how your pendant turns out! Send a picture to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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