January 4, 2015

How to Make Wire Heart Jewelry

I love the New Year.   I always feel so organized.  It must be the new day planner!

I figured I would take advantage and make a few new tutorials.

Free jewelry making tutorial on how to make a heart shaped wire frame that you can use to add beads with wire or thread.  Lisa Yang's Jewelry Blog

DIY Wire Heart Jewelry


I have a few of these store bought heart shaped wire beading frames (on the left) that I plan on using for Valentine's Day jewelry making projects, but I realized it would be easy to make my own too.

These heart shaped wire frames are perfect to add beads to, either with wire or by weaving on the beads with thread.  The heart is about 20mm wide and high, but once you get the hang of making these, you can make them any size you want.

One reason for me to make my own, the store bought ones have slightly sharp edges.

Wire Heart Materials


I used 18g copper wire to make my wire heart frames. If you want to use this as a charm without any further embellishment, I would use 16g to make it a little heavier.

You can use any round nose pliers that are large enough to make the arc of the heart, but I always find it easiest to use bail making pliers or step pliers so you are always wrapping around a consistent sized mandrel.

I suppose you could even use a sharpie or similar round object of the right size.

Make a Heart Shaped Template


Make a plan, Stan. And by a plan, I mean a template to follow.

Free jewelry making tutorial on how to make a heart shaped wire frame that you can use to add beads with wire or thread.  Lisa Yang's Jewelry Blog

I traced the heart frame on the inside and outside just so I could make a heart that was even and a similar size.  If you are particular about how the heart comes out, this is a good way to ensure it comes out the size and shape you want.

Free jewelry making tutorial on how to make a heart shaped wire frame that you can use to add beads with wire or thread.  Lisa Yang's Jewelry Blog

I already figured the 7mm barrel of my step pliers would give me the right size curve by comparing it against the store-bought heart frame.  Using a little over 3 inches of wire, I made the top curve of the heart using the bail making pliers.

Free jewelry making tutorial on how to make a heart shaped wire frame that you can use to add beads with wire or thread.  Lisa Yang's Jewelry Blog

I made a U shape around the middle barrel.


Then I compared it to my template and marked the spot where the center angle should be using a sharpie.

Free jewelry making tutorial on how to make a heart shaped wire frame that you can use to add beads with wire or thread.  Lisa Yang's Jewelry Blog

I made the bend on the mark with my chain nosed pliers.

Free jewelry making tutorial on how to make a heart shaped wire frame that you can use to add beads with wire or thread.  Lisa Yang's Jewelry Blog

And made the angle sharp by closing it with the pliers.

Free jewelry making tutorial on how to make a heart shaped wire frame that you can use to add beads with wire or thread.  Lisa Yang's Jewelry Blog

Comparing it to the template again, I can see that I have to open up the center to straighten it and then make the second loop of the heart.

Free jewelry making tutorial on how to make a heart shaped wire frame that you can use to add beads with wire or thread.  Lisa Yang's Jewelry Blog

After unfolding the center angle, I used my step pliers to make a matching loop to the first one.  I tuck the pliers right into the angle to get as close to the center as possible.

Free jewelry making tutorial on how to make a heart shaped wire frame that you can use to add beads with wire or thread.  Lisa Yang's Jewelry Blog

It's looking good - isn't it??  Now to trim and tuck some wires...

Free jewelry making tutorial on how to make a heart shaped wire frame that you can use to add beads with wire or thread.  Lisa Yang's Jewelry Blog

Shape the heart just how you want it to be before trimming any of the wires.  Trim the first wire so the end is flush with the other wire.  The long wire end will eventually be trimmed and wrapped over the end of the cut wire to secure the shape.

Free jewelry making tutorial on how to make a heart shaped wire frame that you can use to add beads with wire or thread.  Lisa Yang's Jewelry Blog

I flatten the part of the wire that will be wrapped over by smooshing it (technical term) in the jaws of my flat nose pliers.  It will only smoosh if you put the wire close to the hinge - and you should use your crappy pliers to do this since it could loosen the hinge.

Free jewelry making tutorial on how to make a heart shaped wire frame that you can use to add beads with wire or thread.  Lisa Yang's Jewelry Blog

Bend the second wire around the first and then trim it to an appropriate length.  Just long enough to hold the first wire in place.

Free jewelry making tutorial on how to make a heart shaped wire frame that you can use to add beads with wire or thread.  Lisa Yang's Jewelry Blog

Press the wire flat using your chain nose pliers and adjust the wires so everything is neat and tidy.

Free jewelry making tutorial on how to make a heart shaped wire frame that you can use to add beads with wire or thread.  Lisa Yang's Jewelry Blog

If desired, you can hammer the frame to work harden and flatten it a little.  It's also a good idea to throw it in the tumbler to polish and harden.

Free jewelry making tutorial on how to make a heart shaped wire frame that you can use to add beads with wire or thread.  Lisa Yang's Jewelry Blog

Well, the frame is done, and even though I don't plan on leaving it plain, I often throw new items on a chain to see how they hang.

For example, if you plan on hanging the heart like this, it's helpful to know how often the heart will turn upside down so you can add weight at the point to prevent that from happening.

DIY Heart Pendant Ideas


Once you have mastered the basic frame technique, learn how to make four of these frames at one time, see some frame variations and a finished beaded heart.

And here are some ideas to pretty up these heart frames:  Wire Heart Jewelry Designs

Here is another free tutorial for a wire heart clasp and a free tutorial for a simple wire heart ring or learn how to wrap beads to a wire heart bead frame.


Love New Jewelry Projects?


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6 comments:

  1. Make it, love it or give it away. Thanks for the tutorial!

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  2. Thank you so much! Beginner here, learning along with my 12yr old daughter!

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    1. Yay! Love to hear when kids are learning jewelry making. My own daughter dabbles but never commits. She'll get hooked someday... I know it.

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  3. Darling pendant! I have no jewelry making experience at all and this would be a nightmare if I tried to make it. I would like to buy it ready made! ;)

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  4. Beautiful tutorial! An alternative is to make the sharp bend first and then the top curves : )

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  5. Wow. Thank you for your amazing tutorials! Just found you, and hope to learn so much.

    ReplyDelete