It was a frigid New England winter evening on February 14, 2007. I gripped the wheel as I steered the car through the street. The glistening, white snow that blanketed the city streets that morning had long since turned to a gray, liquid mush. I cautiously pulled the car into a parking spot across the street of the restaurant, my fingers relaxing their death grip on the steering wheel. My date opened the passenger side door and stepped out, submerging his foot into a deep, black puddle of melted city snow.
I grimaced, realizing this was not the best start to our first Valentine’s Day together.
Photo by Paul Cross on Flickr
The evening continued to go downhill from there — a comedy show that was so bad it was awkward, my car getting stuck in the snow, my date plunging his other foot into a freezing puddle as he pushed my car free.
It was not a good date by any measure.
Thankfully, the company was worth it, and a decade later my husband and I can laugh about this Valentine’s Day date gone awry.
Though we have since avoided another Valentine’s Day since, I do appreciate the sentiment of the holiday. A day to express your love and affection for those important people in your life.
And what better way than to express that than with a necklace that you made yourself?
(Or, if you feel so inclined, you can purchase this necklace for that special someone!)
This DIY heart pendant necklace is beautiful and sweet and makes a gorgeous present, for Valentine’s Day or any day of the year. Plus it’s quite simple to make, so regardless of your level you can feel that warm, gushy feeling of gifting something lovely that you made yourself!
FOR THIS NECKLACE, YOU WILL NEED THE FOLLOWING SUPPLIES:
Here is what you will need to make your own heart DIY necklace. For your convenience, I have included affiliate links. You can read my full disclosure here.
- 2 pairs of flat nose pliers or 2 pairs of needle nose pliers
- pair of step pliers
- If you don’t have step pliers, you can use a regular round-nose pliers and another round object with a wider girth such as a sharpie
- length of wire
- I used 4 inches of 16-gauge sterling silver wire. You don’t want to get much thinner (18 gauge at the smallest) or too much bigger (14 gauge). Thinner wire = a flimsy pendant; thicker wire = too heard to bend. I also recommend you choose wire that is labeled “dead soft,” because it will be the most pliable.
- 1 small open jump ring
- I used 18-gauge 3.5 mm ID sterling silver jump rings
- 4 tiny open jump rings
- I used 22-gauge 2.2 mm ID sterling silver jump rings)
- 2 pieces of chain
- for an 18-inch necklace, I used two pieces of chain measuring 8.25 inches each. I use flat cable chain for all of my designs.
- 1 small lobster clasp
How to make the heart charm:
Before you begin, make sure the ends of the wire are not sharp. Use a file to smooth out the ends as necessary. With a sharpie, mark the middle of the piece of wire.
Grip the piece of wire with one of the pliers. Hold the pliers so that one edge lines up with the center marking on the wire.
With your other hand, gently fold the piece of wire along the center mark so that it forms a right angle V.
Should look like this:
Using the step pliers, create a small loop on one end of the wire, curling the wire toward the center of the V. Repeat this step on the other side of the wire. (You can also use round nose pliers for this step).
When you’re done with both steps it should look like this:
Using a bigger step of the plier, grip one edge of the wire right below the loop. Gently turn the loop toward the inside of the V, stopping when the loop is facing inward but not touching to the side of the wire. (If you don’t have a step plier, you can use the sharpie instead, you will just have to push the wire down with your fingers instead of using the plier to move the wire.)
Repeat on the other side and it should look something like this.
Ta-da, you formed a heart! Don’t worry if it looks a little wonky as these things tend to look (especially on your first try). You can use a combination of your fingers and/or the pliers to adjust as necessary so that it looks more like a heart.
But don’t lose heart if you have to start all over. (See what I did there? I’m so clever!)
Now, you have two choices. You can either stop here and skip to the part where you attach the chain, or you can create a heart with the overlapping loops.
To do this, grip the round parts of the hearts in your fingers and gently push them toward each other until the loops overlap.
How to attach the chain:
Open one of the tiny jump rings and loop it around the heart.
String one piece of chain through the open jump ring and close it up.
Repeat this process on the other side of the heart.
On the end of either piece of chain, attach the lobster clasp using another tiny jump ring. Close up the small jump ring and attach it with a tiny jump ring on the end of the other chain. For a visual of how to do this, scroll down to the bottom of this post to learn how to make your own necklace.
And that’s it, you’ve completed a beautiful DIY heart charm necklace, ready to gift to your favorite Valentine or just keep for yourself.
P.S. The process of working with the wire will “work harden” it, or make the wire less flexible and more durable. However, to increase the durability of your pieces and less likely to bend, I recommend you tumble your pieces. I’ve used a Chicago Rotary Rock Tumbler for years now and it’s fantastic (just make sure you tumble it with steel shot.)