Open Heart Valentine Pendant

 Pendant Measures approximately 2" long

Pendant Measures approximately 2" long

 

After creating many wire projects with blunt cut ends that needed special handling, my friend Vicky Gagne sent me Shelley Jovel’s YouTube Video demonstrating how to ball the ends of wire. I had a kitchen torch and wire so I gave it a try. My end product varied but I thought it was good information. Soon after, I found a video by Terry McCarthy that made the process nearly foolproof. She suggested moving the wire up and down a couple of times in the flame first. It was a tiny bit of information that made a world of difference and produced consistent results. Keep in mind this won’t work with silver plated wire, it has to be sterling silver. Other than the ball end technique, this project is pretty basic wire wrapping. The ball ends, loops, red crystal and fine wraps contribute to the unique look of this very pretty pendant. Make it in an evening and wear it all year round!

Directions

 step 1 - Cut a 6” length of sterling silver wire. Grasp the wire with metal pliers, as it will become very hot. Hold the wire completely vertical. Holding it at a slight angle will cause the ball to tilt. Work over a ceramic tile with a bowl of water at the ready. Notice how the flame turns from blue to yellow. The spot where the color changes is the hottest and that's where you want to place the wire. Move the flame up and down quickly then let it settle on the end of the wire. The metal will ball in seconds.

step 1 - Cut a 6” length of sterling silver wire. Grasp the wire with metal pliers, as it will become very hot. Hold the wire completely vertical. Holding it at a slight angle will cause the ball to tilt. Work over a ceramic tile with a bowl of water at the ready. Notice how the flame turns from blue to yellow. The spot where the color changes is the hottest and that's where you want to place the wire. Move the flame up and down quickly then let it settle on the end of the wire. The metal will ball in seconds.

 step 2 - Place the wire in the bowl of water. When it has cooled, ball the other end of the wire.

step 2 - Place the wire in the bowl of water. When it has cooled, ball the other end of the wire.

 step 3 - Mark the wire at 2.25” with a Sharpie.

step 3 - Mark the wire at 2.25” with a Sharpie.

 step 4 - Grasp the wire with the thickest part of the round nose pliers at the Sharpie mark. All three loops will be created using the thickest part of the pliers. The longest end of the wire (I’ll call it the “main wire” since it will create all the loops) should be to the left of the pliers and the short end to the right.

step 4 - Grasp the wire with the thickest part of the round nose pliers at the Sharpie mark. All three loops will be created using the thickest part of the pliers. The longest end of the wire (I’ll call it the “main wire” since it will create all the loops) should be to the left of the pliers and the short end to the right.

 step 5 - Refer to this diagram to form the loops. Think of this as a cloverleaf on the highway. Follow the arrows as they cross intersections and change color to form another loop. The diagram represents only the wire, not the pliers.

step 5 - Refer to this diagram to form the loops. Think of this as a cloverleaf on the highway. Follow the arrows as they cross intersections and change color to form another loop. The diagram represents only the wire, not the pliers.

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  Bring the main wire over and down against the top of the pliers following the black arrows. 

step 6 - Bring the main wire over and down against the top of the pliers following the black arrows. 

 
 
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  Remove the pliers from the wire. Grasp the main wire against the right side of the loop. Pull the main wire around the bottom arm of the pliers following the brown arrows. The two loops should like the handles of scissors.

step 7 - Remove the pliers from the wire. Grasp the main wire against the right side of the loop. Pull the main wire around the bottom arm of the pliers following the brown arrows. The two loops should like the handles of scissors.

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  Remove the pliers. Grasp the main wire with the pliers flush up against the second loop. Wrap the main wire around the bottom of the pliers. Remove the pliers. Your loops should look like the diagram. 

step 8 - Remove the pliers. Grasp the main wire with the pliers flush up against the second loop. Wrap the main wire around the bottom of the pliers. Remove the pliers. Your loops should look like the diagram. 

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  Complete the pendant working with the main wire on the left.  What began as the shorter wire end, is now the longer one and should be on the right.

step 9 - Complete the pendant working with the main wire on the left.  What began as the shorter wire end, is now the longer one and should be on the right.

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  Smooth the right wire around a mandrel to curve it

step 10 - Smooth the right wire around a mandrel to curve it

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  Use the thick end of the needle nose pliers to curl the top of the left wire.

step 11 - Use the thick end of the needle nose pliers to curl the top of the left wire.

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  Smooth the left wire around a mandrel to curve that side.

step 12 - Smooth the left wire around a mandrel to curve that side.

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  Cut a 7” length of 24-gauge wire. Wrap the middle of it around the center of the loops two or three times. 

step 13 - Cut a 7” length of 24-gauge wire. Wrap the middle of it around the center of the loops two or three times. 

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  Use the left wire tail to wrap the top of the left loop. Use the right wire to wrap the top of the right loop. Trim off excess and smooth the sharp ends.

step 14 - Use the left wire tail to wrap the top of the left loop. Use the right wire to wrap the top of the right loop. Trim off excess and smooth the sharp ends.

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  Cut an 8” length of 24-gauge wire. Wrap it around the right wire ten times, starting at the ball.

step 15 - Cut an 8” length of 24-gauge wire. Wrap it around the right wire ten times, starting at the ball.

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  Slip a silver ball bead on the wire followed by a red Bicone crystal and another silver ball bead. Pull it diagonally against the left wire and bring it to the back of the pendant. 

step 16 - Slip a silver ball bead on the wire followed by a red Bicone crystal and another silver ball bead. Pull it diagonally against the left wire and bring it to the back of the pendant. 

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  Bring the wire through the pendant to the front and wrap between the loops and the silver bead until you reach the center bottom. Trim off excess and smooth the ends.

step 17 - Bring the wire through the pendant to the front and wrap between the loops and the silver bead until you reach the center bottom. Trim off excess and smooth the ends.

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  Open a 5mm jump ring and attach it to the center top of the pendant. Attach a bail and close the ring.

step 18 - Open a 5mm jump ring and attach it to the center top of the pendant. Attach a bail and close the ring.

TIPS

• Alcohol will remove the Sharpie mark from the wire.

• Using a flame on the silver will discolor it. I recommend Bead Buddy's Instant Tarnish Remover. It's a simple no-fuss dip. I got mine at JoAnns. Just set the wire in the liquid and count to ten then wipe off the discoloration. Sometimes it may require two or three dips but it is easy compared to other silver tarnish products. Follow the dip with a buff to shine it up or use a tumbler. 



Supplies

At Michaels Store

  • 18-gauge round Sterling silver wire
  • 24-gauge round Sterling silver wire
  • Jewelry mandrel
  • 6mm red Bicone crystal - 1
  • 4mm silver ball beads - 2
  • 5mm jump ring - 1

At Amazon

  • Kitchen torch        
  • Jewelry pliers and cutter
  • Cousin Jewelry Bail - 1

Miscellaneous

  • Ceramic tile or other fireproof surface
  • Ruler
  • Sharpie
  • Bowl for water

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