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Coiled wire heart pendant

Shape and coil oxidized copper wire (and don’t forget a few beads!) to make a romantic focal piece


Pendant 2 1⁄2 in. (64 mm)

  • Copper wire, round, dead soft
    • 16 in. (40.6 cm) 16-gauge (1.3 mm)
    • 15 in. (38.1 cm) 20-gauge (0.8 mm)
    • 20 in. (50.8 cm) 24-gauge (0.5 mm)
  • 1 6 mm round crystal
  • 11 4 mm pearls
  • 1 4 mm daisy spacer 
  • 1 2-in. (51 mm) head pin
  • Chainnose pliers
  • Roundnose pliers
  • Wire cutters strong enough to cut 16-gauge (1.3 mm) wire
  • Steel bench block or anvil
  • Hammer
  • Metal files
  • Paintbrush
  • Liver of sulfur
  • Steel wool


Coiled wire heart pendant a
Photo a


1. Cut a 16-in. (40.6 cm) piece of 16-gauge wire. With your fingers and roundnose pliers, curve the wire to form an asymmetrical heart shape with a single loop at the tip (PHOTO A). Trim the wire ends about 1 1⁄2 in. (38 mm) from the point where they cross.

Coiled wire heart pendant b
Photo b
2. With the tip of your roundnose pliers, grasp each wire end (PHOTO B), and curl it inward to form a smaller heart inside the larger one, as in (PHOTO C). Trim the excess wire. 
Coiled wire heart pendant c
Photo c
3. Place the heart on a steel bench block, and lightly hammer it to work-harden the wire (PHOTO C). You can flatten it a bit too, but be careful not to over-flatten.
Coiled wire heart pendant d
Photo d

Embellishment and finishing

4. On a head pin, string a spacer and a 6 mm round crystal, and make a wrapped loop. String the dangle onto the frame (PHOTO D).

Coiled wire heart pendant e
Photo e
5. Cut a 15-in. (38.1 cm) piece of 20-gauge (embellishment) wire. Leaving a 1 1⁄2-in. (38 mm) tail, loosely coil the embellishment wire around one side of the frame. Place the crystal dangle as desired, and loosely coil around it, securing the dangle in place (PHOTO E). Continue to loosely coil the embellishment wire, making one or two more passes around the frame beyond the crystal dangle.
Coiled wire heart pendant f
Photo f

6. Loosely coil the embellishment wire back toward where you started (PHOTO F).

Coiled wire heart pendant g
Photo g
Once you reach your starting point, make several tight coils around the frame to secure the wire. Trim and tuck the wire ends (PHOTO G). Use a metal file to smooth any sharp ends.
Coiled wire heart pendant h
Photo h

7. Cut a 20-in. (50.8 cm) piece of 24-gauge (wrapping) wire. Leaving a 1-in. (25.5 mm) tail, make a few wraps on one side of the frame’s small inner heart. String a 4 mm pearl (PHOTO H).

Coiled wire heart pendant i
Photo i
Make a few wraps on the other side of the small inner heart, wrapping up toward where the frame ends cross to make the larger heart shape (PHOTO I).
Coiled wire heart pendant j
Photo j

8. Bring the wrapping wire around to the back of the frame, and string a pearl, nestling it in between the loose coils of 20-gauge embellishment wire. Wrap around the frame and the 20-gauge coils to secure the pearl (PHOTO J).

Coiled wire heart pendant k
Photo k
9. Continue stringing pearls and making wraps to attach a pearl between all the loose coils (PHOTO K)
Coiled wire heart pendant l
Photo l

until you reach the end of the coils (PHOTO L).

Coiled wire heart pendant m
Photo M
Wrap several times around the frame, and trim and tuck the wire ends (PHOTO M). 

10. Use a paintbrush to patinate the pendant with liver of sulfur. Use steel wool to remove the patina from the high areas of the piece.
Designer’s tip: Once you’ve completed your pendant, you can choose whatever chain you like to suspend it. I attached two lengths of copper chain at points on the pendant that would allow it to hang in the orientation I wished. For the clasp, I made a hook and eye of copper wire.
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