Introduction: Simple and Elegant Necklace for Someone Special
In this instructable I'll walk you through how I made this wonderful heart-shaped necklace with a personal touch. This is an easy project which you could potentially do with kids (be sure to supervise though). This method could also be adapted to make a matching bracelet.
So whether you're making one for a special parent, sibling, partner, friend, or even yourself, lets get stuck in!
- A small piece of wood (scrap wood would be perfect)
- A medium sized safety pin (A paperclip would also work)
- Some super-glue
- A Jump Ring (available from your local hobby/crafting shop)
- Some string/lace
- Some sanding paper (I used 500 grit and 1000 grit)
- A drill bit (1-2mm)
- A drill
- A handsaw (Ideally a coping saw)
- Some pliers
- Soldering Iron (Optional)
It also helps to have a Dremel Rotary tool, which can be used to do the drilling and texturing one of the faces.
Step 1: Cut It to Shape
Firstly, cut your wood to shape. Draw your heart shape onto it using a pencil and cut around it using the saw, leaving about 2-4mm around the line you drew. You can always cut more off, so don't worry about keeping too close to the line.
Also use this opportunity to make your piece thinner if need be. I cut mine down so it was about 5-6mm thick.
Step 2: Rough Sanding
Now you've got your rough shape, it's time to sand away those horrible saw marks! Place a sheet of sandpaper on your workbench and sand the faces and edges of your piece until they are smooth. I started with a harsher grit (~500 grit) to remove lots of material with each pass, then I moved onto a finer grit (~1000 grit) to give the heart a smoother finish.
I also used my Dremel tool with a sanding bit to speed up going around the edges.
Step 3: Fine Sanding
Once you have your heart around the right thickness and shape, you can start to add more detail. I wanted a round edge to make the piece smooth and soft (like a caring heart 💗). To do this I sanded the heart at various angles to remove the hard edge and I was careful to ensure I sanded both sides evenly. For the top of the heart, it may help to tear off some of your sandpaper, fix your heart (in a vice or between some books) and use the thin strip of sandpaper to get right into the groove.
Step 4: Textured Face (Optional)
I wanted to experiment giving my heart a textured surface using my Dremel multi-tool. I simply fixed the heart down and used the Dremel to carve small dimples into it. I opted to do just one side and not go all the way to the edge, but there's no reason why you couldn't do more.
The bit I was using on the Dremel was the High Speed Carving Bit with a ball-shaped head (bit no. 191). This often comes with Dremel Rotary-Tool kits. It's the bit with a small spiky ball on the end.
I was quite pleased with how this came out, and I thought it made the heart look a bit more interesting.
Step 5: Initial (Using Pyrography, Also Optional)
To make it more personal, I wanted to add the person's initial to the other side of the heart. This necklace was for a special J so I used a soldering iron equipped with a fine tip (and no solder) to scorch the letter J into the heart. This is easy and simple to do, but the trick to good results is moving at steady, consistent pace and not staying one any one place for too long. Do use some scrap wood to practise beforehand.
Step 6: Creating the Connecting Loop
To connect the pendant to the jump ring and later the necklace cord, we need a small loop. I made this using a safety pin and some pliers. First I cut the safety pin (see images), leaving the connector attached for ease of handling. I then bent one end over into a ring. Make sure the loop is big enough to accommodate the jump ring! I then cut the connector off.
Next you'll need to drill a small hole in your pendant. This can be difficult so be careful and take your time.
Top Tip: You can use small drill bits on a Dremel too. If your chuck won't hold your drill bit because it's too small, you can wrap the base of you bit in a long, thin strip of paper until it is thick enough to fit in the chuck. Just make sure it is well-secured and when switched on, the tip of the bit keeps straight.
Use something to keep you heart securely fastened and drill a small hole at the top of the heart, as deep as the straight bit of the loop we made a second ago.
Then super-glue the little loop connector into the hole. I glued it so that you can see through the hole when looking at the heart shape. This is because the jump ring will sit at 90° to this hole.
Step 7: Attaching the Jump Ring
Now attach the jump ring. To do this, simply open the gap in the ring using two pairs of pliers to gently pull the ends of the ring apart. Then loop it through the pendant's hole and use the pliers to close the gap again.
Step 8: Adding the Cord
Last, but not least, the cord. For this, I used some leather cord from my local hobby shop to give the necklace a simple but professional appearance. I also chose to use sliding knots instead of a loop and hook so that the necklace is adjustable (great if you can't get the person's measurements because it's a surprise!!!). It also gives the necklace a more earthly feel which, I think, complements the natural wood. See the image on how to tie these knots - they are both the same. Once done, feel free to cut off any excess.
Step 9: Done!
And there we go, your necklace is ready for your special someone!
As an extra touch, you may want to treat the wood with some oil or light coating to help it last forever.
I have a few more ideas for what to do with future necklaces, such as:
- Making something other than a heart shape, like a dolphin or a star
- More carving, or even a cut-out inside the pendant in some other shape
- Wood stain to make it red, like a real heart <3
- A woven cord
- Using something other than wood
Let me know what you think or if you have any more ideas!
Happy Making :)
Runner Up in the