Learn hammered jewelry basics while crafting this simple wire heart pendant tutorial. You don’t need any previous wire wrapping skills. You might also want to learn how to wire wrap hoop earrings, or scroll down for this easy tutorial. This post contains affiliate links.
I have a teensy obsession with hammered jewelry and so years ago I got myself a ball peen hammer to play with.
It took me years to finally really learn to use it, but now I can’t get over the jewelry making possibilities that open up once you learn how to work with wire.
This wire heart pendant tutorial is a great introductory project for wireworking and wire wrapping.
I made it two ways. The wire I used is thick enough to keep its shape (14 gauge) so you don’t need to connect the center points.
This way, you can leave it as more of a free, minimalist design.
Or, you can even use it as a key ring this way, since you can slide a key onto it. It’ll hold so that you don’t need to worry about it falling off.
The more common way to follow this wire heart pendant tutorial would be to use a thinner wire to wrap the center points together.
Hammering serves more than one purpose. It not only adds gorgeous hand-crafted texture, but it also work hardens your piece, making it more durable.
The ball peen hammer has two sides. The flat side simply hardens (and flattens) your wire while the ball side creates the texture.
Hammering needs to happen on a very hard surface, or you’ll just be hammering your wire into your table. If the surface has any give this will be the result.
For this reason, you’ll want to work on a steel bench block. This provides that hard surface that makes your wire respond to your hammering.
And finally, you’ll notice that your wire shape that you created does shift as you hammer, so be aware of the direction that you’re hammering in. Move your wire where you want it, flip over your piece and hammer in opposite directions. Don’t do it blindly. Work with what’s happening and go with the flow as needed.
Making metal jewelry can be done without soldering if you’re clever and creative. I’ve been doing it for years. I hope you enjoy this hammered wire heart pendant tutorial and stay tuned for more to come!
If you’re more inclined to go wrapping, check out my wire wrapped bangle bracelet tutorial or learn how to wire wrap stones with no holes. I also published a tutorial for wire wrapped hearts if you’re more the wrapping type. You can actually combine the two ideas into one unique piece!
What you need for this wire heart pendant tutorial:
Note: the links below are bundles with different gauge assortments. I ordered these same exact bundles because they offer excellent values and help you build a stash in different sizes. If you’re getting started with wire, restocking across different categories, or for whatever reason need more of a range of wire sizes, I highly recommend these!
Whichever you order, I do recommend a “dead soft” natural wire. Copper is a great learning wire because it’s affordable.
- Flush cutters
- Nylon jaw pliers so that you don’t nick or mark your wire
- A ball peen hammer
- A steel bench block
- File or wire rounding tool
Find the best places to buy beads online.
How to make a wire heart pendant:
1. Cut a piece of 14 gauge wire about six inches long. Use a file or wire rounding tool to smooth the edges. It doesn’t need to be perfect as you’ll be hammering them.
2. Use your nylon coated pliers to bend your wire into a heart shape.
You can swirl the edges inward and keep it a bit asymmetrical for a pretty touch. Keep in mind that your heart will not be perfect and it won’t be soldered so you’ll probably want to keep the shape free form to make it intentional.
3. Time to hammer! Let out all that stress! Use gentle, firm downward motions. If you want you can first flatten it using the flat side of your hammer. I like to do this to hold the shape down a little but I do find that I get less spreading with my ball hammering.
When you want to add texture, use the ball side. You’ll see your design shifting a little. Be mindful of the direction that you’re hammering in – slight shifts can cause your wire to move. That’s fine and natural, just change the direction of your piece as needed.
You’ll also find your material curling as you hammer. Just flip it over occasionally and hammer on both sides.
4. Once your piece has been hammered and is hard, you can leave it as is. It should be firm enough to hold its shape. But if you’re selling or gifting this piece, you’ll probably want it to be more finished. To do this, cut a piece of 20 gauge wire a few inches long.
Place it centered behind your crossover section of your heart.
5. Working with once side at a time, Coil it around your center so that each way round sits flush against the previous. Do this about 5 times and trim so that your wire ends are in the back. Make sure they sit tight against your heart and don’t poke out.
6. I like to harden this coil a little as well. Just place it on your bench block and tap gently a few times with the flat side. That should do the trick. You can also use this on the back to ensure that your wire ends aren’t sticking out.
Your DIY heart necklace is complete! Just add a chain and wear with pride. Was this wire heart pendant tutorial helpful to you? Got any questions? Just drop your comment below!