Monday, 10 June 2013

Heart-shaped Earring Tutorial

Today's post is a tutorial to make a pair of HEART-SHAPED EARRINGS using wire and embossing powder. They're actually surprisingly easy to make and I think look really effective. 
You will need:
2 x approx 45cm (18") of thin wire. 24 gauge works well but a bit thicker or thinner would work fine (I used a brassy coloured wire but you can use whatever colour you like).
Embossing powder (I went for classic red but again it's totally up to you. The brand I used for these was "Heat It Up" but I've used "Cosmic Shimmer" in the past and I'm pretty sure it would work with any brand)
Pair of earring findings (homemade or shop bought) 
Regular kitchen oven
Baking tray (or oven-proof dish)
Aluminium foil
Pliers and wire cutters
Hammer and hard surface
Paper and pen
Sharp needle/pin

Draw a heart onto the piece of paper roughly 2.5cm x 2.5cm (1" x 1").
Bend the end of one of the lengths of wire into a heart shape using the heart you drew as a guide. Using pliers fold the tip of the end around the wire to secure it.

Twist and weave the remaining length of wire around the heart-shaped frame using the pliers when needed.

Keep wrapping until you're happy the heart has been "filled in" evenly. Repeat with the second length of wire.
Then using the hammer and a hard surface, gently hammer both hearts flat.
Left-side heart = after hammering    Right-side heart = before hammering

Lay both hearts on a piece of foil on a baking tray (or oven-proof dish), not too close together.

Now cover the hearts with a thick, even layer of embossing powder. Originally I used a small teaspoon and applied the powder a little at a time using the tip of the spoon, this worked well but took a little while. I find it quicker to use the piece of paper rolled into a funnel. Pinch the end, closing the hole and pour in the powder. Gently release the pressure on the hole allowing powder to flow onto the heart. Repeat for the second heart.

Place the tray in an oven set to about 150°C (300°F) for a minute or two. The powder melts pretty quickly so keep an eye on it. Once all the powder has melted and become shiny, remove the tray from the oven and leave it to cool.

Once it's cool enough to touch gently peel away the foil. If needed, any excess around the edges can simply be cut away with a pair of scissors
 Before trimming the edges
After trimming

Using a sharp needle/pin, and being careful of your precious pinkies, pierce a hole in each heart- in the left side of one and the right side of the other.

Attach an earring hooks to each heart and you're all set!

I hope you like them and give them a go!
'Til next time craft in earnest, Craftin' Ernest x

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