So, you can’t help but notice that there are the cutest heart necklaces popping up in all the best shops. They are just perfect with a skinny white vest or to pretty up an oversized shirt or a beach outfit. Trouble is they are just too expensive! A DIY version was definitely called for…
First I assembled the things I would need. I love any excuse for a rummage around in my craft shelves, (more on those in another post!) and I decided I would make my heart beads from whatever polymer clay I already had. I wanted soft colours that would complement each other. The great news was that I had some lovely granite, a China blue and some slightly sparkly white. I loved the way the colours worked together.
The linen sewing thread had the natural look that I wanted and I decided on some little silver beads to go in between the hearts.
I found a set of 3 heart-shaped plunge cutters in a fab hardware shop in nearby Stamford.They are intended as icing tools but I knew they would be great for what I needed.
The set looked like this. I went with the smallest size for my hearts.
I broke off a small piece of polymer clay. This ball was large enough to make about four beads.
I rolled it between my palms until it felt smooth and more pliable.
Then I rolled the clay out so that it was about half a centimetre thick. I used a rolling pin but a glass bottle would do fine. The super intelligent amongst you will have noticed that the clay has changed colour! Sorry forgot to photograph the white in my enthusiasm! The heart shapes were easy to cut and the plunger mechanism means that they pop out of the cutter without any hassle. I gently smoothed any rough edges with my finger.
The thing to do next was to make a hole through the bead with a pin. I wiggled it a tiny bit as I was not sure if the hole would close at all during baking.
Then bake! I used three different types of polymer clay, some Fimo Effects, some Sculpy and some that I bought so long ago that I can’t remember the brand. Of course the instructions on the packs were for different oven settings and times so I plumped for somewhere in the middle, put them on a baking sheet covered in foil and they turned out fine. Look at my treasure! I made enough beads for two necklaces.
I cut two very long lengths of thread. I estimated by looping the linen thread around my neck twice to allow for the knots I would have to tie. The second length was exactly the same.
I won’t lie to you, the next bit was a bit trickier than I expected. You know when you are sure that you have something but you can’t find it? I thought I had one of those collapsing needles that flatten themselves to fit through tiny holes in beads. Turns out I didn’t!
Getting the thread through the minute hole on the needle was a bit tricky but I did it.
I threaded on a white heart on one piece of thread, then I knotted the two pieces of thread together above the top of the heart. Just to clarify, only one piece of thread goes through the bead.
Then I passed the other piece of thread behind the bead and made a new knot at the bottom of the heart. The bead was now secured.
I chose to add in a silver bead after each heart bead and I made a simple knot as before to secure the beads by just wrapping both threads around my finger and pulling the tread through.
I used a pin to wiggle the knot as near as possible to the bead and then pulled the knot tight.
I started in the middle of the necklace so that I had a better sense of how it would look.
I carried on and alternated the colours.
When I had enough beads, I knotted the two ends of the necklace together firmly. I am all for simplicity and didn’t want a clasp. I had made it long enough to simply knot the ends together and finish it off with a couple more of the silver beads.
All finished! I love the relaxed colour palette and the circle of love hearts.