Even though they're most often associated with Valentine's Day, beaded hearts are fun to make any time of year. With just a few basic supplies, you can create an attractive heart-shaped embellishment that can be worn as a necklace pendant or incorporated into the project of your choice. Hearts are simple designs, but they can be interpreted in so many different ways that it is a lot of fun to design, decorate, and give gifts with hearts.
Beaded Heart Instructions
A beginning to intermediate level beader should be able to complete this project in less than 30 minutes.
- 20 gauge beading wire
- Seed beads
- Round nose pliers
- Wire cutters
- Pencil or small dowel
- Jump ring
- Cut a piece of wire measuring six to eight inches in length. (It doesn't matter if your wire is a bit on the long side, because you can always trim it later if needed.)
- While holding the center of the wire with the ends of your round nose pliers, curl the ends around the shaft to make a small loop that is roughly in the center of the wire.
- Use your dowel or pencil to bring the extending wires down on each side, forming a simple heart shape.
- String seed beads on each side of the wire frame. You will likely need about 30 beads for each side of the heart. You can use beads of all one color or create a pattern using two or three different colors of seed beads, depending upon the look you desire for your project.
- To close the heart, wrap one wire two or three times around the base of the other. Use your wire cutters to snip off any excess.
- Bend the other wire into a decorative spiral. If you want a bit of extra decoration on your heart, thread a few contrasting beads on the wire before you begin the spiral.
- Attach your pendant to a chain or ribbon necklace using the jump ring.
Tips for Beading Hearts
- When purchasing seed beads, remember that the more inexpensive brands are likely to have holes that are not drilled evenly or beads that are not uniform in shape. This isn't a problem in projects that have many strands of seed beads threaded closely together, but the design of the beaded heart will magnify any imperfections in your beads. Therefore, it's smart to spend a little extra cash to help make your project look its best.
- If you don't have access to beading wire, try bending a metal paper clip to use as the basis for your beaded heart.
- Seed beads are easy to drop, especially if you're not accustomed to projects that require great attention to detail. Cover your work surface with a beading mat or a clean towel, then place your seed beads in a shallow dish before you begin your project. This will make it easier to clean up any beads that you happen to spill.
Uses for Beaded Hearts
The basic heart design described in this article can be used in many different ways. You can make smaller hearts into earrings that match your pendant necklace. You can stitch hearts onto handmade greeting cards or scrapbook pages. A string of hearts could be used as a keychain or one heart could be attached to the end of a ribbon bookmark. You might even include hearts in a shadow box with wedding memorabilia. If you challenge yourself to think creatively, you may be surprised by how many uses you discover for your cute heart-shaped embellishments!