Updated: Nov 11, 2021
You've seen the background patterns on the website and you are wondering how you can use them in your designs? Here is a tutorial and a few photos for that spark of inspiration for your next piece.
To create your own heart bracelet, you will need one of Metal Maven's pattern pressings. The one below is a good pattern to use for this project. We also have many other all-over background patterns to choose from on our website.
Pancake Die now available
Sandra Sirles has just release a set of pancake dies that are heart shaped that can be used with with any of Metal Maven's background pressings. This will reduce your production time when making this heart. You can now use a hydraulic press to punch out the heart shape using one of three heart shaped pancake dies.
Find the heart shaped dies at:
Click here to find the heart shaped pancake die
Making the Heart
First, I sawed out a 2" wide heart shape from the pressing and then curved it on a bracelet mandrel.
If you don't have a bracelet mandrel, I can recommend the Cast-Iron Stepped Oval Bracelet Mandrel with Tang from Rio Grande. This is the one that I use. (Rio has not paid me or compensated me in any way for recommending their products.)
You can find the Mandrel here:
After shaping the heart on the mandrel, I used a #5 Half-Round Hand File to smooth the edges.
Making the Bracelet
To make the bracelet, I shaped a piece of 12-gauge Dead Soft Sterling Silver wire on the bracelet mandrel and sized it to a little bit larger than my wrist so that it would hang a little lower on my wrist and rest on the top of my hand. This is my personal preference for wearing a bracelet. For your piece, size it to your own, or your customer's preference.
I shaped one end of the wire into a loop and at the other end of the wire I formed it into a hook using round nose pliers. I then used a flat needle file to smooth the end of the hook to a blunt point.
Assembling the Bracelet
I drilled two holes, one on either side of the heart piece, to accommodate my jeweler's saw blade and sawed out an oval hole large enough for the hook side of my wire. Next, I sawed out a circular hole out on the other side just large enough for the loop side of the wire to fit. I used a round needle file to smooth the inside edges of the holes.
I made sure the loop on the wire was large enough to allow the heart to swing open and close easily, and the hook end was the proper size to pass through the oval hole.
Before adding the wire, I tumbled the heart piece for several hours in a rotary tumbler with stainless steel shot, water, and a drop of Dawn dish-washing liquid, followed by a quick hand polish with a Sunshine polishing cloth. If you do not have a tumbler, you can always polish the piece by ha