For Valentine’s Day, many people give chocolates, flowers, a nice dinner out, and maybe even jewelry. But making your own can be a much more personal gift, and will impress your Valentine just as much. The idea may seem difficult, but it’s really rather easy once you know the steps and have the proper tools. Following these instructions will help you make a pin that your loved one will wear throughout the year.
Although many men will balk at the idea of jewelry making, this is a rather masculine way to make something that your girlfriend or wife will love. You get to work with wire, pliers, and files. There’s also the possibility for using a hammer and nails. So although you may be hesitant to take it up as a hobby or career, it will be fun to try it once.
First, you will need a wire jig. This can be purchased at craft stores, or you can make your own. A purchased one is more convenient, but a homemade one will give you a greater range. If you decide to make your own, you will need a small flat board. Any type of wood that will hold a nail is acceptable. Then, you should draw a grid on it. The size of the grid will depend on what you are making. Because you are making a pin, the grid size should be fairly small. Plan on making a grid made of quarter inch squares.
The easiest designs to make are Celtic designs, because they offer a complex design that is easy to follow. You can do a search for Celtic Design images and print off your favorite. Make sure that the size is the appropriate size for a pin that can be worn on her clothing. Once you have one the right size, you are ready to transfer it to the grid.
When transferring it, make sure that you keep in mind where the nails will be. You need to have the ability to wrap wire around a nail, and your design must take this into account. You may need to resize the design slightly to make it fit. Also, you should make sure the design is created out of just one piece of wire. This is easy to do with Celtic designs, but their difficulty comes from having to weave the wire in and out of spaces. Take your time and do your best.
Once you have your design transferred, you are ready to begin wrapping. Hammer the nails exactly where they should be according to your design. The wire wraps around these to create the design for the brooch. You can purchase wire from a craft supply store, and you should not use other types of wire because they are not suitable for jewelry. Try using a half hard wire, and if you have questions, ask a salesperson for help. Make sure to use an appropriate gauge too. It should not be too thick, but it should also not be too thin. 16 gauge is a good start.
Leave a half inch extra wire at the beginning of your design. This will create the clasp. Begin at one end. If you have a design that is vertical, you need to begin at the bottom so that the pin portion will be at the top. Wrap the wire half-way around the nails, using your design as a guide. When you are finished, leave several inches extra. This will form your pin.
In order to finish the brooch, use the half inch you had from the start and form a small half circle in the back of the design. This will serve as a catch for the pin so that it does not come loose. If you have some left from this, you can cut it off. Make sure to file down this end so that it does not snag clothing or skin. Take the other end that is several inches long and use pliers to fold it over against the back of the design so that it meets the clasp. You should cut it off so that the wire ends exactly at the far end of the clasp. Make sure to file this, so that it forms a sharp point.
As a Valentine’s Day present, nothing beats jewelry. Just take a look at the type of jewelry your lady wears to get an idea as to her tastes. Imagine her eyes when you hand her a piece of beautiful jewelry that you made yourself. She will be impressed with the results, and will wear it often to show all her friends the beautiful jewelry you made for her.