Type to search

Design on a Dime: Three Heart Pendants

Tags: ,

Design on a Dime: Three Heart Pendants

Erin Strother
erins 2 years ago

It’s February—the month traditionally set aside for romance—and that means you can’t stick your nose out the door without being accosted by all manner of foofy hearts, flowers, jewelry and chocolate.

I used to totally buy into the whole Valentine’s mystique when I was about 12 years old, with delusions of handsome future suitors whispering Shakespearian sonnets by candlelight, scattering rose petals on satin sheets and feeding me designer chocolate.

But that never happened. Like, not even a little.

By my mid-20s, I figured out that I might have vastly overestimated the romantic limitations of the entire male species by about 200,000%, and by my 30s I just accepted reality and started buying chocolate for myself. In my 40s, I started lobbying congress to officially change the name “Valentine’s Day” to “National Day of Disappointment,” which I believe more accurately describes what this holiday truly represents.

To illustrate my point, here’s a totally realistic example of a conversation I recently had on Valentine’s Day:

Significant Other: “Happy Valentine’s Day, Honey! I was going to buy you chocolate, but then I thought it might make you fat, so I bought you this organic, free-range, non-fat, gluten-free chocolate instead. It’s made entirely of lentils and kale.”

Me: “Uh…is there any actual chocolate in that so-called ‘chocolate?’”

Significant Other: “No. It’s entirely chocolate-free. Did I mention it’s also gluten free? Because I read somewhere that gluten is a thing now, and you shouldn’t have it. So, I also bought you this package of gluten-free meat.”

Me: “I’m going out to buy some actual chocolate now, and a giant bucket full of gluten to dunk my head into and roll around in.”

Significant Other: “But you’ll be back in time to make me a fabulous Valentine’s dinner, right?”

Given my cynicism, you’re probably thinking I really didn’t want to make a valentiney, heart-type project for this month’s blog. Which would be correct, except for the fact that I had a bunch of leftover heart beads from a Valentine’s project I was commissioned to create earlier this month. So I figured why the heck not? Might as well use those suckers up somehow, right?

heart pendants whiteLR

So here are three different pendant designs for you, all overflowing with leftover heartfulness and as an added bonus, also completely gluten-free. A full list of all the materials and instructions are FREE for the clicking, but keep in mind these pendants were all created with the idea that you can easily customize each one to your own taste and substitute whatever accent beads you have available in your stash, so you’ll have enough money leftover to buy even more chocolate and several pounds of gluten for yourself later.

I painted some of the heart beads using Vintaj patinas to give them a more custom look, but fingernail polish works great as a substitute if you don’t feel like squandering your chocolate budget on craft supplies. Or, feel free to leave the heart beads silver if you prefer.

For the black pendant, I originally envisioned more of a biker-chick thing with some spikes and maybe a cool skull, but I had a cold and was far too lazy to drive to Michael’s to buy those supplies, plus this was supposed to be about using accent beads you already have, so I ended up going for more of a Victorian look with a couple of pearls and a black briolette. (I know, not as cool as a skull, but hey, total laziness is a powerful motivator.)

The stacked floating heart pendant is super-easy, and any bead(s) small enough to fit inside the heart frame is fair game. (Tip: tiny seed beads are perfect for filling any small space gaps.)

heart pendants tanLR click me

Now, pour yourself a glass of champagne, turn on a chick flick, dive into the chocolate (or gluten, or whatever your thing happens to be) and make a batch of these for yourself and maybe a romantically-challenged friend, while reminding yourself it’s only a couple more weeks until March.

Erin Strother

About Erin Strother

Erin Strother is a full-time graphic designer with an obsession for jewelry design living in southern California with her long-suffering husband George and their disobedient dog Swiffer. She has won 6 Pulitzer prizes, an Academy Award for “Best Virtual Sound Editing,” $4 in the California State Lottery, and other prizes too numerous to mention. She is currently working on her first novel, “The Summoning Circle.” (Really!) See more of her work at http://www.studioEgraphics.com and http://www.etsy.com/shop/StudioEgallery.



  1. diana February 17, 2016

    Just found you today. Love your way with words….and beads and chain!

    1. Erin Strother
      Erin Strother February 19, 2016

      Thanks for the kind words, Diana. Keep coming back–I have lots more ideas and I never run out of sarcasm.