DIY Jewelry Craft: How to Make a Heart-Shaped Button Pin, Brooch, or Pendant
This button pin, brooch, or pendant is perfect for Valentine's Day, or any other day you want to wear your heart on your sleeve (or on your lapel, or around your neck). This romantic jewelry project is easy and uses mainly materials that you probably have around the house.
A thin, but sturdy piece of cardboard, about 3 inches square - I used a small piece of mat board, but you could use the cardboard from a shoe box, jewelry box, or other household container.
A piece of decorative paper (same size as cardboard) to use as a background - this can be tissue paper, wrapping paper, decorative paper or even a paper doily.
Craft glue that dries clear - I used fabric glue because it was what I had on hand.
A bunch of buttons, but you can also use beads and/or broken jewelry - you will be layering these pieces on your heart, so you will need more buttons and other items than what you see in the sample. I would suggest only using flat buttons with no shanks. I also used a few small seed pearls and an old heart locket to add some different elements to my brooch.
ribbon, yarn, or other cording (optional) to use as a border on the heart
a pin back (glue on type) to make your heart a brooch, or ribbon, chain, or cording to attach to use your heart as a pendant
Hints for Choosing Your Buttons
1. Mix up the sizes of the buttons you use - this will create visual interest.
2. Save your good buttons and beads for the top! This project uses a couple layers of buttons - so if you have items that you really love or that are special, make sure you save them for your top layer.
3. Don't be afraid to add color! Even if you want to stay within one color family, try adding just a few elements that are a slightly different color. This will keep your heart from looking flat.
4. The back side of your button might be more interesting than the front. Check out both sides of your buttons - sometimes the back is a different color or design!
Directions for Making a Heart-Shaped Button Pin or Pendant
1. When putting together your heart brooch or pendant, first consider your overall color scheme. I chose to keep my brooch in pastel colors, using mainly white buttons, with hints of purple and blue. I then chose a yarn for my edging to matched this color theme. However, you can use whatever colors your wish for your pin or pendant.
2. Once you choose your color scheme, you will need a heart shape to use as a template. You can find an image on the internet to use, or cut your own template. To make your own, simply fold a piece of paper in half. Draw half of the shape of a heart, using the fold of the paper as your center line. Keeping the paper folded, cut out your half heart, then unfold. You should have a symmetrical heart!
My heart brooch is about 2 1/2 inches tall and about 2 1/2 inches across at its widest point. If you are making a pendant, you will want to make your heart shape smaller than this - probably no more than 2 inches in any dimension.
3. Once you have your heart template sized the way you want, trace it on to your cardboard and your decorative background.
4. Next, glue your decorative paper onto your cardboard heart. This will provide an attractive background where there may be spaces between your buttons and other items.
If you want to use your heart as a pendant, attach a wire jump ring or a loop of yarn, ribbon, or cording at the top and middle of your heart to string it on a cord through later. You can cover the hole or place where your loop is attached with some edging.
(Optional) Take some ribbon, yarn, or cording and glue it around the edge of your heart to cover the sides of your cardboard. There are a few ways to do this:
- You can glue your edging down before starting to layer your buttons and other items. This is what I did so that I knew where to place my buttons and beads.
- You can glue on your edging after all your items have been glued down. Then you can cover up any uneven edges around your heart.
- Or you can choose not use any edging at all, and let your items overlap the sides of your heart (just be careful that you maintain the overall shape of your heart).
5. Now it's time to start adding your buttons, beads, and other items. You will want to start with a basic layer on the bottom. Most of these items will be covered up with other things, but this layer adds visual interest and texture to your heart. You might want to place a few items down and move them around before gluing them in place. I started with the top rounded areas on my heart, and moved down to the point.
6. Once you have an arrangement you like, starting gluing things down. You can fill in some of the areas between your buttons with beads, or let your decorative paper show through.
7. Then start building on top of your first layer, overlapping items and mixing up your sizes and colors. If you do have a button with a shank that you want to use, position it over two buttons so that the shank fits down between them.
Keep on layering your items until you have a composition that you like. Then let your glue dry completely, preferably overnight.
Attaching Your Pin Back or Cord for a Necklace
Once the items on your heart have completely dried, you can turn it over an attach your pin back or cord to use your heart as a necklace. I would suggest placing your pin back about 1/3 of the way down on the back of your heart. This is usually a good placement for having your pin hang flat.
Helpful Hints for Attaching Your Pin Back:
These hints may sound silly, but they can save you a lot of time and frustration:
1. Always make sure your pin back opens and works before attaching it. Unfortunately, I have glued backs on to brooches only to then find that they are broken after I had let them adhere completely.
2. Be sure to place your pin back so that the lever on the clasp end is in the down position when locked (see photo). Sometimes as you wear a brooch, if the lever is on top when in the locked position, the lever can work its way down and open, and your pin can come undone.
© 2014 Donna Herron