Sunday, March 2, 2014

How Do You Mend a Broken Heart?

For my birch bark challenge, I decided to make a heart pendant. I combined a couple ideas I found on Pinterest to come up with my design. The finished product looks like this:

Here's how I made it. I started by tracing half of a heart shape onto some light cardboard. I used a stamp for the shape, and an old cereal box for the lightweight cardboard.
I then flipped the stamp over to trace the same half heart, creating a teardrop shape. I did this process twice so I had two teardrop shapes. Then cut them out.

Next I placed the teardrops on top of each other with a slight overlap to recreate the heart shape. I drew a reference line along the left side of the top teardrop onto the bottom teardrop where they met. Then I drew dots onto each side of the intersecting line to mark the lacing hole placement.
Next I placed the teardrops onto the back of my clean bark, traced the shapes and cut them out. The birch bark is very pliable and easy to cut with regular scissors.

Using a hole punch with a very small bit, I punched holes in the cardboard pattern. I then placed the cardboard shape on top of the birch bark shape, and using a pencil, transferred the hole placement onto the birch bark. I then punched the lacing holes into the bark.

Because the bark overlaps, a second set of lacing holes needed to be punched in the bottom teardrop. So I marked the placement line onto the bark, aligned the teardrops to recreate the heart, and marked the second line of lacing holes onto the bottom teardrop, using the top teardrop for placement.

After punching the holes, the teardrops now looked like this:

Next I turned to making the beaded tassel. Using a long piece gold beading wire, I threaded five small pearl beads. Then I added a larger pearl. I doubled the wire and re-threaded it through the small beads. I repeated this process twice more, then aligned the three sets to form the fringe.

 I gave the wires a twist to hold the fringe in place. Then I threaded the the doubled wire through another large bead to form the head of the tassel.

Using that same doubled wire, I began threading the teardrops together. After the first couple stitches, I couched the tail wire behind the stitches as I continued threading the heart together. I put the wire through each set of holes twice. I had to move the teardrops around a bit as I stitched to align the top and bottom holes on the right side of the heart.

Once the teardrops were laces together, I used the newly formed heart shape to trace another heart onto the back of birch bark (wrong sides together). This way the back of the fob will align correctly with the front of the fob. I then cut the heart shape from the bark.

I next used the pencil to mark the lacing holes around the edge of the front of the fob, and punched the holes. With wrong sides of the bark together, I marked the placement of the lacing holes onto the wrong side of the back of the heart. I punched the holes. Then using the wire, I laced the front of the heart to the back, again lacing the wire through each set of holes twice.

To make the fob's hanger, I looped the wire (over a pencil) from one top hole to the other several times. I then wrapped the wire around and around this loop until it was well covered. I then snipped the wire close to the birch bark and tucked the end in between the bark pieces.

 Here's the back side of the completed fob.

And here's the front of the fob:

I temporarily attached the fob to my sweater as a zipper pull. It can be used this way, or as a fob for a key chain, or as a pendant for a necklace. 


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