JEWELRY TUTORIAL: Wood Conversation Heart Necklace

Valentine's Day always makes me think of candy conversation hearts. I was pondering how to use the real candy for jewelry, when it dawned on me that I could paint a wooden heart to look like a conversations heart. This is a great craft for kids to give them a sweet message, or have them create their own. I drilled a hole to attach my heart to the chain necklace, but you can glue a bail to the back instead, if you don't want to use the drill. Since I drilled the hole, I was able to write two messages. If you chose the bail option, you'll be limited to one. Ok, on to the tutorial!

  • 1 Small wood heart - I bought a pack of 12 from a craft store
  • Acrylic paint - For painting the hearts. You can use any bright candy like color
  • 1 Small flat paint brush - For painting the hearts
  • 1 Black fine paint pen - For writing
  • Mod Podge Matte or Outdoor - For sealing the painted wood
  • A cup with water - For cleaning the brush of paint and Mod Podge
  • Paper towels - For cleaning the brush of paint and Mod Podge
  • Foam plate - I'm fond of foam plates for holding paint while I work, but you can use something else if desired
  • Wax paper - For protecting your work surface from the paint and Mod Podge
  • Dremel drill with a small drill bit - For drilling the holes in the wood. I have a 7.2V Cordless MultiPro. It has 2 speeds and works well enough for my limited needs. The bit in my drill is 5/64"
  • A thick phone book or magazine - For protecting the work surface while drilling
  • 3 Silver jump ring - For attaching the pendant and making the chain necklace
  • 2 Pairs of pliers - For opening and closing the jump rings
  • Wire cutters - For cutting the chain
  • Silver chain - For making the chain necklace
  • 1 Silver lobster clasp - For closing the necklace
  • A fabric measuring tape - For measuring the necklace length
If you aren't confident with or have a power drill, you can use these supplies to add a hook to the back of the hearts.
  • 1 flat back bail - For hanging the heart pendant. I suggest these Heart Bails, since they go with the heart theme. There are rectangle and teardrop bails too. You need the kind with the flat section, for gluing
  • E6000 glue - For attaching the bezel to back of the pendant


1) Pour a little of your desired base paint color onto your foam plate. Using your paint brush, paint the sides and edges of the heart, letting each dry in between. Give them all a 2nd coat if needed.

2) With the paint pen, on the back of the heart, write your message on one side of the heart. Let it dry for a few minutes. If you are drilling your hole, write another message on the other side of the heart. Let it dry for a few minutes. Use real conversation hearts as your inspiration, or come up with your own short message. If you are gluing the bail to the back, you'll only have one message, which looks good too.

3) With the clean paint brush, paint a thin even layer of Mod Podge onto the sides and edges, letting them dry in between. Do a second layer if desired. Once the heart is completely dry, you can move on to the next step.

4) If you don't want to use a drill, you can spread a thin layer of E6000 onto the front of the bezel, and glue it to the back of the heart, with the loop centered in the valley of the heart. Let dry for overnight before wearing.

5) If you do want to use the drill, put the thick phone book or magazine on your work surface. Place the heart on top. With the drill on slow speed, carefully make a pilot hole near the valley of the heart. This is just deep enough to steady the drill while using the fast speed to finish the hole. If you aren't confident with using the drill on fast speed, you can finish drilling the hole on slow. You need to stop every few sections and clear the hole of wood dust.

6) Hold the heart still with your other hand, while you drill. If you don't hold it, the piece will spin freely when the hole is completed and possibly warp the hole. With the drill on fast, finish drilling the hole. Stop every few seconds to clear the hole of wood dust, for faster drilling.

7) With the two pliers, open a large jump ring by moving the ends opposite directions, back and forth, enough to slip the jump ring through the hole in the heart.

8) With your fingers, slip the jump ring through the hole in the heart. Using the two pliers, close the jump ring by moving the ends towards each other until they touch.

9) For the chain necklace, follow my Basic Pendant Chain Necklace Tutorial. You will need the chain, measuring tape, pliers, wire cutters, 2 remaining jump rings, and lobster clasp for this.

That's all for this tutorial. I gave this necklace to my daughter, since she's as sweet as candy...and very talkative. If you want, you can make conversation heart earrings instead, following my Painted Heart Earrings Tutorial, but substituting the messages instead of the hearts design. Happy makery!


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