I love the novelty 'dangler' brooch styles of the 1940s and 50s - you often see them in Bakelite, celluloid and other old plastics, and in any and all kitschy themes you can think of. I decided to go with love letters as it seemed appropriate for February, but as far as I'm concerned hearts and love letters are year-round motifs.
To make my brooch I used:
- White shrink plastic (I used Shrinkles, purchased on eBay)
- Black and red Sharpies
- Bow brooch finding (I got mine at Hammersmith Vintage Fair, but you can find similar on Etsy)
- Plastic heart charms (Etsy)
- 3x2mm flat metal chain (eBay)
- 5mm jump rings (eBay)
- Hole punch and pliers
To make the shrink plastic love letters I cut rectangles from shrink plastic sized about 1 1/4" x 2", shaping them so the sides were slightly curved to give them an air of movement. Then I added detail with Sharpies to make them look like postcards and envelopes (add a design to both sides, so that it doesn't matter if they flip when wearing). I punched holes in one corner using a regular office hole punch.
Once shrunk, the love letter charms measure about 1" x 1/2", and the punched holes are just the right size.
To assemble the brooch I cut three lengths of the chain, one 1 3/4" long and two 1 1/2" long, then attached the heart charms and love letters with jump rings. I then attached the three chains to the brooch finding with a single jump ring.