These Hearts are Wired

DIY gifting from the heart.

by Charlie Thigpen    Photography by Chuck St. John

DIY gifting

Would you like to be creative and give your special Valentine something a little different? Use copper grounding wire, a pair of pliers and your own two hands to shape a special gift. Last year, I made hearts of all sizes and attached small, glass bottles and beads to them for Valentine’s gifts. Rose buds and roses were placed in the water-filled bottles to top out these simple arrangements. These hearts can be hung in a window, on a wall, a door or anywhere fitting. Here’s how to make a simple and unique memory.

Get Wired

Copper grounding wire can be found at most hardware stores. This soft metal wire is easy to bend and shape. It also gets better with age, as moisture and time will give it a greenish-blue patina. Some hardware stores sell it by the foot but you can buy it cheaper by the roll. Six- and eight-gauge wire works well. Six-gauge wire runs about 85 cents per foot, and eight-gauge is a little thinner in diameter and costs about 65 cents per foot. Pliers equipped with wire cutters work well for making cuts. Pliers also help in making tight bends in the wire.

Where to Start

Before making any cuts to your wire, shape your heart the size you want. Then you can make a cut. You might want to cut the wire a little long so you can overlap the ends. Next, wrap a few other pieces of wire around the heart-shaped frame to give it more strength and bulk.

Add a Bottle and Some Bead Bling

Snugly wrap wire around the neck of a small bottle and attach it to the heart frame. The bottle will be used as a vase to hold a few flowers or showy foliage. If you don’t want to mess with fresh flowers and water in the bottle, you can tuck in a few dried flowers. For a little color, you can use a thinner gauge wire to string a few glass beads, then  attach the string of beads to the heart and allow the strand to dangle.

DIY Gifting

Homemade and one-of-a-kind art projects are special and from the heart. So instead of heading to the florist or grabbing a grocery store bouquet, you can go to the hardware store and grab some copper wire.  Make a heart your Valentine will always remember.  •

Charlie Thigpen is a horticulturalist and the owner of Garden Gallery in Pepper Place.

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