The timeless appeal of the horseshoe in jewelry design is due as much to it being a symbol of good fortune as it is a perfectly symmetrical, unifying focal element. Whether embellished with crystals, hammered for rich texture or punched with holes to hang gemstone bead drops, horseshoe necklaces are a sophisticated staple in every fashionistas’ jewelry wardrobe. The power of the horseshoe as a talisman or amulet to project positive energy and protect the wearer is thought to be gently held within its graceful, yet strong upward curves.
Things You’ll Need
1 mm to 1.5 mm thick or 26-gauge sterling silver or copper flat wire or flat pattern wire
Hole punch or drill
16-gauge jump rings
Flat back Swarovski crystals or hot-fix Swarovski crystals and bejeweling tool
Pre-made sterling silver or copper chain or sterling silver or copper jump rings for chainmail divided into two equal portions for correct size necklace.
Sterling silver or copper toggle clasp or wire to make your own
Ball peen hammer (optional)
Bench block (optional)
Planning and Implementation of the Design
Measure your neck or the neck of the person for whom you are making the necklace at the length you wish the necklace to hang. Generally, a choker-length necklace measures 16 inches, a necklace that sits at the collarbone is about 18 inches or a little longer and a longer necklace that hangs a few inches below the collar bone is 20 inches. A 22-inch necklace sits at or above the neckline and a 24-inch necklace sits below the neckline.
Draw your design on paper to determine the size of the horseshoe focal you desire, the placement of crystals, the placement of holes and the length of chain or chain mail you need to create. Explore the possibilities and your creativity by drawing whatever comes to mind, within the horseshoe design concept. Choose the design that looks the best.
Bend the flat or pattern wire horizontally, keeping the wire flat on the work surface. Hammer smooth wire to give it a surface design texture. Leave smooth spots where the crystals will be placed. Punch or drill a hole in each end of the wire, leaving about 1/2 inch at the end. Trim the square ends off the two ends of the wire to create a point at each end. File the ends until they are round and smooth with no sharp edges. Glue on the flat back crystals or use the bejeweler tool to add crystals according to your design plan.
Weave the chainmail, if you’re using it. Attach the two chain or chainmail sections to either side of the horseshoe with the jump rings. Attach the clasp with a jump ring to one side for the bar and one side of the chain for the toggle.