February 28, 2012

DIY Antique Victorian Padlock Pendant Necklace

Think of a symbol of love, and a heart probably springs to mind first. I'd bet every woman owns a heart-shaped piece of jewelry!

I decided to be a little less obvious, however, when I came up with this necklace. Don't get me wrong - I love hearts as much as the next girl - but I just wanted something a bit different. Since I love all things Victorian, I decided to seek out an antique padlock from the time period.

This one seemed perfect! It's kind of a stylized heart - with the narrower bottom and the rounded part at the top of each side - but it's not too obvious at first glance. I like to think of it as a "key to your heart"-type piece. It would make a great gift for a girlfriend, Christmas, or Valentine's Day.

To find your own padlock pendant, search on Etsy or Ebay!

I fell in love with the tiny door over the keyhole. It has a crown and the letters V.R. (Victoria Regina, or Queen Victoria) etched on it, and "patent" is etched on either side of the hole underneath. They're simple details, but they give the piece a lot of history and charm. I wonder what this was used for! Was it used by the Royal Household?

I tied it onto a piece of bright red ribbon. I thought it would be a nice change from a chain, as this one would require a very thick and chunky one so as not to break. Not quite my style, so I went with this. You could also use some kind of cording, like satin or leather!

I also left the slightly-rusty part around the top. If you find a lock with more rust, just file or sandpaper it off, wipe with a damp cloth, and then seal with Rustoleum (or something similar) to prevent further rusting.

Here's the keyhole underneath. I don't know if I could find a replacement key, but as I have no intention of using this as a lock, it's not important.

I think I'll wear this with the little door slightly ajar, so that you can see all the details of this fascinating little lock at one glance. It's a pretty versatile pendant - you can wear it with jeans and a leather jacket to add some sweetness and softness , or you can go boho and pair it with a breezy, gauzy summer dress. You could also put it on a shorter cord or chain and wear it as a bracelet.

How would you wear this? I'd love to hear your ideas.

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