DIY Ex-Voto Sacred Heart

DIY Ex-Voto Sacred Heart
It's time for another Junk Revision Challenge. A monthly blog hop where we transform so called "junk" into something better. This month's challenge is "HEARTS / VALENTINES" ideas. I love a good creative challenge... and coming up with new ways to reuse things is something that I truly love… and when I found this item at the dollar store I couldn't wait to use in my crafting... the time to use it had arrived...

For this challenge I decided to figure out a way to make something that I love but can't afford to buy... a silver ex-voto Sacred Heart.

This is an example of one from Edith and Evelyn's Etsy shop. They are usually engraved silver and sometimes are studded with rhinestones. I just love what they represent.. the most beautiful heart... Jesus' heart and just how beautiful they are to look at. Since I don't have money in the budget to buy one... I tried to figure out how I could get the look by making one myself.

So this is what I began with... some disposable tin serving trays from the Dollar Tree. (When I found them I knew that they would come in handy for future projects.) I just love the embossed pattern and figured they would be perfect for making my ex-voto. The other materials... a white blouse that no longer fit me and had gotten some paint stains... some rhinestone chain found at a garage sale and some pretty cross embellishments that I had bought a while back at Hobby Lobby (which also sells the rhinestone chain by the yard).

  1.  I started by cutting out a paper shape and tracing the outline onto the aluminum tray.
  2.  Using a heavy duty pair of scissors cut out the shape. (be careful when cutting as the edges can be sharp and can prick you)
  3.  I wanted it to have an antique silver look so I mixed some black paint with clear glaze and matte varnish. Using a brush I painted it on the entire piece. Using a rag to wipe the excess off, I continued these two steps until I was happy with the result. Then I left it to dry. 
  4.  To make the heart a little firmer I adhered it with hot glue to a stiff thin piece of cardboard.  In hindsight I would probably do this step before adding the aging glaze.
  5.  Cut out the shape once again. And you now have a sturdier heart on which to adhere the rhinestone chain.
The last step is to start at the bottom and go up one side adhering the rhinestone chain with hot glue a little bit at a time. The last part was to add the rhinestones to the flame. I used the same heavy duty pair of scissors to cut the rhinestone into the lengths I needed. Where the flames are pointed on top I cut only one or two rhinestones and added them last as it was not easy to get sharp angles with the one strand.

  1.  You could put your finished piece in a shadow box... I happened to use a little wooden drawer that I picked up at a garage sale for $2. I used foam core as a backing and marked it to fit inside.
  2.  Using an exacto knife I cut where I had marked and tested to see that it fit in the drawer.
  3.  Make sure to cut the fabric you will use as a backing a little larger than the foamcore backing.
  4.  Adhere  the excess edges to the the back of it with hot glue making sure to stretch it tight to get out all the wrinkles.
  5. Pop it into place and you are ready to add the heart.
I liked the simple chenille style texture of the white fabric. Subtle enough with just a touch of texture and interest. I think it would look great with some velvet fabric behind it just as well.

I know it is not the real deal but until I can afford one... I am happy to look at it and be reminded of the heart that burns with love for me and awaits my love in return.

Now to find the perfect place to display it...
Hope you have a wonderful Valentine's day! 


Make sure to check out more Valentine's ideas by my fellow Junk Visionaries below...

Partying at these locations...

Something to Talk About @ Spain Hill Farm
Inspire Me Monday @ Sand  and Sisal
The Scoop @ Stone Gable
Project Inspire @ Cupcakes and Crinoline 
Before and After Linkup @ Thrifty Decor Chick

Moonlight and Mason Jars @ Cherished Bliss
Inspire Me Tuesday @ A Stroll Thru Life
Wow Us Wednesdays @ Savvy Southern Style
Talk of the Town @ My Repurposed Life
Dream Create Inspire @ Refresh Living
Swing into Spring @ DIY by Design
What's It Wednesdays @ Ivy And Elephants

Creative Spark @ Two Purple Couches
Share Your Cup Thursday @ Have a Daily Cup of Mrs. Olson
Home and Garden Thursday @ A Delightsome Life
Share Your Style @ The Vintage Nest
Treasure Hunt Thursday @ From My Front Porch to Yours

Brag Worthy Thursday @ Bless'er House
Think and Make Thursdays @ Little Red Brick House
The Creative Circle @ Up to Date Interiors
Vintage Charm @ Charm Bracelet Diva
Shabbilicous Fridays @ The Shabby Art Boutique
Feathered Nest Fridays @ French Country Cottage
Simple and Sweet Fridays @ Rooted In Thyme
The Inspiration Gallery @ craftberry bush
Creativity Unleashed @ Practically Functional
Show and Tell Friday @ My Romantic Home
the weekend retreat @ AKA Design
Inspiration Friday @ The Painted Drawer

A morning Cup of Joe @ The Cottage Market
Upcycled Link Party @ Funky Junk Interiors
Inspiration Friday @ The Painted Drawer 
Best of the Weekend @ Sweet Pea

Saturday Sparks @ Pieced Pastimes
Share it One More Time @ One More Time Events
DIY Sunday Showcase @ The Interior Frugalista
Sundays at Home @ Love of Home

Silver Pennies Sundays @ Finding Silver Pennies
Inspired By You @ Reinvented
Inspiration Monday @ What Meegan Makes
Amaze Me Mondays @ Dwellings
Get Your DIY On @ Confessions of a Serial DIYer


  1. Wow what an ingenious way to make your heart ! Think it looks great and love your tutorial too.

  2. Lucy, what a beautiful daily reminder of God's love for us!! I'm impressed with how you made this from the materials you did!! Very cool!!

  3. you know I love everything about this. I am totally going to look for those trays at the dollar store, what a great material idea!!! I always look for drawers, but haven't hit the jackpot yet...soon I hope!!!

  4. Lucy you always come up with the cutest ideas ...Very Cute!!!

  5. I have never thought about using an aluminum tray in my crafting! Thanks for the inspiration!!! This is a great idea.

  6. I have used these trays in the past but have never cut one up - how ingenious. Love your heart and the display - so creative and pretty. Cathy

  7. Okay now this is fabulous! I've always wanted an ex-voto heart, too, and yours is creative and just perfect. I don't think that you need another one, this one is great:) xoKathleen

  8. Totally loving this project Lucy! It's so lovely, and to think that it started with an aluminum tray. Great idea!

  9. Lucy, I thought the one your made was the one you were copying! Fabulous! I have to go back and reread. Pinning

  10. That really doesn't look like a disposable aluminum tray. Love the embellishments.

  11. Lucy this is gorgeous! I love it so much!

  12. I think I like your's better than the original, it's precious and I'd never have guessed it was made from an aluminum tray!!

  13. I could not believe you started with a dollar store tin plate. Amazing. I'm so inspired!

  14. Love this heart. It looks very vintage and lovely.

  15. Oh my Lucy how clever is this idea! Your Ex Voto Sacred Heart looks so expensive. Pinning to share :)

  16. Wow, you've really made this look great, I'm never going to look at serving trays the same again.

  17. Thanks for linking up over at Vintage Charm! xo Kathleen

  18. I absolutely love this! One of these antique hearts was on my someday wish list - but I think I might borrow(steal) your idea instead!

  19. That is too lovely for words! I have been eyeing those trays forever, wondering what crafty thing to use them for...this is IT. Thanks for the awesome tute, Lucy!

  20. You're brillant Lucy! Thanks for sharing your lovely tutorial at The Creative Circle.

  21. What a creative idea! I love your monthly challenges and seeing what everyone comes up with.