I experimented with several charm-sized items to use for the body of the charm, but ended up settling on metal bottle caps. To start, I pounded each cap flat with a hammer.
I then cut imperfect on purpose circles (a little smaller than the cap size) out of handmade paper scraps from my stash. I glued these to the underside of the cap using matte medium. I also coated the top of the paper with matte medium.
Using my laser printer, I printed out a sheet of love, hope and gives' on transparency film.
After cutting out a single word from the transparency, I glued that to the cap using matte medium. After the cap dried, I painted just a bit using acrylic paints. Then using my Crop-A-Dile (awesome tool) I punched two holes in the cap. One hole in the center of the heart and one at the top for the eventual jump ring.
Using a flattish bead and a mini brad I inserted both through the heart's center hole. To give the look of soldering (no torch involved) I painted Jim Holtz silver alcohol ink on the edge of the charm and around the jump ring circle.
I repeated the step of attaching handmade paper to the back of the charm to cover the legs of the brad. I then painted a bit to enhance (but not cover) the paper. Next I matte mediumed a piece of transparency film with my name to the back. I coated both the front and the back with a satin sealer and inserted the jump ring.
My next challenge-to-self is coming up with something to do with plastic diet coke caps which multiply like bunnies around here. If you have any ideas please share. : )