There's something alluring about a locket and the history it may hold. They are beautiful and elegant, they're available in a variety of sizes and shapes, and most importantly, they can hold the image of the person most special to you. Lockets have a look and feel of antiques, no matter how new they are. But where did they come from, who wore the first one, and who made them so popular?
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The Rich History of Lockets
The idea of wearing the things we treasure around our necks isn't new. Mothers used to wear their baby's first lost tooth around their necks in a napkin. Lovers of old have been known to exchange a lock of hair or even wear a vial of each other's blood - Billy Bob Thornton and Angela Jolie. Whatever the object, we seem to cherish a little keepsake of the thing we love most.
About 800 years ago, during the Renaissance, artists painted portraits of loved ones inside of lockets and then embellished them with jewels. Miniature portraiture was a specialty that few mastered due to the amount of labor and skill involved. Queen Elizabeth I wore a ring that held the exquisite images of herself and her mother, Anne Boleyn, who had been killed by her father, King Henry VIII.
As a demonstration of their favor, Queen Elizabeth I and Queen Cleopatra of Egypt gave some of their courtiers' lockets with their images inside. It was considered a great thing to wear the image of royalty in a locket around your neck. It showed that you were favored and loyal.
By the 18th century, lockets were gifts of love, worn around the neck, so the loved one's image is close to the wearer's heart. And today, with modern photography and engraving, a beautiful locket enclosing a precious image is available to anyone who wants one.
Choose the Right Locket
When choosing your locket, here are a few things to consider:
- Neck size and length of chain. A locket is usually worn a little low on the chest to be near the wearer's heart. So do a quick measurement with a soft tape measure to estimate how long you want it to hang.
- Your height. Your locket will be a focal point of your outfit, so ensure that it makes the right statement and enhances your appearance. If you're under 5'4", don't go too long with the chain.
- Your wardrobe. What kinds of clothes are you likely to wear with your locket? Do you favor more classic looks, or are you more trendy? Consider how you dress when deciding on a locket style.
The shapes, sizes, and colors are so varied in locket design that you can easily find just the right one for you and your wardrobe. Purchase a locket that makes the right statement.
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Choose the Perfect Picture
Here are 6 tips on choosing the right photo for your locket:
- Pick a high-resolution image that's clear and sharp.
- Get a copy if you don't want to fold, cut, or bend the original photo.
- Consider the shape of the locket - an oval shape is perfect for a pic of one person.
- Can your locket hold one or two photos? Check to be sure.
- Black and white or color image. Color photos look more modern, while black and white photos have a vintage feel.
- Ensure the picture will mean a lot to you well into the future.
How to Put a Picture in a Locket
Photocopying the Locket
Use this method if you have easy access to a photocopier. This method works best if your locket opens flat.
- Open the locket and place it face down on the copier.
- Take a copy, ensuring the copier is set at 100%.
- Cut out the image of the locket's inner recession (where the photo will go).
- Take this cut-out shape, lay it on your photo, minding the positioning.
- Carefully cut out the picture to be used in the locket.
- Use a dab of glue and fasten the photo into the locket.
- Don't close the locket until the glue is dry.
- Enjoy your new locket.
This is a basic but useful method if you don't have a copier or your locket doesn't open flat.
- Open the locket as wide as possible.
- Take a piece of tracing paper or regular paper.
- Hold it onto the side of the locket with the recess and use a pencil to trace around the inner edges carefully.
- Try not to crease the paper - that might affect the size and shape of your' template.'
- Cut out the form, then lay it onto your photo, minding the positioning.
- Carefully cut out your photo.
- Use a bit of glue on the inside of the locket and fasten the picture.
- Let the glue dry before you close the locket.
Using Ink or Paint
This method will give you a more accurate outline of the shape if you don't mind a little mess. Use water-soluble, washable ink or paint. But skip this method if your locket is valuable or intricate in design.
- Test the paint or ink on the locket first. Make sure the paint easily comes off with a damp cloth.
- Open the locket and find the side that the photo will occupy.
- Press it into the ink pad or dip it onto paint that has been spread thinly onto a paper plate.
- Stamp it onto a piece of paper and quickly remove the paint from the locket.
- Cut out the shape and press it onto your photo - being careful not to get wet paint or ink onto your picture.
- Carefully cut out the image.
- Put a dab of glue inside the recess and attach the photo.
- Let the glue dry before you close the locket.
The Last Word on Lockets
Now that you've gotten your photo in your locket, you might want to ensure that it stays there. You may obtain an acid-free sealer from a craft store that you can paint over the photo. It will protect it from water, time, and other damage.
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