DIY Shell Necklaces

Last weekend I felt a twinge of inspiration and decided I wanted to try my hand making some basic jewelry.  Outside of making earrings once at summer camp in Callaway, and hemp necklaces, I’ve never made any jewelry.  Who knows where this came from, but I had an idea, so I headed to Michael’s to figure out what I needed to execute, and naturally found some other stuff I liked.

Sea Shell Statement Necklace

What you’ll need:jewelry01

  • Sea shells
  • Drill
  • 1/16 mm drill bit
  • Paint
  • Paint brush
  • Clear sealer spray
  • Jewelry pliers
  • Necklace chain
  • Jewelry ring clasps

Since I had really no idea what I was doing, I spent a lot of time at Michael’s figuring out what I needed.  Once I had the supplies I thought I needed, I started with the shells.  Before painting them, you need to drill a hole in them to attach it to the necklace.  I grabbed my drill and a 1/16mm drill bit and started slowly drilling the hole.

Make sure the hole is close enough to the edge that the ring clasp can get through it, but far enough away so it doesn’t break.  This was actually easier than I anticipated — I wasn’t sure how drilling into the shell was going to work.  When you’re done, you should have a little hole at the top.

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Once the hole is drilled, it’s time for paint.  Pour a glass of wine, break out a bunch of paints and shells, and start painting.  I wasn’t really sure what I was doing, and just chose some random paints, and went to town.  Next thing I knew, I had some painted shells.

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After the colors on the shells were dry, I sprayed some clear sealer on top of them.

Next, I chose my favorite painted shells and made them into necklaces.  Using the jewelry pliers, I opened one of the ring clasps, put it through the hole in the shell, put a necklace chain in the ring, and closed it so the shell and chain were inside.

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I ended up finding the best chains at Hobby Lobby.  Michael’s had shorter chains (16″ or 20″), and although I bought one, I ended up wanting something longer.  Hobby Lobby had some 30″ chains in a few colors that were the length I was looking for, plus they were adjustable.

This is what the finished product looks like:

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At this point I’ve turned 5 of the shells into necklaces.  I even wore one of the shell necklaces to a Women in Tech event and got some compliments which was kinda cool.  Yay for homemade!

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I’m looking forward to wearing my GT navy & gold one next week for the Clemson / GT game!

As I first mentioned, while I was at Michael’s I saw some turquoise beads I really liked (different sizes of these), and decided to make a simple necklace with those too.  This was ridiculously easy, and I just strung them on some thin brown leather, and tied it around my neck at the desired length.

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I’m actually pretty happy with how the shell necklaces and turquoise necklace turned out!

I think I might make some and list them on my Etsy shop – so let me know if you want one with special colors!  College game day colors maybe??

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