This was a project I had had in my head for months, but could never find the time to make it.  I have a basket of mussel shells that were left over from my friend’s Maine wedding sitting by my desk and their beautiful blue color was just taunting me… wanting to be made into something!  After my friend Haley made some beautiful mussel shell earrings, I knew I needed to finally make my garland and finally found an afternoon to make it happen.

Mussel Shell Garland

What you’ll need:

  • Mussel Shells – lots of them!
  • Drill
  • 3/64″ Drill bit
  • Scrap wood
  • High Gloss Acrylic spray
  • Thin twine
  • Beads
  • Scissors

First thing was to go through and get a bunch of my mussel shells and drill 2 holes in each shell to start turning them into a garland.  I think I ended up with about 30 shells.  Drill a hole, 1 on each side toward the ends of the shell.  Make sure to do this on top of a piece of wood so when the drill bit goes through, it won’t hurt your work space.

After I drilled the holes, I sprayed both sides of the shell with an acrylic, high gloss spray with helps bring out the white & deep blue of the shell.  Let it dry.

Now you’ll line up your shells into the order you want.  I opted to do groupings of 3 and put a bead on each end.  Pull out your twine and start threading everything through.  I started from the far right and worked my way left.  To keep everything in place, I tied a knot before and after the bead, and on each side of the 3 shells.  I also left a little room in between my groupings so I could have a longer garland without using as many shells.  There was probably about 3-4″ from bead to bead.

Naturally Cleo enjoyed this part of the process and played with the twine until she fell asleep next to it.

After 6 groupings of shells, I cut the end and put it on the mantle to see how it turned out!

I had more shells that I had drilled, so I decided to thread those through more twine to create a second one.  I did this version one shell after another only with knots at the end to keep them from sliding off.

I was so excited to make my mussel shell garland, but I just wasn’t quite as excited when I finished this project.  The bottom of the shells are heavier, so when they hang, you really only see the side of the shell, not the top which I think is the prettiest side.

Such is crafting sometimes!  Luckily I have an idea of what I want to do with my garland that I think I (and you) will love even more 🙂

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