Sunday, December 19, 2010

Make a Necklace from Shells

Before: Shells
We love collecting shells and we love turning shells into beads. Sometimes we use the shells as accent beads, sometimes the shells become focal beads and sometimes all we use all the shells. This necklace was simple to make, but very time consuming to construct.

Stringing materials 
G-S Hypo Cement or other glue

Bead board (optional)
Drill & micro drill bits (size 62)

After: Long Shell Necklace by GeltDesigns
Step 1
Gather the shells and clean them.

Step 2
Use a bead board to arrange the shells as you want to string them.

Step 3
Drill the shells to make each shell into a bead. Use water to lubricate the shells when you drill so the shells do not break. Drilling shells requires the same technique as used when drilling glass.  

Tip: Practice with your less favorite shells before you begin drilling the shells for your project. Shells are fragile and some may break.

Close Up of Strung Shells
Step 4
String the shells. We used Beadalon wire but you can use almost any stringing material. We created an "endless strand" so we needed no findings.

Step 5
Tie the stringing material into a knot and add a drop of glue to secure the knot. We used G-S Hypo Cement, but many other jewelry makers have other favorite glues.

Step 6
Feed the extra stringing material back through the shell beads on either side of the knot and create two more knots-- one on each side of the original knot for additional security. Add a drop of glue to each additional knot.

Related Tutorials
How to Drill Glass
How to Use a Bead Stopper 
How to Store Beads 

Close Up: Shell Necklace by GeltDesigns
Further Reading 
"Shell Art: A Handbook for Making Shell Flowers, Mosaics, Jewelry, and Other Ornaments"; Helen K. Krauss; 1976.
"Puka shell Hawaii: The story of puka shell jewelry in the Hawaiian Islands"; Paul Joel Mattes.
"Hawaiian Shell Lei Making: A Step by Step Guide"; Laurie Shimizu Ide; 2005.

Beginning Beading
"Teach Yourself VISUALLY Jewelry Making and Beading (Teach Yourself VISUALLY Consumer)": Laurie Shimizu Ide; 2007.
"Jewelry Making & Beading For Dummies"; Heather Dismore, Tammy Powley
"Beading VISUAL Quick Tips"; Chris Franchetti Michaels

Day 29. Week 5. Month 2. Jewelry from Found Objects.  $ spent: 0
Found materials: Shells
New Jewelry a Day.  

1 comment:

  1. I've been meaning to try this for ages! Thanks for the inspiration. I shared it on my Facebook and Twitter!