Gail's Nest · Jewelry

Shell Jewelry

I find looking for shells on the beach a relaxing activity when I’m vacationing in Florida (which I did a few weeks ago to get a blast of sunshine and warmth in the middle of this winter that just won’t seem to end). But what do you do with shells?

I love making jewelry. Each shell is such a work of art. When I pick up a shell I am looking at its  wave-beaten shape; it’s color and patterning; it’s size and sparkle. DSC00236

I take them home and scrub them with soapy water and then let them soak in bleach water or an antibacterial solution. Then I let them air dry on a towel in the sunshine.

We got a little surprised by a hermit crab inside one of them!

Then it’s time to get out the dremel and make some holes!

I used a cork from a wine bottle that I split in half to pose as a base into which I could drill the holes. Drilling through shells is tricky – some that are more fragile will break easily and others, like oyster shells are really too tough to drill through. But with most shells you use a steady hand, a little water and light pressure.

I sprayed a few shells with a sparkly gloss to give them a finished look. And then came the fun part. Here is where I made them into earrings, necklaces, or a little ring holder:


I used a strong glue called E6000 to place mini shells on top of or inside of bigger shells. Another fun technique is to mix up resin to fill up a shell:


Follow directions for mixing – it’s rather messy! But you just pour it into your shell and let it set. I hid a crab-claw inside one of them that I made into a necklace:


Here are the other finished products:

Delicate earrings – so what if they don’t match?
Jacknife clamshell earrings
A ringholder for your rings when you have to knead dough!


This is the one I kept for myself. I gave the others away as gifts.

So fun! Enjoy!




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