Introduction: Avocado Beads
Avocado is a nutritious and delicious fruit (that is technically a berry) and I eat a ton of them! That often leaves me with a nice avocado seed. Usually I would plant it, but I'm terrible at keeping avocado plants alive for long enough, and theres a limit to how many avocado plants I actually need. So what else to use this lovely seed for?
Well, turns out they get pretty hard when they dry up! And they are really easy to carve when they are fresh. So one thing to do with them, is making your own beads!
When the beads are dry, they feel like a cross between wood and cork.
For this you need:
- Avocado seeds (obviously!)
- Sand paper
Step 1: Split It!
The very first step you have to do, is to eat your avocado, enjoy it, and wash the seed! It might help to let it dry a bit for a few hours, mostly as its often a bit slippery. But I'm not sure if it makes much difference in regards to the end result.
Avocado seeds are usually two halves where the tree would normally sprout in between if you plant it. If you were to dry an avocado seed without doing anything about it, it would break into these two halfs, so you might as well just split them from the beginning. Carving from the entire seed won't work once it dries up.
Cut the bottom of the seed and you can usually see where it would split. Sometimes it can be hard to see, and it might help peeling a bit of the 'skin' off. If you still have trouble finding it, take a wild guess and shove your knife in from the bottom and twist it gentle and see where it splits. Hopefully you found the spot and it will split somewhat naturally.
Step 2: Carve
The first avocado seeds I used were pretty small, so I could only carve two beads from one seed (one from each half). I learned that there is a limit as to how small a bead can be, and still keep somewhat its shape. The threshold is around 1cm. Much smaller than that, it will most likely end up wrinkly when it dries up. This can of course be a desired trait.
Keep in mind that they shrink a bit! My first bead was 1,5cm when fresh, and shrank to 1cm when dry.
Cut the seed half into a shape. If you want it as spherical as possible, start with a square. Carve away the edges, carving away smaller and smaller pieces until you got a ball.
Drill a hole, and remember that this hole will shrink a bit as well. I used a 3,2mm drill when fresh, and it fitted my 3mm drill when dry.
Let them dry in a sunny windowsill for a day or two. Or for longer, but you might want to turn them a bit every now and then.
Step 3: Drying and Sanding
I'm still unsure what makes some beads wrinkle and some not, except that all the smaller beads I made had wrinkled. But some of the bigger ones has misshaped too at certain places. You might want to turn them every now and then, and see if it effects the end result to keep the shape.
When they've dried for a day or two (or more) you can sand them with a piece of sandpaper to make them more round. You might want drill the hole again if it has misshaped, with a one size smaller drill.
Wash them lightly in some water to get rid of the sanding power, and let them sit a few days more.
Step 4: Done!
Put them on a string, and make some jewellery with them!
You can of course carve them exactly as you want. Or make something completely different than beads.
Next time I plan on carving a little figurine if I can find a big enough avocado seed!