Introduction: Coconut Shell Aromatherapy Diffuser Necklace for Your Jedi
The coconut shell I used for this project was from a young coconut so the wood color is quite a bit lighter than if I had used a mature coconut. I personally like the taste of the young coconut better and use at least 2 coconuts a week so I have plenty of shells around. If you prefer a darker color to your finished piece try a mature coconut, the shell will be much darker.
I did the cutting on a scroll saw. The rest was done with jewelry files, a utility knife, a drill (dremel) and a sander (with some pliers for assembly). Putting it together took a Head Pin(aka a Bead Pin- used for making beaded jewelry), a Jump Ring(the ring used to hold the necklace) and a necklace that was not being used.
I already had everything used to make this necklace so other than the time I spent, it didn't cost me anything.
Update: I was just asked by a friend what the symbol means. For anyone who doesn't know, it is the symbol for the Jedi Alliance in Star Wars.
Step 1: Sizing the Medallion
For this necklace I used a baby food jar lid as my primary circle, it will be slightly smaller in the end with the sanding and polishing so make it a bit bigger than you want it, my finished shell is just over 2" in diameter. Before you cut away the excess shell you will want to cut out your design, I did not think about it until I had already started and the more shell you have to grab the easier it is to cut. The coconut shell is hard and has veiny areas that will make the scroll saw jump. Be Careful.
Step 2: Template and Cutting
I found the image I wanted to use online and after sizing it appropriately (1.75" dia) glued it in place with basic craft glue. The craft glue will hold it in place but will be removable when we no longer want the template stuck. A 1/8 sized Dremel drill bit was used to drill a pilot hole(not pictured) and the design was cut with the scroll saw. After the design was cut out I was able to peal the template off the inside of the shell with just a little help from a utility knife.
Step 3: Sanding!!!
The dog donated a tennis ball to help save my fingers from the sander. Sanding was done in steps starting with 80 grit sand paper and ending with 400 grit. I do not have the patience to sand by hand so a power sander saves me a headache. Jewelry files helped to refine the cut inner edges. I made this piece for me so I did not file as much as I probably would have if it had been a gift. It is up to you how crazy you want to get with sanding and polishing. After the sanding I worked a TINY bit of coconut oil into the outer shell just to emphasize the pattern in the wood, you could use a stain of varnish if you really want to but I like the natural pattern and color of the shell.
Step 4: Lets Make It an Aroma Diffuser
A plastic cap from my moisturizer fit perfectly as a backing for a scent pad. Using a utility knife I cut the very top of the cap off leaving just enough of the sides so that I could sand them smooth and fit a thin piece of leather inside. After sanding the cap to smooth and even out the edges a butane lighter run very briefly on the sides of the cap took care of any stray bumps or rough spots. A small piece of leather left over from a different project was cut to fit inside the cap. For the scent pad you can use leather, cotton or felt. I prefer leather as it seems to last longer but if you are after a certain color it can be difficult to find it in leather sometimes.
Step 5: Drilling Holes
A 3/32 drill bit was used for the top hole where a jump ring will fit to hold the necklace chain. Because of the way I am attaching the cap with the leather pad, I needed at least one more hole for the head pin. I ended up putting a ring of smaller holes around the outer edge of the shell with one hole being at the very bottom straight down from the larger top hole. the smaller holes were drilled at a slightly horizontal angle into the shell with a 3/64 drill bit. The small holes are more visible in the finished pictures.
Step 6: Putting It All Together.
Add your jump ring to the larger hole at the top of the shell and insert the head pin into the bottom smaller hole directly across from the top hole. Now we are ready to put it all together. Choose a wonderful aroma, I use an essential oil blend but you can use a perfume too. Only add 1-2 drops of your fragrance to the rough side of the leather or you will be overwhelmed by it. Position the cap so the exposed side of the leather (the side you just put fragrance on) is facing the inside of the shell and secure it by threading the head pin through the top hole and wrapping it around the shell. Any extra length on the head pin can be clipped off with a wire clipper. Make sure the end is secured so that it is not scratching or poking you anywhere. To remove the cap holding the leather for future aroma adding you only need to slide it out one side of the shell. The head pin is flexible enough so you should not need to remove it to access your scent pad.
All that is left is to add a necklace, the initial necklace I used was a wood bead strand but I found I liked the simple leather cord better and my hair didn't get caught in it, but it is all about personal preference.