Introduction: How to Make Matching Seashell Necklaces

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In this instructable you will learn how to make matching seashell necklaces. This can be a kind gift or gesture for couples that have gone on vacation to a beach or something of the like. If you would just like a nifty necklace, that works too!

The design is very simple and isn't meant to be very intricate. It's just a small token of remembrance. The cost of the project shouldn't be more than $5 if you don't happen to have materials lying around.

Let's get to it already!

Step 1: Materials, Supplies, and Tools

The required items for this project are as follows:


- Assorted selection of seashells

- Thin hemp cord


- Drill bit (Approximately same size as hemp cord)

- Sandpaper (Any scrap piece shall do fine, around 200 grit)

- Scrap wood (For a drilling surface)


- Drill or Dremel

- Hand file

- Knife (or other sharp device to split seashell open)

- Scissors

Step 2: Select Your Seashells

For each necklace, I needed two seashells. The pendant of both necklaces were the halves of a seashell and the "buttons" (used for the clasps) were from a flat piece of a seashell.

When selecting seashells the size, color, and strength are factors to consider. I also had a few duplicates of the chosen shell so if I was having difficulties, I could experiment at ease.

Step 3: Split the Seashell

After you select your seashells, it comes time to split the pendant. In order to do this you will need some flat sharp object such as a knife, chisel, or flathead screwdriver (maybe?).

Be sure to keep your fingers clear of where you are applying the force; it will take a significant amount.

I believe the best approach is to aim for the natural split of the shell at the base. If you have difficulty, consider using a fine-tooth saw such as a hack saw to start the split.

After I popped the shell open a little bit of seawater was inside, but nothing too dirty. I gave the shells a good rinse and patted them dry anyhow.

I split the "button" shell with just my hands along the natural contour. It was fairly weak.

Step 4: Drilling and Sanding

Each seashell had two holes drilled in it. The pictures above show the location of the holes. Be sure to go slow and apply minimal force, the shells are fragile!

The fine seashell dust makes quite a mess so be sure to not get it all over the room. After everything is drilled, rinse and dry the shells.

At first, I planned on only putting one hole through each shell but established that it would look better to have the hemp cord go in and out on the same side. If you would like to experiment otherwise, feel free.

Once they are drilled, sand out any sharp corners edges from the splitting or drilling. I didn't spend more than 5 minutes sanding with 320 grit. If I were to select the sandpaper I used, I would have probably gone with a 200 grit.

Rinse and dry the shells again to get rid of any dust.

Step 5: Assembly

Start by cutting the hemp cord; 2 feet of cord is plenty.

Tie a bowline knot at one end. (Instructions)

Insert the pendant along the line. (No knots required)

Insert the button clasp along the line. Position the shell and wrap the necklace around your neck to see if it is the length you want. Adjust accordingly. Tie a square knot to prevent the button shell from moving. (Instructions)

Trim all excess cord at the ends.

You're done!

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