Maori Necklace





Introduction: Maori Necklace

About: Christian, work at Hartsfield Jackson, A&P school, Big Bear Graphics, climb, tune, R/C, quad, LAX, paintball, vinyl, I love anything I can make myself.

Hello Dudes and Dudets! Today I will be demonstrating how I carved my Maori tribal pendant. You can pick one up for like $20 online, but where's the pride in that? This way you will be able to say "I (state your name) made this with my own two hands! " But don't worry it'll be fun! I did mine over the course of a few weeks, just little here and there. Well worth it though.

Step 1: Tools and Materials

You will need a rotary tool, jewelers saw, needle files, cord for the necklace (paracord), thin cord for binding the pendant, fishing line, xacto knife, a bone of course. (I got a cow femur from a friend with a farm) and always use a RESPIRATOR!!

Step 2: Rough Draft

Here you will simply sketch out what you want onto a piece of paper and cut it out.

Step 3: Cutting the Bone

You have to be careful when choosing where to cut the bone, since it is all porus. I've yet to find a solid piece (feel free to chime in if you have one). I found a fairly solid piece in the ball of the femur. Puce you fin it go ahead and cut it off.

Step 4: Trace Your Draft to the Bone

And this is as simple as it sounds. Just cut out your draft and trace it to your bone with a pencil!

Step 5: Initial Shaping

Now for the fun part! It will start taking shape befit you know it! You will take your jewelers saw and start tracing your draft. It should cut pretty easily if you have a sharp blade.

Step 6: Dremel Time!

This is where it gets tedious. I suggest putting on some good mellow tunes and going to town. I'm a big Jack Johnson fan, so plugged in my headphones and went to town. You will simply use you dremel and all the different tips to mill out the design you have chosen to the best of your ability. Theres not a whole lot I can do to instruct you on what to do here, as it varies on your design.

Step 7: Coming Together, Right Now, Over Me.

This is right before I rounded out the center of mine. I was ready to show it off then, but I had to convince myself to do it right and make it look good. Patience is key ladies and gents.

Step 8: Finished!

I was ecstatic to see this thing done! I had been wanting to make one for about 2 years, just never had the time!

Step 9: Lashing

I found another guy on here with a Ibble on lashing his.

i am taking no credit for this! he is the man! i searched all over trying to find out how to do this!

Step 10: Strut Your Stuff

Be proud! YOU did this! You didn't buy it, you made it with your own two hands! It has so much more value because of that, I hope it worked out as we'll for you as is for me! Happy carving!



    • Backpack Challenge

      Backpack Challenge
    • BBQ Showdown Challenge

      BBQ Showdown Challenge
    • Stick It! Contest

      Stick It! Contest

    20 Discussions

    The end and the top are always porus.Use the middle side part look for a white part, white indicates good yellow indicates fat which is not good.Use 60->80->120->300->500->800->1200->2000 sandpaper to finish it it will be as smooth as a mirror.:)

    2 replies

    Are you saying the middle / side of the bone i currently have?

    Yes look for the flattest part it will make working whit it easyer.This is the way i did it:

    1.get the bone(some meat still on it),

    2.remove the ends with a saw

    3.remove bone marrow with a stick

    4.boil in water for 2-3 hours (this will clean the bone if you want you can help it with a hard brush)

    5.soak the bone in bleach for 1 day(or leave it on the sun for 1-2 weeks and turning it from time to time) this will bring the white out in the bone and you will see healthy bone(healthy bone is white, if it is yellow don't use it)(unhealthy bone also looks a bit wet and greasy)

    Soaking the bone in bleach will give it a chalk like outside don't worry it easy to remove.

    The best way to clean a bone is to leave it on an ant hill,the ants will pick it clean in some time(but i live in an apartment sooo no ant hills:)).Do this only in a controlled environment like a backyard not in the city some wild animal(or pet dog) will get your bone.

    6.cut the peace you want and start working on it :)

    ALWAYS WEAR A MASK.The bone contains calcium which can not be cleaned from the lungs.

    Pics from my firs bone carving.

    Cow bone will polish very good, but camel and ostrich beacom like mirrors when polished.Use leg bones (femurs)(or horns if you prefer but not much creativety there) for jewelry as they are the strongest.i've only seen other bones used for scrimshaw.Hope i help feel free to ask questions.Sori for my english :)


    Use some antler. My dad and my brother are hunters and have given me some racks they didn't want. That stuff is hard and non-porous. I'm wearing an antler necklace with carved antler beads right now and I made a Maori style necklace a few years back.

    2 replies

    I have considered the use of stag before, great medium! Just cant find a piece wide enough for me :(

    I never got around to lashing it, but this is the one I made. It's about 2" long, much smaller than yours, so I see why antler won't work. You might be able to find pieces of elk antler on Ebay.


    A great place to get non porous bone is pet supermarket, or just a larger pet store, and look in the chew toy section for bone. Now some of them have like peanut butter in the middle but I've found them with out in the same section. Its about 5-10$ for a good 6-7in long bone that can be cut up into numerous pieces so you can make soooo many carvings. I recommend taking a small flash light with you, because when selecting a bone you want the one with the least amount oil in it. To check for this you shine the flashlight into the bone and see if you can see the light, there is a big distinction between if there is oil or not. The oil sections make the light glow different the a warm subtleness if it was just a thinner section of the bone. The oil sections are not very good for carving. This is where i usually get my bone for carving but using a femur like above or deer antlers is also a great idea. Fantastic instructable hope to see more :)

    1 reply

    Hmm... Ill have to keep looking. i have checked MULTIPLE pet stores around me, and the closest thing i can find is just the rolled rawhide stuff, or a big baked bone.

    This is awesome! I didn't know you could use a cow femur to do this. Great job!

    1 reply

    That's great! I just bought a rotary tool and I'm planning to make some jewelry from bones too :)

    1 reply