Seashell Necklace




Introduction: Seashell Necklace

About: I am a paper engineer, writer, maker and chemist wannabe. In addition to pop-up cards I design and build furniture, lights, costumes or whatever I happen to need at the time. Lipstick, a mixing studio, all-p...

My favorite seashells are the ones which have been battered by the waves, smashed, carved by sand and worn so thin only the iridescent shadow of their former selves remain. I can't walk along the beach and enjoy the sun -- my eyes are glued to the sand, ready to pounce before the next wave pulls its treasure back into the ocean. I collected these fragile shells without knowing how to use them -- they are so friable, most fall to pieces before I even get home -- then I discovered Sugru.

In case you don't know about Sugru, it is a new and interesting material with many qualities and just a few drawbacks: the main quality is that it's as easy (and fun) to use as play doh, but it also bonds to almost anything, does not shrink when it cures, it remains flexible, waterproof, and dishwasher proof once it cures, plus it is heat, cold and UV resistant. The cons are that it is not food grade (meaning you can't use it on anything which will come into contact with food) and it has a limited shelf life -- a few months, not a few years. This is really too bad, because it would be great to have around for odd repairs. Instead you will need to order it online (I don't think it's sold in stores) when you have a specific project or repair in mind.

For this necklace I used two 5g packs of sugru.

Step 1: Wire Foundation

I cut a piece of thin copper wire about 15.5" long (the precise length will depend on your neck and how big you want the necklace to be). You can use any wire which is flexible enough to bend easily, but stiff enough to hold its shape.

Form it into the proper shape around your neck, then use pliers to make one end into an eye, and the other into a hook.

Step 2: Apply Sugru

First, make a snake with one 5g pack of sugru and wrap it around your wire, leaving the hook and eye uncovered.

Next place your shells, a few at a time, in place on the sugru covered wire. Use a second pack to attach the shells from behind. Reinforce the super thin shells with plenty of sugru. 

If necessary, break your shells with your fingers or pliers so they follow the curve of your wire.

Step 3: Cure the Sugru

Place the necklace on a 3D form so it hangs the way it would around your neck. The shells would stick out awkwardly if you let it cure on a flat surface. As you can see I used a pumpkin, but a ball would probably work too.

Curing Sugru 3mm thick takes about 24 hours. If the temperature is below 21°C (70°F) or if your piece is thicker it will take longer to cure.

Step 4: Apply Glue

The thin iridescent shells are so delicate they need to be reinforced on the front, too.

Simply cover them with a thin layer of regular white glue. Not only will it dry clear, it will also make the shells shine even more.

To learn more about my projects go to

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    11 Discussions


    3 years ago

    This is brilliant. My husband and I love to go beach combing and come home with so many shells and so many fragile beauties. I also love Sugru and have made many things with it, e.g., hairpins with Sugru "set" stones. Some of our lovely shells will be beautiful in my long white mermaid hair.

    FYI, I found this Instructable through an email you sent with your latest pop-up cards. I still can't figure out the term "cover." What is a cover for a card? Is it the clear celophane envelope?

    Thank you for the necklace idea. No doubt your will be fun to peruse. Christine


    Reply 3 years ago

    Thanks! That's funny about the "cover" issue. For me the cover is I guess what most people consider the card itself...It's the artwork on the front of the card which you see before opening it. Since I usually just think about/work on the pop-up, the card interior, I neglect the card exterior (the cover). I've always thought of the artwork on the front as kind a a nuisance, but from now on I'll force myself to deal with it when I'm designing new pop-ups!


    6 years ago on Introduction

    This is beautiful. Have you found a good way to make your shells shiney? I've tried furniture polish and fingernail polish. They are OK but not like store bought.

    I just ordered my first batch of Sugru. I can't wait! Thank you for this lovely idea!


    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    How did it go? When you get the chance please post a picture, I'm sure I'm not the only one who would love to see it...


    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    Glad you like it, procupinemamma!