Turtle Shell From Coconut




About: I like to make small things and if I see something I like I might try to make my own version... with different results :)

Coconut shell is a great material to make small pendants out of, ass they can look great rough, slightly sanded or polished. As the shell is pretty hard, but relatively easy to work, and something most people have access to is an ideal material for anyone with the interest for small wood like project.

In this example I will show you how to make a turtle shell pendant out off a coconut shell, but it could be anything you want, you just have to remember that the shell has a curve to it.

Tools used:
Dremel with a round cutting bit
Wood Burning Pen
Belt sander (or grid 80 sandpaper)
Bandsaw (or any saw at hand)

Material used:
Coconut shell
Leather cord


Step 1: Shape of the Shell

First you have to decide om a shape/design for your pendant.

I wanted to make a turtle shell, but as my memory isn’t the best so I searched the internet for turtle shell patterns to get some inspiration and drew the basic shape directly on the coconut, with a marker, to make it easier to see.

If you don’t trust your own drawing skills or want to make it symmetric you could try drawing your design on some graph paper. Just keep drawing the shape till you like it. When you have the perfect design to your liking you can copy it to baking paper and then transfer it to the shell.

Step 2: Cut the Shell

Try cutting as close to the drawn shape as possible just stay outside the line. It should be relatively simple to cut as the shell is thin and strong.

Step 3: Sand the Shell

It is easy using the belt sander to sand away the edge till the outer shape are reached, then lightly sand the rough outer surface to get a look you like. Then give it a bevel around the edge to make it smooth and nice to the touch.

Step 4: Form the Shell

Now it is time to draw where the details, with a pencil, are goner be and take the Dremel and engrave the details into the surface to give it a slight 3d effect.

Engraving can be a bit tricky because the shell has different hardness/density’s, I found it easier to control where the cut goes, by pinning the shell to the table and engraving with firm and direct cuts/movements.

Remember to drill an opening for the cord… I forgot and had to make it afterwards.

Step 5: Burn the Shell

First and foremost, do this step at a ventilated area or preferably outside, as the smoke can be lingering and unhealth.

Now it is just to burn along the engraving and the hard part are done. As the shell have different hardness/density it will be easier to burn some areas then others so it is important to burn with a light hand so as to not accidentally make unwanted deep burn marks.

Step 6: Enjoy the Shell ;)

Now, just put in the cord and enjoy the turtle shell.

This was my first try and roughly took 2-3 hours to make, hope you enjoyed it :)



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    11 Discussions


    24 days ago

    I'd love to try it but the only problem is the burning part :v i don't have anything like that, neither any substitut. :(

    1 reply

    That is a
    shame, you could try with a thin black or very dark brown marker.

    It will not
    give the same reflection as a burning, but just by outlining the borders it will
    make a great visual effect… and you would avoid the burning smell :)


    They should be pretty easy to find on eBay, Amazon or other places that deal with hobby articles


    4 weeks ago

    Very nice! I made a lot of stuff out of coconut shells when I was younger. It's a lot of fun! : )

    2 replies

    Reply 4 weeks ago


    Would you please name some of them so that I can get ideas what else could be made from the shell.



    Reply 4 weeks ago

    I made a lot of bowls and cups, a coconut bikini, and even a mini potato cannon that shot nerf darts and little potato chunks . . not recommended! : )

    Penolopy Bulnick

    4 weeks ago

    This looks great! That's the perfect material for a turtle shell :)


    4 weeks ago

    I love it! My mind is jumping from idea to idea with the coconut shell! Thank you so much for sharing.