DIY Jewelry Tutorial: How to Make Seashell Earrings

Updated on October 1, 2018
Glimmer Twin Fan profile image

Claudia has been writing about crafts online for many years. She is an avid crafter who has been creating for most of her life.

An easy-to-follow DIY jewelry tutorial for making seashell earrings.
An easy-to-follow DIY jewelry tutorial for making seashell earrings. | Source

We go to the beach almost every year, and every time we come home I have a bag of shells that I lovingly collected on my daily walks along the ocean.

I bring home large ones, small ones, broken ones, and ones that inevitably get tossed in the garden. On a credenza in our dining room is a huge bowl of shells that I have been staring at for a long time. I finally realized that I needed to do something with some of them, so I decided to make these earrings.

They have turned out better than I expected, and I find myself wearing them often, especially this year, because we didn't make it to the beach.

They are fun and flirty, and friends like them so much that they have asked me to make pairs for them.

So dig out those shells you have in a box in your storage room, and give this project a try. I bet you'll love them as much as I do.

Here's What You'll Need

You only need a few supplies to make these earrings.
You only need a few supplies to make these earrings. | Source

Choose two seashells that are similar in shape, color, and size. I used scallop shells because they are lightweight and thinner than others. They also come in so many incredible colors and patterns.

If you don't have your own seashells, you can buy them online. The hooks I used were like these from Amazon, and I have a lot left over to make earrings for all those friends of mine who wanted a pair.

 
 
2 Seashells, I used scallop shells
Choose ones that aren't too heavy or thick.
8 - 6mm Jump rings
I used silver tone, but any color will work.
2 Fish hook earring fixtures
 
Drill with a 1/16" bit
 
2 Small beads
I used glass ones, but any type can be used.
Round and needle nose pliers
 

Step 1: Drilling Holes

Drilling holes in the shells for the attachments.
Drilling holes in the shells for the attachments. | Source

To drill the holes, I used a 2 inch thick old and worn wooden cutting board to cover my surface. This is important, because it's easy to drill right through the shell and onto the surface. Drill slowly.

Note: Use extreme care when drilling and wear protective eyewear. Follow the instructions on the drill. Children should not do this step.

  1. Using a pen or marker, find the center top of the shell and mark it. Repeat on the second shell, trying to make them as equal as possible.
  2. Carefully drill the holes, starting from the inside of the shell.

Step 2: Adding Links to the Beads

Adding links to the beads.
Adding links to the beads. | Source
  1. Add one jump ring to the bead.
  2. Add a second jump ring to the first one.

I used glass beads, so I took extra care not to accidentally squeeze and break them. Also, make sure the bead isn't too big for the jump ring. If you want to use a larger bead, then increase the size of the jump rings you use.

Step 3: Adding Rings to the Shell

Add rings to the shells for the hook.
Add rings to the shells for the hook. | Source
  1. Add one jump ring to the shell.
  2. Add the second jump ring to the first one already in the shell.

Step 4: Adding the Hook to the Shell

Add the hook to the link.
Add the hook to the link. | Source

Add the fish hook earring fixture to the last jump ring added.

Step 5: Adding the Bead to the Shell

Finish up the earrings by adding the bead.
Finish up the earrings by adding the bead. | Source

Add the bead to the inside of the shell by linking the jump ring that is attached to the shell with the one that was added to the bead.

The Finished Product

My new earrings!
My new earrings! | Source

Make sure all the jump rings are closed completely.

There you have it, a gorgeous pair of earrings that will always remind you have a great beach holiday!

Shells That Would Be Good For These Earrings

You don't want to use shells that are too heavy or thick for this jewelry. You also don't want ones that are too large or long.

In my opinion, scallop shells work best, but here are some others that would work too.

 
Scallop
Jewel Box
Cockle
Lion's Paw
Keyhole Limpet

Before drilling a hole in the shells you choose, do a little research and make sure your choice isn't a rare one that you wouldn't want to damage.

The nice thing about the scallop shells is that they are found everywhere on the beach we go to.

Of course, every beach has different shells, so if you can't find the ones you want, or if you don't live anywhere near a beach, you can always order some.

Make these fun and flirty seashell earrings with this DIY jewelry tutorial.
Make these fun and flirty seashell earrings with this DIY jewelry tutorial. | Source

© 2018 Claudia Mitchell

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    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile imageAUTHOR

      Claudia Mitchell 

      2 weeks ago

      What nice words Lora. I hope you make a pair of these. I wore mine to dinner tonight and my daughter said she wanted to go to the beach. I hope you enjoy yours!

    • Lora Hollings profile image

      Lora Hollings 

      2 weeks ago

      After seeing how lovely these earrings are and with your wonderful tutorial, I will definitely have to make myself a pair and ones for my friends and family too. What is really nice is they will always remind you of the beauty of the sea and something from nature to always treasure. Thanks for sharing these!

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile imageAUTHOR

      Claudia Mitchell 

      2 weeks ago

      Thank you Liz. The embroidered earrings sound nice. A little different twist on things.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile imageAUTHOR

      Claudia Mitchell 

      2 weeks ago

      Thanks Flourish - I appreciate it. - These weren't that hard to make and it's fun to wear things that are handmade. I was a little worried about the drilling at first, but it worked out just fine.

    • Eurofile profile image

      Liz Westwood 

      2 weeks ago from UK

      Great craft idea.I saw some embroidered seashell earrings at an art show recently.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 

      3 weeks ago from USA

      Absolutely beautiful! I would love to branch out craft-wise and try my hand at making these. Your instructions and suggestions are easy to follow.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile imageAUTHOR

      Claudia Mitchell 

      3 weeks ago

      I appreciate it Donna. I'm trying to come up with all sorts of ideas for my bowl of shells. Glad I inspired you. I know you will do some fun things!

    • purl3agony profile image

      Donna Herron 

      3 weeks ago from USA

      Hi Claudia - These are beautiful earrings and your tutorial is very clear and easy to follow. My days at the beach are over for this year, but your project has inspired me to do some seashell hunting next summer so I can make some similar earrings. Thanks for sharing!

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile imageAUTHOR

      Claudia Mitchell 

      3 weeks ago

      Thank you Margaret. They have been really fun to wear and every time I do I really want to go back to the beach!

    • Margaret Schindel profile image

      Margaret Schindel 

      3 weeks ago from Massachusetts

      Easy tutorial for delightful, summery earrings! They also might be fun to wear occasionally during the colder spring months (for those of us who count the days until the warm weather arrives). :)

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