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DIY Shell Jewelry ... Straight From The Beach!

From our recent trip to Puerto Rico we brought back long lasting memories, a ton of pictures and videos and ... shells! The beaches are so beautiful in PR, and the shells on those beaches are equally as beautiful. I do not have an affection towards shells naturally, but I thought I should collect a few during our vacation and create one-of-a-kind treasures with them ... I wasn't sure what I was going to do with them, but I had a feeling that jewelry might be the treasure ... And it was!

First I made a shell bracelet - It took some troubleshooting, but I finally landed on my final design below.

I used 1 medium-sized shell in my design - the shell already had a hole through the center of it making it perfect to thread wire through. I used approximately 13" of 18 gauge wire, folded it in half, threaded the wire through the shell and wrapped one end of the folded wire around the shell to secure it in place. I then used the remaining wire to create the bracelet part. Lastly, I wrapped a bead in the end of each side of the wire to create a clasp.

I didn't want the look of the bracelet to be too island-like. Remember those white shell necklaces that were so popular in the 90s - well, I wasn't trying to resurrect that gem! The island look isn't my vibe, so I incorporated a good amount of wire and one larger shell to give it more modern flare!

I also created two necklaces ... again, after a bit of troubleshooting. The first is a three-tiered long shell necklace threaded with silver chain.

I like the way the dainty shells cascade down the chain, almost creating a floating effect. All I used is chain, 3 shells and 4 jump rings. The underneath side of each shell rests on a jump ring that connects a length of chain, a shell and then another jump ring. As I said before, each shell already had a small hole through the center making it ideal for threading.

The second necklace is simply 1 small shell knotted in a black metallic chain - simple and elegant due to the sparkle of the chain - I quite enjoy the casual shell combined with a dressier chain!

I enjoyed being creative while creating these treasures and allowing my inspiration to be drawn from the shape and size of the shells - not replicating an existing design or forcing the shells into a pre-determined composition. The end results are 3 original designs incorporating items from one of our memorable vacations giving me a nice reminder of the beach, water and activities that we experienced on our trip!   

I mean, who wouldn't want to be consistently reminded of paradise!

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