I’m sure as a seashell collector you’ve seen the typical crafts being made with collected shells. Frame a mirror, or make a wind chime, or cover a little trinket box. But if you find something really special on your beach-combing ventures, why not wear it around your neck so it gets some nice visibility? A pretty, or rare, seashell or piece of beach glass would make a lovely and unique pendant. Something like that needs to be used in a special and creative way.
I know that jewelry making is popular, and I’ve never made any type of jewelry myself, but it’s something most people can easily learn to do. Buy some wire, in silver, bronze or copper, and watch the Youtube video below – it moves right along, and has pop up text with useful information as you watch the woman create her sea glass pendant. I think you’ll agree that any of us could handle making something like this. You’ll need pliers, quality wire, and wire cutters, and of course the special item to be wrapped.
Often we are told to drill shells with a hole to create jewelry, which seems much more difficult. This wire wrapping video is done with a piece of green beach glass, but it could also be used as an example of how to wrap a pretty seashell. A small, spotted junonia hanging around your neck would be such a conversation piece! If you do it, please let me show off a picture of your handiwork here to inspire other readers. Have fun!
If you love to wear nature-made jewelry, including real seashells, doing some research before buying can assure you of having eco-friendly earrings and necklaces. In other words, they are crafted from shells that were found empty – uninhabited.
The ocean seems to have an endless supply of shells for us to find. Have you ever gone to the beach wondering if there would be any shells there today? No, of course not. We come to expect them – it is just part of being at the shore.
Many places offer shells for sale and the larger outlets and shell shops probably get their shells from someone who dredges the ocean to bring in the big beauties that so many people want to collect. (Read this explanation of where the shells come from in this “environmental note” at one sellers site.) Many times seashells that are collected will be occupied by the shell maker and the animals will be killed. Have you ever thought about then when shopping for shells? If a site offers to tell you where they get their shells – such as the link above- be sure to read it, and then make your decision. If it’s a big distributor you can be assured they buy in bulk from one or many places and don’t go out searching for EMPTY shells themselves.
But there are plenty of people who do scour the shorelines (and not only the ocean shore) for treasures to use for their jewelry and craft businesses. These are the people I would want to buy from. The people with a respect for nature who use only empty shells to create products. Their jewelry tends to be more unique also since it is not mass produced.
So how do you know? That is a good question, but there are plenty of small, personally run businesses where the owners are happy to tell you how they collect the pieces they work with. All we can do is research and then trust that they are truthful.
If you care about whether or not that beautiful necklace came to be yours at the expense of the creature’s life, then do a little digging into the source before purchasing.
I had planned to make a list here to start you off shopping, but could only find a couple places worthy of adding and they mostly do sea glass jewelry. I know there are more out there and if you would like to be added to this list or to my sidebar, leave a message and I’ll visit your site.
Scarborough Seashells on Etsy finds their own sea glass and sea shells and turns them into rings, necklaces, pendants and even windows – very pretty. Certain places are better than others for finding sea or beach glass and genuine glass is collected along the shore after being worn down by years of sand grinding away the sharp edges. Buy from a reputable dealer – or one who at least seems to love writing about the glass they find. (Sea glass jewelry can be fake).
You may have heard of puka shell necklaces, or maybe you own one, but you’ve never heard of a seashell called a “puka” (or sometimes “puca”). That is because the name “puka” is Hawaiian and means “hole” and was given to the bits of cone shells that had naturally occurring holes making them perfect for being strung on some sort of twine or string to become a necklace.
Natural puka shell necklaces (as opposed to fake) are made when bits of cone shells are collected with a naturally occurring hole found in the center. The hole is created when the empty shell rolls around in the surf which causes it to break apart. The top spire – pointed, top part of the shell – remains in tact but the very top eventually wears away leaving a hole. “Puka” means “hole” in Hawaiian and that is how the “shell” gets it’s name. Continue reading Puka Shells: What Are They?→