I want to begin making jewelry from sea shells. Do I have to prepare the shells in any way before working with them? I collected these shells off the beach.
BettyCL from Detroit, MI
Just smell them closely to be sure they don't have a dead critter dried up inside. You could try boiling a few, but watch to see if the color fades. (04/22/2008)
I use a rotary tool with a ceramic drill bit. I've had great luck with a small bit, then graduating to a larger one if I need a bigger hole. Because shells are slick, I often start the drill and then very carefully lower the bit to the shell surface. Go slow and don't press down on the drill as you work, or your shell is likely to shatter. If it's a thick shell, stop occasionally to keep from overheating the tool. I have broken a shell here and there. It happens. Oh, another thing, to strengthen the shell after the hole is drilled, I use epoxy to glue on a finding, such as a Bali spacer bead, and let it dry thoroughly before stringing the shell. (09/28/2008)
I had posted a tutorials for Making of Seashell Jewelry. Have a look at my blog. Thanks.
Aina, Making of Seashell Jewelry
High gloss clear acrylic spray is an excellent way not only to strengthen shells, but to make them look just as beautiful as they do when you find them wet on the sand! It dries quickly which is another plus. (02/21/2009)
By Shell Girl
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