by Rebecca Isenhart
I love the beach. Maybe too much, which is why every time I see beautiful shells I become a full-on hoarder. I tell myself I’ll make them into jewelry, but I tend to feel like I’m wearing a mermaid costume when I try to build an outfit around shells. So instead, I’ve made some jewelry for my dorm room!
Below are the steps to make your own. With a little creativity, they can be modified to incorporate any collection of natural souvenirs. I just love the idea of making my happiest memories part of my everyday decor.
1. Poke holes in your shells using a very small drill bit. (No, I don’t know what size I used. I had NO IDEA what I was doing.) I drilled two holes next to each other on each shell, then threaded the string up through the left hole, then down through the right. This keeps the shells from slipping around or flipping over once they’re hung. If you’re using something that can’t be drilled through, you can buy metal jewelry findings at any craft store and glue them on.
2. Get a long string (very technical terminology) that won’t fray when you put it through the holes. I used about 7 feet of waxed thread, available at craft stores.
3. Tie a loop on one end for hanging purposes. On a flat surface, stretch the string out to the full length you want your final product to be, then add a few extra inches – you can always trim it. If you need to tie knots to keep your decorations from slipping, add a lot of extra – as much as 50% more than you think you need.
4. Plan your garland. Lay out all your decorations in the order you want to add them. It’s easy to make changes to this pattern if things don’t look quite the way you want to, but much more annoying to adjust once you’ve already begun working.
5. Put on a good TV show, because this part takes a while. String your treasures, adding accents if you wish – I chose wooden beads for mine. String and string and string… (I watched the first episode of Breaking Bad season 5. MAGNETS! YEAH!)
6. Tie a loop at the other end when you’re done.
7. Hang up, or drape over anything you need to make beautiful.
8. Admire daily, remembering all your wonderful summer memories 🙂