Make A Necklace With Shells and Acrylic Beads

Creating a necklace with shells and acrylic beads is a very jewelry project. I might be on a budget, but I refuse to let a puny paycheck cramp my own personal style. Every week now I am create new pieces of jewelry to go with my wardrobe, which helps to make me feel pretty. For some reason whenever I put on a piece of jewelry I feel like the most mundane outfit just begins to sparkle a little bit more. I am not talking about going overboard and wearing ten thousands pieces of jewelry, but a nice necklace or bracelet can definitely add some of your own personal style to your ensembles. To me it is especially important to express our own personal styles, especially since we live in a society where trends are continually foisted upon us. I am not a lady that focuses on what the masses are wearing, and I prefer to put outfits together in a way that helps me stand apart from the crowd. In elementary, middle, and high school I was considered a loser by the Beverly Hills wannabe click of girls that adorated a different fashion guru every five seconds, but it is interesting how after high school most people break away from this mentality. Creating your own accessories allows you to do so on a budget. Follow the tutorial below to see how I designed this fun and simple necklace. The materials I used for this project were:

  • beading wire
  • beading wire cutters
  • jewelry pliers
  • acrylic iridescent beads
  • acrylic crystal beads
  • a barrel clasp
  • an eyepin

Here is the necklace I made with the small shell pendant.
Here is the necklace I made with the small shell pendant.

Step One: Find A Small Shell Bead

Turn a small shell bead into a pendant.
Turn a small shell bead into a pendant.

Find a small shell bead to use as the pendant on this necklace. I slipped an eyepin through the hole of the bead and used jewelry pliers to make a loop, which will allowed me to place the shell on the beading wire.

Step Two: Add Two Iridescent Beads

Add one bead to each side.
Add one bead to each side.

Here I have added one iridescent acrylic bead to each side of the necklace.  I love how these beads catch the light.

Step Three: Add The Crystal Beads

The pattern consists of one iridescent bead, one acrylic bead, one iridescent bead.
The pattern consists of one iridescent bead, one acrylic bead, one iridescent bead.

In this step I continue the pattern by adding one crystal acrylic bead to each side of the necklace. Next, I continue the pattern by adding another iridescent bead to each side, and then I add a crystal bead to each side again. You can use glass beads if you prefer, but I simply use the beads I have on hand.

Step Four: Keeping Beading

Continue adding beads to the necklace.
Continue adding beads to the necklace.

Continue the pattern by adding one crystal bead, one acrylic bead, and one crystal bead.  This necklace I made follows a strict pattern, but you can always mix things up!

Step Five: Leave Enough Room To Add The Clasp

Continue the pattern up the necklace.
Continue the pattern up the necklace.

Make sure to leave enough room on both ends of the necklace to add the clasp.

Step Five: Attach The Clasp

Attach the barrel clasp.
Attach the barrel clasp.

Use jewelry pliers to attach the barrel clasp. I simply do this by knotting the clasp to each side of the beading wire. Once the clasp is added your necklace is ready to wear. 

The Completed Necklace

Here is what the finished necklace.
Here is what the finished necklace.

Now your necklace is ready to wear to dress up that so-so outfit.  Have fun making your own shell themed necklaces.

Would you use a small shell as the pendant for a necklace?

  • Yes
  • No
  • I do not like jewelry
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Comments 23 comments

Pete Maida profile image

Pete Maida 7 years ago

This is my wife's kind of thing.


SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 7 years ago from Southern California, USA Author

Well making necklaces is fun Pete :). Of course, I am not sure as many guys are into doing this as women are.


waynet profile image

waynet 7 years ago from Hull City United Kingdom

I'd have a go if I had more time on my hands and I'm sure my daughter would like to have a go at making a necklace or two!


SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 7 years ago from Southern California, USA Author

Hi Waynet,

This necklace took less than an hour to make, so it is not as time consuming as it would look. Let your daughter try it, and you will be surprised how quickly she can do it.


RGraf profile image

RGraf 7 years ago from Wisconsin

I thought I had left a comment previously on this. I think these pieces are just beautiful. I love to make my own jewelry.


SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 7 years ago from Southern California, USA Author

Hi RGraf,

That is weird, I did not delete any comments from here, I promise :). Maybe the system is acting funny again, because I know some hubbers said in the past comments did not show up. I am glad to hear you like to make your own jewelry too Rgraf.


C.S.Alexis profile image

C.S.Alexis 7 years ago from NW Indiana

Nice work SweetiePie! I am behind on my computer work, hard to keep up with everything!Having camera problems, blah blah! Good to see another jewelry hub from you. Keep it up.


SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 7 years ago from Southern California, USA Author

Hi C.S.,

I am behind on several projects too. Started making something new to write about, but did not finish it like I had planned. Hope your camera is working again soon.


agvulpes profile image

agvulpes 7 years ago from Australia

G'day Sweetiepie, beatifully done necklace and well laid out instructions.

I can't help wondering if the shell is a genuine shell or is it man made ?

btw, I have finally got around to making some necklaces for my wife.lol


SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 7 years ago from Southern California, USA Author

Hi Agvulpes,

This is a real shell, but as I said the other beads are acrylic. I am glad you are making some necklaces for your wife.


AEvans profile image

AEvans 7 years ago from SomeWhere Out There

pretty I always wondered how they were made and that one is beautiful . :)


SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 7 years ago from Southern California, USA Author

Yes shells are fun to put on necklaces, and easy too.


Anamika S profile image

Anamika S 7 years ago from Mumbai - Maharashtra, India

I love your jewelry. Affordable or not it feels nice when you make some thing with your own hands and gift it to a loved one.


SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 7 years ago from Southern California, USA Author

Glad you enjoyed this jewelry making tutorial Anamika!


pam 7 years ago

Do you add a hardening agent to the surface of the shell. I want to make shell necklaces but am afraid they will break.


pam 7 years ago

Do you add a hardening agent to the surface of the shell. I want to make shell necklaces but am afraid they will break.


SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 7 years ago from Southern California, USA Author

The shells are very strong and do not break.


beadydani profile image

beadydani 6 years ago from London, England

I am a sucker for shell jewellery. I like the necklace a lot, you have got an eye for colours which is what makes the necklace so beautiful, well done!!


SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 6 years ago from Southern California, USA Author

Thanks for your kind comments Beadydani!


Handmade-Crafts profile image

Handmade-Crafts 6 years ago

A really pretty necklace. I will have to try making.


SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 6 years ago from Southern California, USA Author

I appreciate your comments Handmade-Crafts!


JYOTI KOTHARI profile image

JYOTI KOTHARI 2 years ago from Jaipur

I recommend this string process as a jeweler. Rated up and useful.


SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 2 years ago from Southern California, USA Author

Thank you, Jyoti!

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