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How to Make Handcrafted Dangling Shell-Like Earrings

Updated on January 27, 2018
agvulpes profile image

Peter has always been interested in working with his hands and loves to make pieces of jewelry and sculpting items of art.

Dangling Earrings

Hand crafted Earrings based on shells.
Hand crafted Earrings based on shells. | Source

Dangling Shell Like Earrings

In this article I will go through the steps required to make these lovely dangling Shell like Earrings.

The Earring shown here are for pierced ears but with the right 'findings' can be adapted for non-pierced ears.

There is a complete materials list down lower with instructions how to assemble your Shell Like Earrings using very basic tools. It would be possible to make these Earrings in approximately one half hour.

If you have any questions on these Earrings or any other Jewelry matters feel free to leave a comment in the 'comment section' under this article!

If you are looking for a different type of Earring there is another example I have made pictured below or you may like to look at a tutorial on making Angel Wing or Butterfly Wing earrings!

Materials required for Earrings

Listed below you will find a list of materials and tools required to hand craft this set of lovely Shell like earrings:

  • Wire (either Tiger Tail or Beading wire, as shown in the image) Pieces 2 x approx 85mm (3.5inches) Adjust length when the beads have been chosen.
  • Hooks x 2 In this version I have used hooks with flower decorations but hooks simulating 'fish hooks' would be very effective.
  • Beads Large x 4 . Selected simulated shell like for bottom beads of earring.
  • Beads Medium x 4 selected beads slightly smaller than the above beads.
  • Beads Small x approx 20 to be used to space out the larger beads (pearl or white is a nice color)
  • Crimps x 6 Crimps are used to hold it all together. They are plated metal balls with holes so that when they are squeezed with flat nose pliers they lock onto the wire and prevent the earring from falling apart.

Tools Required to Make Earrings

Tools you will need to make the Dangling Shell Like Earrings
Tools you will need to make the Dangling Shell Like Earrings | Source

Tools for making earrings

There are no special tools required for making these Shell like earrings. The basic tools are:

  • Wire Cutters ( often referred to as Diagonal or Angle Cutters)
  • Round Nose pliers
  • Flat nose pliers

Close up of Shell shape

Close up to see the nacreous (mother of pearl effect of the beads.
Close up to see the nacreous (mother of pearl effect of the beads. | Source

Different Variations of a Theme

This style of Earring lends itself to many different variations. I am only showing you one type in this demonstration.

There are many beads available to give you a countless number of effects limited only by your imagination.

I have shown here the Mother of Pearl (nacre) effect or you can choose the more traditional alternative! You could even try a stone. Hmmm Mental note to self! now there is a good idea

Lay out your components

I would always advise you to lay out the components, beads, findings, wire etc. before you get into the business of assembling your earrings. This way you are not caught short of needing just the right bead.

Components laid out for assembly

Components for Dangling Earrings laid out for assembly
Components for Dangling Earrings laid out for assembly | Source

Assembly Method

Now the fun bit starts. We have obtained all of the findings and beads for our Shell Earrings and laid them all out on a bead board or cloth. If you don't have a board I would suggest a piece of fine woven material or felt.

Step1) Wire ready to Crimp

Step 1 Feed wire through Hook and both ends through crimp.
Step 1 Feed wire through Hook and both ends through crimp. | Source

Steps

Step 1

Pass one piece of the wire through the ring of the Fish hook Finding, leaving length on one side of 2 inches and the other side about 1.5 inches. Then feed both ends onto one 'crimp'. When you are satisfied that the unequal lengths are OK squeeze the 'crimp' with the flat nose pliers until it has clamped the two strands of wire.

Step 2)

One half of one side of your Shell like hand crafted Earrings.
One half of one side of your Shell like hand crafted Earrings. | Source

Step 2) Feeding the Beads

This step is to feed the beads on the long side of the wire. Using your artistic values place a number of small beads followed by the Medium Bead then more small beads with the Large Bead next leaving enough wire to place a 'Crimp' to hold it all together!

When you are happy with this press (squash) the 'crimp' together with the flat nosed pliers to hold the first half together!

Trim the wire back to the squashed crimp.

Step3 ) Feeding Beads on Shorter Side

adjust beads according to artistic taste!
adjust beads according to artistic taste! | Source

Step 3) Shorter Side

After you have hand crafted the first half of one side repeat the exercise on the shorter half of the wire. You will need to again use your artistic judgement on how many spacer beads to use.

This is done to get the Medium and Larger beads to sit nicely against the long side. As an example I have only used one spacer bead on the short side as against four on the longer side.

This adds to the individuality to the Earrings.

Step 4)Make the Other Side

Unless you only want one Earring the next step is to repeat steps 1 through to 3 to build the other side and give you a matching set of Dangling Shell like Earrings.

If you would prefer you can, as I did build both sides (side by side) at the same time. I feel that you will get a better balanced pair of earrings if you build your hand crafted shell earrings in this manner!

Warning

Please remember that these and in fact any earrings should be sterilized before being placed through pierced ears.

These Shell Earrings would make a lovely gift

Presented as a Gift

Dangling Shell Earrings all packaged ready to present as a gift!
Dangling Shell Earrings all packaged ready to present as a gift! | Source

Dangling Shell Earrings as a Gift

I'm sure that someone you love would really appreciate receiving these Shell like Earrings (or similar) as a gift.

If you need some packaging I found these great little Gift Muslin Bags that have a drawstring.

They come in many different colors such as yellow, mauve, purple, blue and even black and they are a reasonable price.

Variation on the Theme

An alternative set of Earrings using the same method of assembly!
An alternative set of Earrings using the same method of assembly! | Source

Findings for Shell Earrings

Simulated Fish Hooks
Simulated Fish Hooks | Source
Crimps
Crimps | Source

Beading Wire

Beading wire x 7 strands comes on a roll.
Beading wire x 7 strands comes on a roll. | Source

Tiger Tail Wire

Tiger tail wire where toughness is required
Tiger tail wire where toughness is required | Source

© 2011 Peter

Comments

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    • agvulpes profile imageAUTHOR

      Peter 

      2 years ago from Australia

      Ahh, now what young lady would not love a pair of beautful earrings! My teen granddaughter has just had her ears pierced so I must get to work and make a pair of shell-like earrings for her!

      Thanks for your kind words :)

    • CorneliaMladenova profile image

      Korneliya Yonkova 

      2 years ago from Cork, Ireland

      Beautiful earrings, I will try to create two pairs for my daughters to surprise them. I am sure they will love my presents :)

    • agvulpes profile imageAUTHOR

      Peter 

      3 years ago from Australia

      @Suzanne Day yes these Hand crafted earrings are cute and so easy to make that anyone could make them ! I love easy don't you?

      I left some more images down below in case anyone wanted some more info! A picture is better than a thousand words is my belief :)

    • Suzanne Day profile image

      Suzanne Day 

      3 years ago from Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

      How cute! These earrings look fairly easy to make ;) PS - did you know your comments box is in the middle of your hub instead of at the end?

    • Garimaa profile image

      Garima Bista 

      4 years ago from Kathmandu,Nepal

      I am going to try thank you again :)

    • agvulpes profile imageAUTHOR

      Peter 

      4 years ago from Australia

      @Garimaa thank you for the visit and I hope that you are able to make some fine handcrafted Earrings :)

    • Garimaa profile image

      Garima Bista 

      4 years ago from Kathmandu,Nepal

      I found it very useful and easy to do thank you for helping me I was searching for this.

    • agvulpes profile imageAUTHOR

      Peter 

      5 years ago from Australia

      @loveofnight thank you for rating my hub so highly and I hope that you come up with some nice earrings. I sure would like to see the results of your efforts in making dangling shell like earrings so if you would care to share some pictures let me know :)

    • loveofnight profile image

      loveofnight 

      5 years ago from Baltimore, Maryland

      I find this hub very useful and worthy of bookmarking. I love jewelry making and you have supplied me with more than enough ideas. Thanks for the share.

    • agvulpes profile imageAUTHOR

      Peter 

      5 years ago from Australia

      G'day Vellur and thanks for the vote !

      I have handcrafted a number of earrings based on the same 'dangling shell' theme and given them as gifts! It is always nice to see them displayed by the recipient and hear the compliments about the earrings from their friends :)

    • Vellur profile image

      Nithya Venkat 

      5 years ago from Dubai

      Creative and beautiful. Anyone will love to receive these shell earrings as gifts. Voted up, useful.

    • agvulpes profile imageAUTHOR

      Peter 

      5 years ago from Australia

      G'day Careermommy. You are correct, these handcrafted Dangling Shell like Earrings are very easy to make!

      And the variations are virtually endless. No two pairs ever turn out the same! I'm sure that you will be able to add many pairs of earrings to your collection.

      Thanks for dropping by and leaving such a nice comment :)

    • Careermommy profile image

      Tirralan Watkins 

      5 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

      agvulpes, these are beautiful ideas. I usually wear the same earrings everyday, but these are so easy to make that I think I will try it and add to my jewelry collection.

    • agvulpes profile imageAUTHOR

      Peter 

      7 years ago from Australia

      Thanks for asking a great question!

      I have not tried this as yet but I would think that a little machine known as a Dremel drill would do the trick.

      The original Dremel is pricey but I have a cheaper 'Chinese' copy (Cost A$50.00 for a kit) and works just as well. Any good hardware or hobby shop will have small 'high speed' (carbon) drill bits of the correct size. I would suggest getting a range of sizes for the different size of shells you wish to drill.

      When I get some spare time I will experiment and let you know the result!

      Thanks for your great comment:-)

    • Pollyannalana profile image

      Pollyannalana 

      7 years ago from US

      I will have to make some of these, I have earring hooks, a bag full, I love real shells though. Wonder if there is a tool to make a hole in tiny shells, which I already have. ?

      Fun hub, thanks.

    • agvulpes profile imageAUTHOR

      Peter 

      7 years ago from Australia

      Thanks for your kind words:-) I'm sure your Mum will appreciate your handcrafted shell like earrings more than the conventional 'box of chocolates' although giving her both will probably score you more points :-)

    • Health Talk profile image

      Health Talk 

      7 years ago from World

      thanks for sharing such good DIY. I will try to make one for my mum on mothers day.

    • agvulpes profile imageAUTHOR

      Peter 

      7 years ago from Australia

      @ImChemist, thanks for the nice comment, I hope that you may try making some Shell like or similar earrings and let us know how they look?

    • agvulpes profile imageAUTHOR

      Peter 

      7 years ago from Australia

      @Cameron Dean, thank you so much for your kind words about my handcrafted earrings :-)

    • ImChemist profile image

      ImChemist 

      7 years ago

      beautiful hub , thanks for sharing it.

    • Cameron Dean profile image

      Cameron Dean 

      7 years ago from New York

      OH MY, they are adorable.

    • agvulpes profile imageAUTHOR

      Peter 

      7 years ago from Australia

      Thank you for your kind comment. I hope you get around to making these handcrafted shell like earrings I would love to see your creation :-)

    • Whidbeywriter profile image

      Mary Gaines 

      7 years ago from Oak Harbor on Whidbey Island, Washington

      These are adorable, thanks for sharing how to make them. Blessings

    • agvulpes profile imageAUTHOR

      Peter 

      7 years ago from Australia

      Thank you I appreciate you taking the time to read my Hub. I hope that you have a go at making these shell like earrings :-)

    • howcurecancer profile image

      Elena@LessIsHealthy 

      7 years ago

      I like the earrings!

    • agvulpes profile imageAUTHOR

      Peter 

      7 years ago from Australia

      Well my FFF, lol, I think you have got it round the wrong way, it is I who is the lucky one ;-)

      However I do appreciate your kind words :-)

    • profile image

      Feline Prophet 

      7 years ago

      What a talented fox you are! Oliversmum is a very lucky lady! :)

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