How To Make a Seashell Necklace

Supplies You’ll Need

  • Waxed cord
  • Scissors
  • Beads
  • Sea shells with holes in them (natural or drilled)


First, lay out your beads in what you think you might like for a design. Of course, this can (and probably will) change according to how it looks with the shell, the arrangement, etc. I like to use naturally colored beads that go with the shells. Use whatever you think will look nice.


  1. Measure out and cut a length of about 30″ of cord, or less, depending on if you’re making an adjustable-length necklace or fixed-length. [[tell min length of fixed-length necklace]]
  2. Fold the cord in half.
  3. Insert the loop end of the cord through the front of the shell.
    Cord through the hole
  4. Insert the loose ends of the cord through the loop.
    Loose ends through loop
  5. Pull the loose ends through so the cord is snug against the shell.
  6. Put the first bead on both strands of the cord.
    First bead
  7. String the other beads on each side of the cord.
    Beads on each side
  8. Adjust bead order and quantity as required to make a nice-looking necklace.


For a fixed-length necklace:

  1. Tie a slip knot at the end of the loose cords.
    Slip knot
  2. You may want to tie it loosely and try it out before tightening the knot – make sure it’s long enough to fit over your head!

For an adjustable-length necklace:

You’ll need a bead with a fairly large hole – big enough for 4 strands of cord to go through it.

  1. Insert the loose ends through the bead.
    Adjustment bead
  2. Loop the loose ends around and feed them through the bead again, in the same direction as the first time.
    Adjustment loop
  3. Tie a slip knot at the end of the loose cords. This may require several knots to make it big enough to avoid slipping through the adjustment bead. With waxed cord, it shouldn’t really be much of an issue, though.
    Adjustment end

Snip the excess cord beyond the knot, if you like. I usually leave just a little so if it slips down there’s something there.

Adjusting the length

Shorter necklace:

  1. Grab the strands near the top of the adjustment loop and pull the cord up through the bead so the necklace gets shorter.
  2. Pull the knotted end so the adjustment loop is snug against the bead.
  3. Tuck the extra cord into your shirt if you want to hide the excess.

Longer necklace:

  1. Grab the strands near the bottom of the adjustment loop and pull the cord so the knotted end gets shorter.
  2. Pull the shell end until the adjustment loop is snug against the bead.

12 thoughts on “How To Make a Seashell Necklace”

  1. this is really cool! i collected some shells with my 7 year old cousin and now im makeing some necklaces for her but she has no clue! she doesnt live near the beach so i thought this would be a fun idea,i also got really creative and glued a shark tooth on the back of the shell. I know she’ll love it and i will too so thank you.

  2. Kayla, I’m glad this has been useful. I like the idea of the shark tooth, too. Now I have another use for them. Thanks!!

  3. thank you so much, I’ve been tyring to figure out how to tie a good knot and tie the back to where the necklace is adjustable.

  4. You’re welcome, Kayla! I’m sure there are other ways to do it, too… perhaps better ones! This is just what I came up with when creating the necklaces. :)

  5. What’s the easiest way to drill holes in the shells?? My girlfriend and I spent the day collecting seashells and I wanted to surprise her with a necklace. Thank you. :-)

  6. I only collect shells with holes in them, so I’ve never drilled a hole in one. But my brother says a dremel tool should do the job. Don’t use too much pressure or the shell might break. Here are instructions at eHow.

  7. Thank you for the link! That method of drilling will also keep the toxic dust away. I love the idea of splitting and sharing the shell. <3

  8. um emily i dont have a waxed cord but i used like thread and i have sea shells with hole with should i get waxed or keep the thread

  9. If the thread seems strong enough and looks nice, it should do the job. You can use whatever you like, really. :)

  10. Hi, I was just thinking of this idea last week and just saw this post. Great instructions for the knot! Do you treat your shells with anything like bleach after you collect them from the beach or even afterward so they last longer (or is that not an issue), I’d like to possibly sell some at a craft fair.


  11. I don’t do anything except wash them, and they seem to stay OK. If they are stinky, I’ll soak them in a little bleach water. :)

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