How to put a shell on a clay bead bracelet?

How to Put a Shell on a Clay Bead Bracelet

Adding shells to clay bead bracelets is a fun way to create beautiful and unique jewelry pieces. Cowrie shells are a popular choice for bead bracelets because of their shape and texture. Their curved shape nestles nicely between clay beads and adds visual interest to the bracelet. Follow these steps to learn how to incorporate shells into your clay bead bracelet designs.

Selecting Shells and Beads

When selecting shells for your bracelet, look for ones that have a naturally smooth and rounded shape. Jagged or imperfect shells may be hard to string and can scratch your wrist when wearing the bracelet. Whiter cowrie shells tend to work best against darker clay beads as they stand out nicely against the darker background.
For the clay beads, choose colors, shapes and sizes that will complement the shells. Mixing different styles creates interest. Go for terra cotta beads with white shells for high contrast or earthy browns and tans with speckled brown cowrie shells for an organic look.

how to put a shell on a clay bead bracelet
Gather Materials
You will need:
Clay beads in colors/shapes of your choice
Cowrie shells
Elastic cord or beading wire
Beading needle
Jewelry pliers
Elastic cord works best for simple stretchy bracelets. Use beading wire if you want to attach a clasp or add other hardware.

Stringing the Beads and Shells

Step 1 - Cut the elastic cord to your desired bracelet length plus a few extra inches. For beading wire, cut a length about 3 times the circumference of your wrist.
Step 2 - String on some clay beads until you have about 1 inch of beads. Slide a cowrie shell onto the elastic so the opening of the shell faces outwards. The beads on either side will hold the shell in place.
Step 3 - Continue alternating beads and shells around the bracelet, spacing shells evenly. Vary bead color and shape for interest.
Step 4 - Finish bracelet ends with knots or clasps.
Setting and Finishing
Step 5 - Check shells are secure between beads and spaced evenly around the bracelet.
Step 6 - Allow clay to fully dry and harden. This may take 24-48 hours.
Step 7 - Apply a clear sealant or glaze over the finished piece. Avoid getting sealant inside the shells.

Design Ideas

Get creative with your clay and shell combinations! Here are some ideas:
Use chunky barrel beads painted blue with white shells.
Alternate red and tan beads with brown speckled cowrie shells
Mix round beads with oval beads and assorted shell sizes and shapes.
Create patterns by shaping clay into hearts, flowers or waves before stringing.
Use extra beads as caps over the shell openings for an embellished look.
Add dangling bead drops or chain tassels from each shell.
Mixing up your materials and styles will help you design a unique bracelet you'll love wearing. With the right care, your clay and shell bracelet will stay beautiful for years to come. Let your creativity shine!

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