Making Clam Shell Jack-O-Lantern Jewelry
It’s really scary how easy it is to turn shells into jewelry and for Halloween there’s no better way to scare all your friends than with your frugal talents! WaHaha!
I always thought that crafting for kids was so much fun because they have so few inhibitions. They don’t worry about how something comes out or how they look wearing a homemade craft. If they feel good about it, they’re happy! Well, making jewelry for the holiday is something like that. You can create and if it’s a little silly, that’s alright! The holidays present us adults a small window to be childlike too.
So, here is a fun kid-like craft that you can do for yourself this Halloween. It’s all about making Jack-O-Lantern Pendants from clam shells (or mussel shells).
Making Calm Shell Jack-O-Lantern Jewelry
I spray painted some shells gold or black and then painted some easy Jack-O-Lantern faces on them.
The clam shells had holes in the tops (sadly thanks to the sea slugs that drill holes into the shells to eat the clams) so that a jump ring could be strung through to hang from a chain or string of beads. If you have clam shells that don’t have holes you can use a small drill to make a hole.
I used an earring finding on the mussel shells (see below for more details) to hang from a necklace. Mussel shells are very delicate so you can’t drill holes in them.
As you can see, I hung some of them from chain, some from beaded string, some from ball chain and some from satin rope. It’s Halloween so anything goes!
The Shells Used to Make Jack-O-Lantern Jewelry
Where can you get shells? Being from South Louisiana, I found the light ones pictured here on the beach close by. The pretty blue mussel shells came from a beach off Cape Code during a trip there one summer. I tend to collect things like this for sentimental reasons and because I usually end up using them in crafts like making clam shell Jack-O-Lantern jewelry.
So you say that you don’t live near a beach, haven’t traveled or never saved any such things. That’s OK! You can buy shells at the local craft supply store or even at dollar stores. Just keep an eye out for some. And also, I collected some from a friend who steamed some fresh mussels bought at the grocery store. You see! There are all sorts of ways to collect shells for crafts like this.
Of course, you’ll want to make sure that the shells are very clean. If I found them on the beach, confiscated them from a friend’s pot or even purchased shells, I still soak them in water with a little cleaner for at least an hour or two. Lightly dry or brush any other dirt off. The clam shells are much sturdier than the mussel shells which I found to be very delicate.
I want to try this with pecan or walnut shell halves too but it’s too early in the season for these. I’ll get back with you when I can find some of these and apply the same process to them so check back often.
The Painted Shells
Here is a picture of the shells after I spray painted them. Can you tell that the ones on the right have a glossy surface and the two on the left are a matte finish? I always like to do a variety because you never know how it will come out. Experiment with yours too!
Now, I made pendants from all of the shells, but don’t forget that if you can find two shells close in shape and size (or not) they would make a great pair of earrings too!
How To Attach The Loop
Here’s a good image to show you just how I attached a loop to hang the clam shell Jack-O-Lantern Pendant from a necklace. I took an earring finding and pulled it out so that it fit the curve inside the shell as the loop extended over the top of the shell. Can you follow the line of the earring from the top as it loops inside the shell? It’s a very light line but I hope you can see it.
Well, anyway, I held the top with one finger and squeezed hot glue on the other end (be careful to stay away from your finger and not burn yourself). I just put enough glue to hold it in place and when that cooled I went back and covered the earring finding inside the shell with hot glue. This will definitely secure it in place plus it creates a soft barrier over the metal which might poke you if it is sticking out too far. An added bonus to this is that it will add some strength to the delicate mussel shell.
And that’s it in a…well, clam shell!
Happy Haunting and Keep in Touch! Penny
Wait! Halloween is just getting started so here are some cute Printable Halloween Stencils for more crafting options.
And don't miss all the other Free Halloween Stencils!
Pssst! Before you go...find out how to Make A Mummy Necklace!