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Shells and crystals summer necklace

Combine shell beads and crystals in a summery necklace

After finding these pastel shell beads at an antique store, I gave them a colorful boost with Indian red crystals. I loved the way that the white-capped shells resemble real seafoam.

Search for “shell beads” online and you’ll find lots of options — from free-form chips and slices to hand-cut teardrops and faceted rectangles. Simply choose a complementary crystal color for a quick string-and-wear design.


necklace 19 in. (48 cm)

  • 16-in. (41 cm) strand 8–13 mm shell beads
  • 40–46 4 mm bicone crystals
  • 4 4 mm spacers
  • flexible beading wire, .014 or .015
  • 2 crimp beads
  • 2 crimp covers
  • toggle clasp
  • chainnose or crimping pliers
  • diagonal wire cutters


  • 2 8–13 mm shell beads
  • 8 4 mm bicone crystals
  • 2 4 mm spacers
  • 2 1⁄2 in. (6.4 cm) 22- or 24-gauge wire
  • 2 1 1⁄2-in. (3.8 cm) head pins
  • pair of decorative earring wires
  • chainnose and roundnose pliers
  • diagonal wire cutters

Check your local bead store for supplies.


Shells and crystals summer necklace Step 1
Step 1


1. Cut a piece of beading wire. String a shell bead and a bicone crystal, repeating until the strand is within 2 in. (5 cm) of the finished length.

2. On each end, string: spacer, bicone, spacer, bicone, crimp bead, half of a toggle clasp. Check the fit and add or remove beads if necessary. Go back through the beads just strung and tighten the wire. Crimp the crimp bead and trim the excess wire.

3. On each end, use chainnose or crimping pliers to close a crimp cover over each crimp.

Shells and crystals summer necklace Step 2
Step 2
Shells and crystals summer necklace Step 3
Step 3



Shells and crystals summer earrings Step 1
1. For each earring: On a head pin, string a bicone crystal, a shell bead, and a bicone. Make a plain loop. 
Shells and crystals summer earrings Step 2
2. Cut a 1 1⁄4-in. (3.2 cm) piece of 22- or 24-gauge wire. On one end, make a plain loop. String a bicone, a spacer, and a bicone. Make a plain loop.
Shells and crystals summer earrings Step 3
3. Open a loop of the spacer unit. Attach the loop of the shell unit. Close the loop. Attach the dangle and the loop of an earring wire.
shell earring
Wear your finished earrings with the matching necklace for easy summer style, or by themselves for a stunning look any time of the year!
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