The thick, hard shell of the uniquely tropical coconut tree is potential material for a ton of craft projects. Start out with simple projects before advancing onto more involved ideas. This way you can get a good grasp on the best features of the coconut shell for different craft projects.
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Coconut Shell Bowl
A coconut shell bowl is a great first craft project when new to working with this tropical nut. The half shell is already in a nice bowl shape -- it just needs finishing touches. Place half a coconut into the microwave for about two minutes to soften the flesh. Scoop out the coconut meat with a spoon and scrap the inside clean. Use a rough-grit sandpaper to remove the hairy fibers from the outside of the nut. A medium- and then fine-grit sandpaper helps to sand both the inside and outside smooth. Finish the bowl by painting it with a mixture of one part linseed oil and two parts mineral spirits. Raw linseed oil should be relatively food safe.
Coconut Shell Candle Holder
The shell of this nut also makes a sturdy candle holder. In a pinch, you can simply pour hot candle wax and place a wick into a cleaned coconut half shell. For a decorative look, use hot glue to affix stringed beads to the edge and sides of the shell. Glue a few beads to the bottom of the shell to form a stable base for it to rest on. Fill halfway with sand and stick a votive or tea candle into the center.
Coconut Shell Hut
Kids will love a chance to craft their own coconut shell hut. You will need a cleaned-out coconut half shell, a rectangle of thin cardboard, a stapler, paint, brushes and a marker. Start by painting the outside of the coconut shell -- yellow, tan or even green. Wait for this to dry. Apply a second, sparse coat of white paint with a dry brush to allow most of the color underneath to show through. Roll the cardboard into a tube and staple. Paint the outside of the cardboard tube in a brown color. Allow to dry. Use the marker to draw a door, window and other features on the exterior. Place the coconut shell on top of the tube so the shell serves as a roof to this tropical hut..
Coconut Shell Pendants
Simple coconut shell pendants are useful for necklaces and jewelry. For this you need a hammer, sandpaper, tile nippers, mineral oil and a hand-held drill. Hammer the cleaned coconut shell to break it into pieces. Select a nicely sized and shaped piece. Use the tile nippers to trim the rough edges of the piece. However, coconut is very hard and can also break unevenly. Use the nippers only for slight trimming. Sand the piece smooth on all sides. Rub a coat of mineral oil into the shell pendant to give it a dark sheen. Hand drill a small hole in the pendant for your necklace.