How to Drill Shells for Jewelry

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Things You'll Need

  • Bucket

  • Soapy water

  • Toothbrush

  • Pencil

  • Vise or clamp

  • Dremel

  • Assorted bit sizes

Assorted shells are used to make unique jewelry.

A beach vacation is the perfect opportunity to start a collection of seashells. Once home, these shells can be used for a variety of crafts such as jewelry-making. Learning how to drill shells for jewelry is useful in that it will allow you to turn these beautiful pieces of nature into unique pieces of jewelry. Once a hole is made, colorful string or fabric can then be thread through the holes and formed into necklaces, bracelets, earrings and more.


Step 1

Wash the shells in a bucket with soapy water to remove and sand or debris. If needed, use a toothbrush to gently scrub away any debris. Let the shells air dry.

Step 2

Draw a dot on the shell where you'd like to drill the hole. The spot selected should be approximately the thickness of a quarter.

Step 3

Place the shell in a vise or a clamp so that it stays stationary beneath the drill bit. Start with the smallest drill bit in the dremel.


Step 4

Drill slowly, stopping and starting to release pressure and being sure to hold the drill upright.

Step 5

Switch to a thicker drill bit and repeat Step 4. This step can be repeated as many times as needed with thicker drill bits until a hole with desired width has been reached.