DIY Tie Dye Shell Jewelry by Quiet Lion Creations

This DIY Tie Dye Shell Jewelry is bright, bold and perfect for the season! I’ll show you how to create your very own summery-pieces using shells, Sharpies and a bit of hand sanitizer – the process is really fun as well! Tie dye is one of the biggest trends right now, and will surely continue into summer. This daintier take on the trend packs a punch, despite the shells’ sizes.

DIY Tie Dye Shell Jewelry by Quiet Lion Creations

I used these shells to create a few drop necklaces, a lariat, and a charm bracelet. They would also be amazing as earrings – just remember that each shell will be just a little different, depending on how the coloring process goes. The uniqueness is what makes them awesome!!

Tie Dye Shell Jewelry by Quiet Lion Creations

Depending on how much you want to rock the rainbow, keep it simple with one shell, or layer them up for the full spectrum! Are we ready to begin?!

DIY Tie Dye Shell Jewelry by Quiet Lion Creations

Step 1

Gather materials. You’ll need various cut cowrie shells (you can get them online here), clear nail polish, hand sanitizer, rainbow Sharpies (I have a strange obsession with collecting them in every color), a fine paintbrush (I go through these so often for my craft projects, I usually buy a large pack like this to get a variety of sizes), various gold chains – similar here: dainty cable chain, chunky curb chain and satellite chain, gold lobster clasps, 22g gold wire and 4mm gold jumprings. You will also need a jewelry-making plier set (roundnose, flatnose and wirecutters).

Coloring Tie Dye Shells

Step 2

Choose a cowrie shell, and wash it with soap and water. A lot of the bulk shells you get online have sand or dirt on them, and we want a clean surface to draw on. Line up your markers in your chosen colors, so they are easily accessible.

Coloring Tie Dye Shells

Step 3

Start to color one side of the cowrie shell with an ombre of colors, following the pattern of the rainbow. It’s easier to do 3 colors or less to get a nicer-looking gradient. Too many colors in one shell will make it look a bit muddy. I left the one side of the shell plain white for an asymmetric look, and it makes it a lot easier to hold without smudging while blending.

DIY Tie Dye Shell Jewelry by Quiet Lion Creations

Step 4

Get a small dish and fill it with a bit of water, and grab a tissue or paper towel for your brush as well. Take a dab of hand sanitizer and gently place it on the shell, in the areas you want to blend. Use a bit of water to help the colors blend – do not work with a very dry brush, more sanitizer is better than less. However, do not flood the entire surface with liquid. Be gentle! If you are too rough, you will get bald spots in the color! If this happens, wait for the shell to dry, and simply add more color with the markers, and re-blend gently. Let the shell fully dry when your desired look is achieved. Then, coat the shell with a thin layer of clear nail polish.

DIY Tie Dye Shell Jewelry by Quiet Lion Creations

Step 5

Continue coloring any other shells you’d like to use with the Sharpies. Again, 3 colors max works best on small shells. Repeat Step 4 and let them all dry.

Coloring Tie Dye Shells

Step 6

Get out your chains, and start pairing up your pieces for jewelry making!

Coloring Tie Dye Shells

Step 7

Cut your gold chains into desired lengths, 16-18″ is good for an everyday necklace. I also made a bracelet out of curb chain, not pictured above, but it’s a great matching piece if you’re into bracelets! Add clasps with the jumprings to finish the strands.

DIY Tie Dye Shell Jewelry by Quiet Lion Creations

Step 8

Cut a few inches of the 22g wire, and use it to create a wrapped loop on top of one shell. Simply add the shell to the finished chain with a jumpring. Repeat for your other pieces!

DIY Tie Dye Shell Jewelry by Quiet Lion Creations

Have fun, play around with colors, blends and jewelry styles. You can also experiment using this same technique on larger shells, just make sure their base color is white for the best overall effect.

DIY Tie Dye Shell Jewelry by Quiet Lion Creations


All photos copyright Quiet Lion Creations. Email me at info@quietlioncreations.com for permission to use or re-post.
Don’t steal them, it’s bad karma ☺.

DIY Tie Dye Shell Jewelry
DIY Tie Dye Shell Jewelry


All photos copyright Quiet Lion Creations. Email me at info@quietlioncreations.com for permission to use or re-post.
Don’t steal them, it’s bad karma ☺.

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