DIY Seashell & Bead Wind Chime

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Wind chimes just say summer breezes and hammock laying to me. I just love the sound. This DIY seashell & bead wind chime is a fun summertime activity for your kids or you!

Living by the coast, I always have an abundance of shells.
Ones that I’ve picked up at the beach or those I’ve bought at the store. ;)

So, if you don’t live by the beach…no worries! You can find them just about everywhere.

A couple of weeks ago I decided to create a seashell & bead wind chime for my screened back porch.
I’d never made one before but figured it was pretty simple.
And it was.

DIY Seashell & Bead Wind Chime - artsychicksrule.com #coastaldecor #beadwindchime #seashellprojects #diywindchime #seashellwindchime

I decided to add beads to mine because I wanted a bit of color …and a little “bling” never hurts, right?
(plus, they were a little “happy accident” also, as you’ll see further on)

DIY Seashell & Bead Wind Chime

I started out with these shells…and beads.

DIY Seashell & Bead Wind Chime - artsychicksrule.com #coastaldecor #beadwindchime #seashellprojects #diywindchime #seashellwindchime
I used to make beaded jewelry and have a TON of these beads.
I have about 8 more box fulls upstairs in my craft/office room.
One day I’ll go through it all….maybe. ;)

DIY Seashell & Bead Wind Chime - artsychicksrule.com #coastaldecor #beadwindchime #seashellprojects #diywindchime #seashellwindchime

I do so love to play with it all though. So many pretties. :)

To make the wind chime, I started by drilling holes in all of the shells.

DIY Seashell & Bead Wind Chime - artsychicksrule.com #coastaldecor #beadwindchime #seashellprojects #diywindchime #seashellwindchime

DIY Seashell & Bead Wind Chime - artsychicksrule.com #coastaldecor #beadwindchime #seashellprojects #diywindchime #seashellwindchime

DIY Seashell & Bead Wind Chime - artsychicksrule.com #coastaldecor #beadwindchime #seashellprojects #diywindchime #seashellwindchime

DIY Seashell & Bead Wind Chime - artsychicksrule.com #coastaldecor #beadwindchime #seashellprojects #diywindchime #seashellwindchime

I used an empty cardboard box as my “base” to hold the shell as I drilled.
That way I could just drill right down and into the open space of the box.
You might notice that the holes are pretty big.
I had a bit of a “fail”. My vision for this wind chime was rope.
Sadly, I could not get the rope I had on hand to work properly and I was ready to get it done!
And stubborn. ;)

So I used some stretchy cord instead (that is used for making stretchy bracelets and such)

DIY Seashell & Bead Wind Chime - artsychicksrule.com #coastaldecor #beadwindchime #seashellprojects #diywindchime #seashellwindchime

I had to modify since I now had large holes in my shells but I won’t really get into that.
If you make the holes small (like I should have in the first place!) you won’t have to deal with that problem.
But basically, I had to put a “stopper” on each side of the hole to keep the shells in place.
The stoppers were extra beads that you will notice in the photos.

Otherwise, you would just loop your rope, twine, cord, whatever, through the hole, tie a knot and move on.

Like on this shell, for example. See the clear little iridescent bead inside the shell?
That is covering the hole so my stretchy cord does not slip through.

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But like I mentioned, you should just be able to tie a knot on either side of the shell and move on to your next addition.

DIY Seashell & Bead Wind Chime - artsychicksrule.com #coastaldecor #beadwindchime #seashellprojects #diywindchime #seashellwindchime

DIY Seashell & Bead Wind Chime - artsychicksrule.com #coastaldecor #beadwindchime #seashellprojects #diywindchime #seashellwindchime

DIY Seashell & Bead Wind Chime - artsychicksrule.com #coastaldecor #beadwindchime #seashellprojects #diywindchime #seashellwindchime

So the beads have a double purpose on mine, form and function. :)

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Whatever works, right?

I decided to use the large shell as the top…and the starfish “arms” were perfect for creating the different lines down from it.

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Pretty simple. 

And even more simple if you don’t drill your holes too big. ;)

DIY Seashell & Bead Wind Chime - artsychicksrule.com #coastaldecor #beadwindchime #seashellprojects #diywindchime #seashellwindchime

Okay, truth be told, this bead wind chime wasn’t the most exciting project I’ve ever attempted. ;)
But that could have something to do with my original plan not working out as I envisioned.
Always fixable though.

And it was just pretty do-able!
If you are wanting to make one with seashells, go for it!
Drilling the holes into them was a lot easier than I expected.
I thought they’d be tough….they really weren’t. So that was a definite plus.

Anyway, it was a fun diversion from my other “crafty” projects, decor and furniture makeovers.
I’m usually game to try anything creative ….at least once. ;)

Hope you give it a go!

See the rest of our screened porch and patio (makeover), >>> here.

xoxo

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43 Comments

  1. Hi Nancy ~
    I love your sea shell chimes ~ very cleaver ~

    Maybe next time I’m at the beach I will look for some shells and try my hand at this cute little chimes.
    Have a wonderful day
    Rose

  2. Look your seashell wind chimes. You did an awesome job. I ‘ll buy one of those. I love, love, love the beach.

    1. Aw thank you Meloni!! This was one of those times that you stand back and question your crafting skills! ;) So that makes my day!!
      xo
      Nancy

  3. I’m loving this project..especially because I have boxes and boxes of unused shells. I’m loving your bead collection too! Share how to make a bracelet! Sharing this pretty project.. of course :)

    1. Thank you Wendi! :) I may have to do a post on that someday!! I LOVE doing it but have gotten away from it. No time anymore!! ;)
      xo
      Nancy

  4. Please can you tell me what type of drill you used? It must be very fine not to shatter the shells. I love your website – such a clever lady! I wish I had your imagination …

    1. Hi Yvonne!

      I just used a regular drill and a tiny drill bit (I don’t remember the exact size off hand). It’s slow and steady. :) And thank you for the sweet words too! So happy you enjoy the website and projects. :) xoxo

  5. I’m trying to make one. Would fishing line work as well? Also, I’d like to use sea glass with the shells but drilling holes in it is really difficult. Any ideas?

    1. Oh yes, absolutely! I use fishing line for everything and think it would work great in this application. Just make sure you are able to knot of the knots well and tight. Sorry, I don’t have any ideas on the sea glass and drilling except to use as tiny a bit as you can (since you are using fishing line, will be all you need) so you have less risk of cracking it. :)

  6. I have been looking for a beautiful way to display all my seashells – thanks for this wonderful tutorial! I’ll be starting this soon!

  7. This came out so nice! I think the added beads due to the holes being too large just made it even prettier. Always wanted to make one and I have a gazillion shells so I really should lol.

  8. Hi Nancy,
    What drill bit did you use on the shells? My first two attempts cracked my shell into bits!! I rally love your website, so many cool projects!!

    1. Oh gosh, Anna, I don’t remember now. It’s been years since I did that project. I do know it was teeny tiny though. Not sure that helps you much though. :/ Thank you for the kind compliment, so so happy you enjoy the blog! xo

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