Thursday, October 3, 2013

RAWards Voting Day 3 - How I Make My Handpainted Seashell Jewelry

The accessories I design and create through Watercolor Submarine are a labor of love. Each necklace takes me anywhere from 1-4 hours to create. Today, I thought I'd share the process I go through to create my hand painted seashell necklaces.

I begin by selecting, thoroughly cleaning, and drilling a hole into each seashell. I don't always select 'perfect' shells, because I believe the imperfections that naturally occur in each shell add to their beauty and uniqueness.

I then layer on the color. Using bright watercolor pigments and ample amounts of water, I dab on colors. This is my favorite part of the process, because I get to let the water do its own work, and the results are often more beautiful and surprising than I ever could have imagined!

After the color dries, I use a tiny brush and black acrylic paint to outline a sea creature onto the shell. This is all done freehand, so no two paintings are ever exactly alike. Next, colorful bubbles are painted on the shell with acrylic paints to add accent.

At this point, the painting is finished, so I seal the shell to protect against water and UV light. I then use the hole I previously drilled into the shell and a length of wire to turn the painted shell into a pendant.

A chain is then added to complete the necklace. I use several different types of chain, but may favorite is stainless steel for its durability.

Finally, a small tag is attached to the necklace that describes the character featured on the complete one-of-a-kind jewelry piece.

Thanks for visiting and don't forget to vote for me for RAW:Omaha's Accessories Designer of the Year! Vote on my RAW Profile at


  1. Your jewellery is gorgeous! the colours you use look wonderful, I'll have to check out your etsy store, lovely! Do you often go to the beach to pick shells or do you buy them from somewhere? Take care!

    1. Hi Hannah! Thanks for checking out my blog! I live in the middle of the US (in my opinion way too far from the beach) so I don't often get to pick my own shells. I get them from lots of different places like antique shops and friends and family bring them back for me from vacations. Of course, my favorite seashells are shells that I had the opportunity to find on the beach myself :)

  2. I am glad you shared that. Very interesting!