Use Shell Buttons to Make Necklaces

Vintage shell button necklace

Shell buttons are lusterous and beautiful. One side is usually a creamy white, and often the other side is brown or black or sometimes blue showing the true quality of the shell that the button was made from.

Use shell buttons to make a one-of-a-kind button necklace easily with just a few supplies. Use either vintage shell buttons with flaws that add to the character of your shell button necklace or new shell buttons.

Supplies to Make a Shell Necklace

  • Assortment of shell buttons, different sizes, numbers of holes, etc. make for an interesting necklace
  • Silk bead cord with needle attached or other sturdy thread
  • Small bead such as Swarvoski crystals or glass seed beads

Assemble the Button Necklace

Decide how long you want the shell necklace to be. The easiest way to make this necklace is to make it long enough to slip over your head. This way you can tie a knot in the end of the silk cord. You won’t need to add a clasp making this button necklace a cinch to make. Most people will need a finished necklace that is at least 22 inches long. Therefore, leave an additional 4 or 5 inches to tie the knot at the end.

Add buttons to the center of the cord. Slip the needle attached to the silk cord through one hole of a vintage shell button. Push the needle through the other hole of the shell button. It’s okay to use shell buttons with 2 holes or 4 holes, but only slip the needle through 2 of the holes in the shell button.

Continue adding shell buttons to the silk cord. Use one large shell button then alternate using a smaller button. Every so often, slip a crystal bead on the silk cord so it sits on the top of the button. Add enough beads so they look good centered on the silk cord. About six or seven buttons rest nicely at the center as focal beads.

To add a button or a bead up on the silk cord away from the center, tie a knot in the silk cord so it acts as a stopper so the button or bead stays in place. Off set the buttons or beads on the length portion of the cord so the vintage shell button necklace has a whimsical feel.

Tie a knot in the end. To finish the shell button necklace, cut the needle off the cord if necessary or move the buttons and beads to the other end without the needle. Tie a knot then tie another knot and trim the ends so just a half inch or so of silk cord is left on each end.