Shells and Waves Necklace

I’ve been thinking about the beach, lately — maybe because temperatures been in the 90’s for several weeks.  We’ve gone to the Jersey shore almost every summer since I can remember.  This necklace reminds me of the ocean.


Paperbead “shell” necklace with swirling ocean wave links.


Drying the paper beads. The beads are shaped like little bowls or oyster shells

I’ve been experimenting with dimensional paper beads lately — drying fused tissue paper around objects like stones and glass marbles.  Once you peel the dried paper off the object, you get a bowl shaped “bead”.  The irregular shape of it reminded me of oyster shells from the beach.

I was inspired to gild the beads after seeing a video by Ross Barbera about applying gold to watercolor paper.  (You can check out his youtube channel – Realisticart – for more info.) My paper wasn’t watercolor paper, but I thought that I might get a similar effect.

The first bead that I gilded, I put the gold on the whole back. It gave a rich look to it but took away the translucence of the paper.  It’s hard to see on the photos, but that is why the bottom shell looks a little darker then the upper one. The other bead was just gilded around the edges which allowed it to keep its translucence –  much like a delicate shell might have.

The swirls of the wire links look like ocean waves, completing the beach feel.

Paper Bead Shells

I couldn’t resist adding a pearl to the shells!


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