I really don’t like being a “party-pooper” – definitely NOT my style! However, I really do not like using shells in decorating around the house. From the tiniest shell protecting your friendly Hermit Crab or the largest conch or mollusk shell, I like them better when they are decorating the shore line. But that’s just me!
I do, however like collecting those bits and pieces of white and purple shells, often called wampum – actually a Native American term for sacred beads made out of shells. Eastern Woodland Tribes would craft the shells into white or purple beads or a combination of both. The beads would be woven into belts or worn as jewelry to commemorate historical events or treaties. Gifts of wampum belts or beads would often be exchanged as part of marriages. Even Colonists got into the act using wampum as “money” for trading with Native Americans – more than likely where the modern day term wampum came from to describe money .
I have a lot of wampum just waiting to be re-purposed. I have SO MUCH, in fact, 300 years ago I would probably considered a BAZ-illionaire!
Wearing Wampum: DIY Hair Clips with Shells
While I don’t like seeing shells in bathrooms, in frames or lining bookshelves, etc., I think wearing a small memory is nice. Most of the wampum and little shells I have I collected along North Carolina’s Outer banks — specifically along the beach off the Diamond Shoals on Cape Hatteras. I spent many, many summer vacations there. I’m OVERDUE for a another trip!
Here’s what you need:
- Wampum or small shells
- Bobby Pins or clips – I also used an old tie pin
- Strong craft glue like E6000
- Wire & small pliers
- Glitter or sand
- Small rhinestones – intact or crushed with a hammer to create smaller pieces
- Clear or glittery nail polish
Here’s what you do:
2. Bend the wire into whatever shape you like. I made two very loose and irregular spirals … I reminds me of the ebb and flow of the ocean.
3. Glue everything together and allow it to dry.
4. Glue on any embellishments anyway you like. Use a little glitter or sand, or in my case, rhinestones or rhinestone bits. Let dry.
6. Glue the design onto a bobby pin – IMPORTANT: slide a piece of paper onto the bobby pin or clip to prevent gluing it shut. Let dry.
Using the old tie clip, a piece of sand dollar, a shell and crushed light blue rhinestones, I can up with this nifty little hair clip. And here I am modeling! I feel like a real beach babe now, and I have a little wearable art to remind me of sand between my toes, crashing waves and sea turtles. Yes! Sea turtles – The Outer Banks are a huge breeding ground for these endangered animals. But I digress … fond memories any way you look at it!