Memories of the Beach: DIY Hair Clips with Shells

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shellsBeachcombers Delight

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 .

Just one of several jars full

Just one of several jars full

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:

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Shells 2Shells 14

Shells 9Shells 15

  • 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:

1 . Choose the shells or wampum or a combination of both. lay them out until you come up with a design which tickles your fancy. Shells 11

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.

Shells 10

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.

5. Coat everything with nail polish. Let dry.Shells 8

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.

Shells 7 Shells 6

 Tie Clip 

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.   Shells 3 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!

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About the author / 

Green Diva Mizar'

Green Diva Mizar is a former co-host of the GD show. GD Mizar is also dedicated to providing safe, clean water to all through her company Pur2o Water Filtration & Purification.


    James Paulson October 24, 2013 at 3:57 pm -  Reply

    This totally looks like something that would be up my girlfriend’s alley. So whimsical! Excellent stuff!

    Spears October 31, 2013 at 2:55 am -  Reply

    Wow looks so gorgeous and shiny! Thanks for your sharing! loving!

    Amy Elliott November 11, 2013 at 12:04 pm -  Reply

    This is so pretty!

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