Published on August 28th, 2011 | by Julie Finn


Five Easy DIY Accessories to Make Using Natural Materials

wire wrapped shark tooth necklace
My small hiking companions gather natural treasures by the armful. Acorns, feathers, pretty stones, shells, lovely bits of wood, flowers, pinecones, sand– on every single hike!

Even if you don’t happen to hike with magpies, I’m betting that you, too, have collected some natural keepsakes during your time in the wilderness. It seems to be instinct to spy something pretty and take it home to treasure.

Up until recently, I had been keeping all of our natural keepsakes on display in jars and baskets, on shelves and in bookcases. This summer, however, I’ve made it one of my projects to turn some of the prettiest treasures–fossils, shark teeth, pretty pebbles, etc.–into jewelry for myself and my girls.

How fun for my girls to wear as an accessory a favorite item that they, themselves, discovered! How comforting to me to keep a memory of one of my favorite places in a pretty glass vial around my neck.

Take a quick inventory of your own natural treasures, gathering dust on display (or not!) around your house, and then let yourself be inspired by these five projects that will help you turn those treasures into beloved, and well-worn, pieces of jewelry.

netted stone necklace tutorial from Lune VintageIf you’re an artist of yarn and thread, perhaps you already know how versatile such materials are, but even if you’re a total novice, you’ll find Lune’s netted stone necklace tutorial, from Lune Vintage, an easy walk-through. The justaposition of soft yarn and hard stone is a lovely effect, and you can make your piece as elaborate as you’d like, since threading on beads and baubles and other decorations is quite simple.

[Image by Lune Vintage, used with attribution]

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About the Author

I'm a writer, crafter, Zombie Preparedness Planner, and homeschooling momma of two kids who will hopefully someday transition into using their genius for good, not the evil machinations and mess-making in which they currently indulge. I'm interested in recycling and nature crafts, food security, STEM education, and the DIY lifestyle, however it's manifested--making myself some underwear out of T-shirts? Done it. Teaching myself guitar? Doing it right now. Visit my blog Craft Knife for a peek at our very weird handmade homeschool life; my etsy shop Pumpkin+Bear for a truly odd number of rainbow-themed beeswax pretties; and my for links to articles about poverty, educational politics, and this famous cat who lives in my neighborhood.

4 Responses to Five Easy DIY Accessories to Make Using Natural Materials

  1. Jenny Hoople says:

    That little shark tooth necklace is so sweet and fierce!  Love the picture 😀  I’m always picking up little things on my walks, too.  Right now there are acorns everywhere!

    • Pumpkinbear says:

      I think that acorns would make an AMAZING necklace. Or you could sprout one in a teeny little test tube with some dirt, and then wear that around your neck for a while. For some reason there are feathers everywhere around here right now, but the acorns are coming soon!

  2. Annabel says:

    In reference to the acorn necklace comment–I had the same thought last year as I saw literally thousands of acorn caps lying around my yard. I simply couldn’t let them all go to waste, so I took a handful, drilled wee holes into each one, and strung them onto a necklace, interposed with little wooden beads. I have never had another necklace get so many compliments. Like so many other things in nature that are so often ignored, they really are beautiful when you take a moment to look at them.

    • There was one just like that hanging around a bird painting in my childhood home. My mother must have made it in her teens. (She was 90 when she died last Feb.) Thanks for reminding me of it.

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