How to Drill Holes in Shells

Learn how to drill holes in shells to hang shells and make garlands.

How to Drill Holes in Shells
Do you want to string shells together, into a Seashell Garland, for example? Or do you want to hang shells? Then you need to know how to drill holes in shells. 

If you are serious about drilling holes in shells, then the Dremel tool is your friend. It's a small speedy and very handy plug-in drill that's easy to work with.

Drill Shells with Dremel Tool
For the thick sturdy quahog shell I used a regular drill bit to make the two holes. For the more delicate thin shell, I chose a tiny drill bit. Push slightly down on the shell, but be careful not to crack it. Start with a test shell to get the feel for it.

Drill Holes in Shells with Dremel Tool Tutorial
This was my test shell. You see a close up of the drill bit I used on the right. If you want to make the hole larger, the grinding bit (on the left) works great.

wearing safety mask for drilling shells
And just to be safe, wear a safety mask and glasses. 

Another way to make a hole in a shell is using this ancient no drill technique: grind down an area on the shell with a rock until thin enough to puncture a hole. This takes patience. 

How to Drill Shells Step by Step
I dressed up a bottle with the small shell and hung the large shell on the curtain rod. The shells I used to Make a Simple Shell Garland, already had holes when I found them on the beach.