Drill Shells

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Do you want to hang shells? Make Seashell Ornaments or a Shell Garland, for example? Then you need to know how to drill holes in shells. So here we go!

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
For the sturdy quahog shell I used a regular drill bit to make the two holes. For the thin shell, the type I used to make my Shell Garland, 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.

dremel drill bits for shells
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.

dremel tool
Here's a glimpse into the Dremel tool kit.

wearing safety mask
And just to be safe, wear a safety mask and glasses! Do you want to hear about an ancient no drill technique? You grind down an area with a rock until thin enough to puncture a hole! I tried it, but wasn't patient enough to see it through.

shell bottle necklace
This is what I did with the shells. Both received a coat of paint. The small shell is now a bottle necklace.

handmade shell ornament
And the large shell makes a cute accent for the curtain. I hope this little tutorial helps you to successfully drill your shells!

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Julie@beingRUBY said...

Oh fabulous!!! I actually have a Dremel but have never used it!! Well now I might just have to... Love the banner photo today..

Have a great week xxx Julie

Beach House Living said...

Well outfitted for the task! Good, the shell dust is known to be unhealthy. I will have to try the grinding bit.

Juju at Tales of Whimsy.com said...

You look cute. I love the incorporation with the drapes.

beth said...

Oh yes! I do plan on drilling holes in shells someday. I would love to make a shell garland, and your shells look so adorable hanging from the bottle and curtain. I want to do that, too!
You look cute in that dust mask! Made me smile. :)
Hope you have a great day.

seacheles said...

Oooh, great post! Thanks for the tutorial! I've always been curious about drilling holes in shells, but I haven't been brave enough. I think I'll be borrowing my parents Dremel tool very soon!! :)

michelle said...

Great job Maya!!! I love them, the ribbon the quahog shell is adorable!!! I have never drilled holes in shells but I have so many of them that I may have to try that along with my driftwood that I have not gotten to yet! Thanks for the tips!! Oh and you look very chic in the mask as well!! :)

Sherri said...

Thanks for the drilling lesson-it was most helpful! I have drilled through copper sheets for my jewelry but never thought to use the Dremel for shells! You have opened a whole new world Maya!!

Everything Coastal said...

great ideas for shells! PS Love Sea Laura's photo too

Rae Rae said...

Ommigoodness! If I didn't have a million things to do today, I would be all over it.

Maybe tomorrow, though! I have everything I need... except (as mentioned...) time.

Can't wake to make a dozen! I think it would be great to hang some on the door knobs of rooms I never use, and even the corner of a picture frame.

Drivtommer-Hus said...

Eine tolle Idee:-)))
ganz lieben Gruß...Kiki

Tricia Rose said...

This might reconcile me to my Dremel Maya - I find it a sulky and underpowered little beast most of the time...

sealaura said...

hi Maya!

You look so cute, I knew you were crafty! Also what a sweet surprise to have one of my pictures in your header. I love your blog and it is my top beach inspiration site, so to see my work on here is such an honor! Thanks so much. Hope you are having a great day :)

Flotsam Friends said...

Hi Maya, love your post. You do look so cute in your little mask! I couldn't live without my Dremel. I use it for everything!! The only thing I can't seem to drill is seaglass. I wonder if anyone knows how? The Dremel is the best tool you could buy and really not that expensive. It's like gold to me. Pruxxx

Heaven's Walk - said...

Hi Maya! Thanks for the tutorial today! I'm adding that awesome drill on my Christmas list!!!!! :)

xoxo laurie@heavens-walk

simpledaisy said...

Love the mask:):)
I think I need a Dremel now!!!

Tina said...

Hi Maya,
I popped on over to tell you to check out what resulted from my morning of crafting insanity. Thought it was right up your ally. I'm now off to drill baby drill me some shells. I got a couple ideas from your post.

Fearless Nester said...

Oh gosh Maya, I may have to revisit my dremel. Those are such simple, yet stunning touches that you came up with! ~Lili

Carmie, the Single Nester said...

I had heard about this drill. Thanks for giving the specs on it.

Karen @ Ocean Soul said...

Hi Maya,
I just finished getting my post ready for tomorrow before popping over here and guess what's it about? My DREMEL!!! Luuuuuv it! Wish I had shells to do! They are absolutely gorgeous and I'm loving your ideas! But I do have ocean rocks and driftwood...fun times ahead!

Therese' P said...

Thankyou! You are so clever and I have been looking for years to find a way to do it myself. Therese' Pureveen, Cape Town, South Africa.

Diana Klingenberg said...

I must have used the wrong kind of drill bit. I had a diamond tip and it burned and melted the bit. What did I do wrong I have a Dremmel but can't seem to not smoke and spark the shells.

Maya Nagel said...

Diana, sounds like you set your dremmel at too high a speed. The diamond tip doesn't need speed, it works based on abrasion. You can also dab a little water by the hole. Okay? Let me know how it went!
Maya @ Completely Coastal

Denise said...

You should always, always, drill shells under water. Even a mask won't keep you from inhaling the fine particles. They are like breathing in glass dust, and very damaging to your lungs.

SunGlow Flowers said...

How about drilling holes in porcelain coffee cups to make tiny planters?
Loved this post!

SunGlow Flowers said...

Love your post! How about details on what drummel you use? Also, would like to drill holes in porcelain tea cups for tiny planters. What do you think? Any pointers? Never used a dremmel before.

Maya Nagel said...

Hi Shelley,
I don't think it matters which Dremel tool, nothing fancy necessary for this project. I guess you could drill porcelain with this too, but do a quick google search, just to be sure! Hope this helps. Thanks for stopping by!

Rosie Hayes said...

Thanks for this Maya!
I'm struggling to find which dremmel! They all do different things (I kinda want them all!) but neither the 3000 or 4000 kit seem to have a small enough drill bit? Can you help?
Thank you :)

Maya Nagel said...

Hi Rosie! If you don't find a tool kit with a tiny drill, you could purchase a drill bits set separately, like this one Here that I saw on Amazon. Okay? Happy drilling!! ~Maya

Sandy with seashells said...

Same here! I ended up using my husbands drill and buying a drill bit for tile.

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