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How to make a Cowrie Shell Necklace

Cowrie Shell Necklace Kit

Cowrie Shell Necklace 

Native Americans have traded Cowrie shells amongst themselves for hundreds of years. They use these shells to decorate their clothing and to make jewelry.  The European traders brought glass beads to trade with the Native Americans.  These beads were eagerly adopted by Natives and also used them to create jewelry. Our Cowrie shell necklace is a very traditional, yet simple necklace to make, so you can show off your new necklace in no time at all!

Materials needed:
– 7 drilled small cowrie shells
– 100 glass tile beads in 2 colors
– 1 yard of imitation sinew

You can purchase these materials separately or purchase a Cowrie Shell Necklace Kit from the Wandering Bull with all of the materials you need to make your necklace!

Getting Started:

1) String one cowrie shell and bring it to the center of the imitation sinew. Tie a knot at the top of this shell so it will lie flat when you wear the necklace.
Working from the center, string the tile beads and cowrie shells on each side of the center shell. String 3 alternating color tile beads between each cowrie shell. When the shells have all been used, continue to string the tile beads, alternating colors until all of the beads are used.

2) Tknotie a knot in the sinew at both ends of the beads so the beads do not fall off.

3) Adjust the necklace to the length you want, and tie the ends together in a bow.

bowIf you prefer to have a clasp-type closure on your necklace, visit our Findings page for all your jewelry-making needs!

Try these other fun kits to make traditional-style Native American jewelry. Or shop all of the Kits from the Wandering Bull!