I finally made the DIY shell casing necklace that I’ve been wanting to make for months. I’m thrilled with how this bullet necklace DIY turned out, because it looks so cool.
And for everyone who suggested I share more photos of myself on the blog, this project also features some slightly awkward, photos of yours truly, lol.
Wondering what you can make out of shell casings? Looking for things to make out of bullet casings? Re-purpose bullet casings by making your own crystal spike and shell casing pendants! I love the combination of the rugged shell casing (which has been fired), with the sparkly quartz. Ready to make your own DIY shell casing necklace? Let me show you a few different methods!
Supplies for DIY Casing Necklace:
- Bullet shell casing (ask a firearm-loving friend – you can also find them on Amazon)
- Rough cut rock crystal/quartz spike bead pre-drilled across the top (like these)
- 24 gauge wire
- Needle Nose Plier
- Drill and 1/16″ drill bit (or another small size)
- Pipe cutter (this one is similar to ours – same brand as well) or small saw
- Metal File (like this one)
- Safety Glasses (did you know they come in hot pink???)
- Jewellery chain (something in an “antique gold,” like this one, suits the brass casing)
How Do You Make a Shell Casing Necklace?
Here’s how to make your own shell casing necklace with a crystal spike – keep reading for the detailed instructions for how to make a bullet necklace.
- Collect and clean shell casings (see below for cleaning tips)
- Find the correct size crystal spike
- Drill a hole at the end of the shell casing
- File the edges of the shell casing
- Wire wrap the crystal spike
- Thread the wire through the end of the shell casing
- Create a loop with the wire
- Thread onto chain
How to Make a Crystal Spike and Shell Casing Necklace:
Clean the Shell Casing:
I collected a wide selection of fired shell casings on our last trip to the firing range. I cleaned all the casings in the same vinegar bath & baking soda scrub I used to clean my penny for my penny ring project. Although the gunk came off, the casings kept a nice patina which I was happy about. Be sure to thoroughly rinse off all vinegar and baking soda.
Find the Right Size Crystal Spike:
Finding the right size crystals was tricky. I brought one of each size shell casing to craft stores in search of the right stones. I finally found a strand of crystal points at a local bead shop. I’m happy I brought the shell casings because these stones are naturally irregular and only four or five fit well. I suggest checking out your local shops first. If ordering online, pay particular attention to the size of the beads. Specifically ask the seller if the stones will fit in a tube the diameter of your casing.
|Rock Crystal Rough Point Stick Beads from Etsy|
Drill a Hole in the Shell Casing:
With the crystals purchased and the shell casings cleaned, Hubby and I drilled a hole into the top of each casing (wearing eye protection, of course!)
The handgun casings were ready to use, but the rifle casings needed to be sawed off. A pipe cutter works really well but if you don’t have one, a jeweller’s saw or a plain old saw will work. If using a saw, wrap a piece of paper towel around the casing so your vice grips, etc., don’t mar the surface (see third photo).
One thing to note: although more uniform, the pipe cutter slightly curves the end of the casing inward.
We used a metal file to gently file the metal at the cut edges and also where the holes were drilled. Work on a piece of paper towel to catch the filings and I recommend wearing gloves – the little metal bits are so itchy if they work their way into your skin. Trust me.
I grabbed one of my crystal spike points and strung about five inches of the wire through the bead. I worked with one end, wrapping the wire tightly against itself.
Then I threaded the end of the wire up through the drilled hole.
Using a pen, I wrapped the wire into a circle (the pen helped me keep the shape, but you can freehand it) and then wrapped the wire tightly around the base of the loop.
Add Chain to your DIY Shell Casing Necklace!
Finally, I added chain from the craft store to complete my DIY shell casing necklace. I made mine long enough to slip over my head, like with my DIY agate necklace, to avoid a clasp. I simply opened one loop, attached it to the other end and, voila! Now I have a fun new shell casing and crystal necklace!
DIY Shell Casing Necklace Method:
Alternatively, you can also drill two holes in the side of the casings (use a nail to make a dent first, so your drill bit doesn’t slip off) and run the chain through the casing. With this method, you can even use a hunk of rock glued into the casing, instead of a bead, and string the chain through the holes.
How to Make a Bullet Necklace without Drilling:
Instead of drilling the top of a shell casing, you can push the primer out instead. The one difference with this method, is that the hole is inset. But it’s definitely possible to make a bullet necklace without drilling – and you only need two simple handheld tools. We used a nail set and hammer to push the primer out:
Let me know if you have any questions about how to make your own DIY shell casing necklace!
P.S. Don’t Forget to Pin for Later!