DIY Pistachio Shell Earrings

My very first experiment with nut shells was to make earrings out of pistachio shells. I love eating pistachios. Though they are a bit expensive, they are a very healthy food, nutritionally dense.

According to the Wikipedia, the pistachio is a desert plant, a member of thee cashew family. The pistachio shells split naturally a look like sea shells (almost). So, unlike walnut shells, you do not have to make any effort to split them correctly. As soon as you’ve eaten a nut, you have in your hands the material for your earrings. Shells of roasted pistachio also have just the right kind of hardness for making jewelry.

What I used (in addition to pistachio shells):Ear with a dangler of multiple pistachio shells

  • my imagination (first and foremost)
  • jewelry findings – hooks and jump rings
  • acrylic colors
  • paint brush
  • varnish
  • plier
  • tweezers

Jewelry findings on Amazon

Personally, I like danglers and chandelier type earrings like the one you see in the picture. For this type, I use 10 to 12 pistachio shells per pair. I paint them with colors that go with my dresses.

 Sample pistachio shell earring pair in purple and gold color Sample pistachio shell earring pair in yellow and black color Sample pistachio shell earring pair in dusty red color

You can use your imagination and taste to paint the shells as you like. Apply a coat of varnish over the paint to give it a glossy look and also to make the shells stronger and more durable.

You can apply varnish also over the nude shells like you see in the picture at the top of this post. That way, anybody can tell they are pistachio shells, but they also look classy.

Now, I know the question that is in your mind, because that is the first question asked by all who have seen my pretty earrings:

How do I pierce the hard pistachio shells without breaking them?

Well, here’s the technique – and this is the first thing I do – soak the shells in water for at least a couple of hours. This also helps remove any salt that is on the shells. (Most pistachios that I purchase are roasted and salted). The soaked pistachio shells are soft enough to be pierced with any sharp object, such as a pin or a needle. I wouldn’t advise children to do this by themselves. Children should get the help of adults to pierce the pistachio shells.

interconnected jump rings in pistachio shell earringLet the shells dry before you paint them. Once the paint (and varnish) is dry, insert the jump rings. Then, interconnect the jump rings to form the design of your imagination. Here’s a close-up to show how I interconnected them.

Jewelry findings on Amazon

Needless to say, you can make other designs such as these cute ones I made:

pistachio shell earring pair made of 3 shells each single shell painted earring

If you like my idea, please leave a comment.

If you make pistachio shell earrings for yourself, do send me a few photographs.

Subscribe to my blog for more ideas on what to do with nut shells.

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