Shell Tassel Lanterns

Transform paper lanterns into elegant decorations with these sweet shell tassels. A rotary tool with a small ceramic drill bit allows you to make holes in your shells without breaking them.

Tools and Materials

  • Small shells
  • Ball of yarn
  • Cardboard
  • Sharp scissors
  • Rotary tool
  • 1/8" ceramic drill bit
  • Piece of scrap wood
  • Small vice or clamp (optional)

Step-By-Step Instructions

First, drill holes in shells – see instructions below.

To make a 4" tassel:

1. Cut a piece of cardboard into a rectangle hat measures roughly 4 x 8". Then, score across the middle, fold in half, and cut small slits in the edges of the fold.

2. Cut a piece of yarn about 12" long and place across the fold, tucking into slits of fold to hold in place. This will be the string that you will eventually thread the shell onto after creating the tassel.

3. Begin wrapping the remaining yarn around the cardboard and continue until you achieve the thickness you want for your tassel. How many times you wrap will depend on the thickness of your yarn.

4. Tie the 12" piece of yarn at the folded edge of the cardboard around the wrapped yarn, and secure with a square knot.

5. Cut the other end of the wrapped bundle of yarn, and remove the bundle from the cardboard.

6. Cut another piece of yarn about 18" long. Wrap it around the tip of the yarn bundle several times, and tie it off with a square knot. Trim the ends to be the same length as the tassel.

7. Thread the top piece of yarn through holes in shell and tie to the bottom of lantern.

To drill holes in shells:

1. Soak, rinse and dry a shell.

2. Draw two small dots on the shell where you want the holes to be.

3. Clamp or hold the shell steady on a scrap wood surface, and fit your rotary tool with a 1/8" ceramic drill bit.

4. Turn on the rotary tool and bring the tip of the bit to each of the dots you drew on the shell, drilling slowly and gently.

5. If you are not using a a clamp, keep the palm of your hand steadied on the work surface while holding and drilling the shell, as it will have a tendency to slip around.