How to make Walnut Shell Jewelry (1940’s)

These unique pieces of jewelry can be made from black walnut shells.

Since they are hard and close-grained they polish nicely and are quite durable.

While only a bracelet and necklace are shown here, there are many possibilities for walnut shell jewelry including hat decorations, buttons and pins.

  • choose several nuts of usual shape
  • scrub the shells clean with soap and water
  • put the shells in a vice long ways to safely hold them for slicing
  • use a fine-tooth saw to saw off slices/disks of the shell
  • saw half-way through the shell, put a cardboard/poster board spacer in the slot to prevent binding or breaking
  • turn the nut over and continue the cut
  • Put the sections in a vise and drill holes 1/2″ apart to insert elastic or thread.
  • smooth the faces of each piece with sandpaper
  • polish the pieces with wax


  • 6 or 7 similar-sized pieces.
  • 2 – 1/8″ beads as spacers between the pieces.
  • make the knots of the elastic within one of the shells so they can be hidden.


  • you will need strong thread and a clasp
  • use pieces of similar sizes or variations – your choice.
  • see the picture for design ideas and bead suggestions
  • use wood, clay, glass or stone beads.

Other items to make using similar methods:

  • decorative belt
  • a hot plate/trivet
  • wreath
  • head band
  • purse strap
  • key chain decoration
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3 responses to “How to make Walnut Shell Jewelry (1940’s)
  1. Interesting, but too much work for me to want to do. LOL!

    Appreciate all you do gathering such great crafts and games for us. Thank you.

  2. Hello Patricia,

    Thank you for your kind comments 🙂

    And, yes, I agree with you about the Walnut Jewelry – a lot of work.

    I’m glad you popped by – enjoy the site!

  3. Hi, I am interested in making jewelry from nut slices. What kind of saw do you use to slice the nut shells? Are some shells better and easier to slice than others? Your bracelet and necklace is charming!!


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