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How-Tuesday: Organic Seed Necklaces

Jun 21, 2011

by sewella

Etsy.com handmade and vintage goods

I think of summer as an ode to nature’s finest, with gardens, picnic blankets, and farmer’s markets overflowing with the crunchiest vegetables, the sweetest fruits, and the freshest herbs. There is nothing quite like a midsummer feast! Macedonia-based crafter and teacher Maya Kuzman, a.k.a sewella, takes the celebration of this bounty one step further in this week’s How-Tuesday post, with tips on how to turn the seeds of your favorite melon into an adornment to last the whole year.

My name is Maya Kuzman and I blog over at Little Treasures. I am an English teacher and translator by profession, but I’m also a devoted knitter, a struggling crocheter, and an aspiring seamstress. I have always been inspired by nature. Today I’m looking to the fruits of nature to create a fabulous melon seed necklace.

 

 

Supplies you’ll need:

  • Melon or watermelon seeds
  • Markers or nail polish
  • Wooden beads
  • Fishing line or a cotton thread
  • Thin embroidery needle

Directions:

1. For the melon seed necklace, scoop out the seeds with a spoon. Wash the seeds in warm water with mild washing detergent to remove the slimy fibers. Then let them air dry in the sun. I usually place them on a cotton napkin so they won’t stick to it when dried. It’s helpful if the seeds are big because they are easier to manipulate.

2. When piercing the seeds, it is best if you do it in the middle; if you make a hole near the edge, the seed might split.

3. Once the seeds are dry, I love to add a little color. For my necklaces, I used ordinary markers — you can also use nail polish for a more finished and glittery look. I painted half of the seed because I like the effect they create when strung together.

4. With a thin embroidery needle, string the seeds on fishing line or cotton thread. You can introduce wooden beads (for a more organic appearance), plastic beads, crocheted flowers, etc.

5. Tie a simple, yet secured, knot and you’re done. Choose your favorite colors, string the seeds and make yourself some organic jewelery!

Extra Tips:

  • Keep your necklaces in a dry place and do not expose them to moisture. My oldest melon seed necklace is about 15 years old and looks as if I made it yesterday.
  • Pumpkin and squash seeds are not appropriate for this type of project since they tend to dry, shrink, chip and break. However, watermelon seeds can be used instead.
  • If you have plain wooden beads and want to color them, stick them on a toothpick stuck into a corkboard (or Styrofoam board). This makes it much easier to paint the beads.

If you make this project, share your results with us in the How-Tuesday Flickr group!

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139 comments

  • TallyLocke

    TallyLocke said 5 years ago

    Wholly cow! Stunning! This would be a great project to do with my niece! Thanks so much for the how-to!

  • ALittleDot

    ALittleDot said 5 years ago

    beautiful!! Great idea.. love it

  • WhisperingOak

    WhisperingOak said 5 years ago

    How lovely. What a great tutorial. Thanks!

  • RetiredRecords

    RetiredRecords said 5 years ago

    Love this idea, I have some left over seeds that are too old to plant this would be a great use for them.

  • igasdesigns

    igasdesigns said 5 years ago

    Wonderful jewelry!

  • accentonvintage

    accentonvintage said 5 years ago

    Nice summer craft idea! Love your creativity!

  • jammerjewelry

    jammerjewelry said 5 years ago

    Wonderful article, Thanks!

  • TheUntamedHeart

    TheUntamedHeart said 5 years ago

    This is super fun! Thanks for sharing!

  • lindaketelhut

    lindaketelhut said 5 years ago

    Brilliant! Beautiful necklaces. Thanks for sharing this wonderful idea!

  • AlpineGypsy

    AlpineGypsy said 5 years ago

    Ohmygosh! So cool, thanks~ Heidi

  • LittleWrenPottery

    LittleWrenPottery said 5 years ago

    Wow thats amazing! I love how the addition of colour makes quite the statement...

  • overthemeadow

    overthemeadow said 5 years ago

    Super cute! Great idea and looks fab!

  • NoMoreTwistHandmade

    NoMoreTwistHandmade said 5 years ago

    when i was a child growing up in new mexico, we used to make necklaces out of dried corn or maize kernals in imitation of our pueblo indian neighbors. the corn could be dyed or painted to create really similar style necklaces that are formed from the same concept of using every part of our food! thanks for this really innovative and attractively simple project!

  • paramountvintage

    paramountvintage said 5 years ago

    i love this project. wooden beads have always been my favorite, but seeds? what a great idea!

  • beadfreaky

    beadfreaky said 5 years ago

    This it too wonderful! Thanks for sharing :)

  • aBreathofFrenchair

    aBreathofFrenchair said 5 years ago

    What a fun project!

  • CreationsArt

    CreationsArt said 5 years ago

    I loved this project. Very innovative, using seeds as beads..!! Thanks for sharing.. :)

  • nanouke

    nanouke said 5 years ago

    Looks amazing! I'm not sure how do you get your seeds to be white, maybe the washing and the sun drying take care of that :)

  • nanouke

    nanouke said 5 years ago

    ahhhh melon seeds! :D

  • pedazos

    pedazos said 5 years ago

    Just when I thought there was nothing left to bead. This is great!!!!

  • MootiDesigns

    MootiDesigns said 5 years ago

    Very creative. Great idea, colors and designs. Thanks for sharing!

  • Iammie

    Iammie said 5 years ago

    So creative.

  • TheLittleRagamuffin

    TheLittleRagamuffin said 5 years ago

    When I was a little girl I adored a necklace my mom once made out of apple seeds which she strung and weaved into the most intricate pattern. Last year I found it again in her jewelry box and was equally as delighted. When she told me I could have it I felt like a kid all over again. I treasure that apple seed necklace and imagine all of the apples my mother ate in order to make it.

  • KcSoapsNmore

    KcSoapsNmore said 5 years ago

    awesome. Can't wait to try this one.......

  • dollybirdboutique

    dollybirdboutique said 5 years ago

    love this, great project x

  • redhardwick

    redhardwick said 5 years ago

    Cool idea, love the colors!

  • StudioDevinat

    StudioDevinat said 5 years ago

    Great idea! Thanks for sharing.

  • cathlinmn

    cathlinmn said 5 years ago

    Love this so much!

  • skyetaylorgalleries

    skyetaylorgalleries said 5 years ago

    About stringing watermelon seeds the Great Skye Taylor ;) said it best. "In order to have success in the watermelon business, you must first SUCK SEED (succeed) LOL

  • CraftZany

    CraftZany said 5 years ago

    Oh this is just too cool! Now I know my next jewelry project! Perfect for summer and cheap! I can see pumpkin seeds all over my bed. Maybe I should head into my studio for this project! Thanks for sharing!

  • BeppeMartha

    BeppeMartha said 5 years ago

    Love it!!!

  • NiChaPoN

    NiChaPoN said 5 years ago

    Good sharing.. love it

  • TreasuryShop

    TreasuryShop said 5 years ago

    Cool idea!

  • M0MITA

    M0MITA said 5 years ago

    Looks fabulous! Thanks for sharing! I love to work with natural materials.

  • ThoseThreeWords

    ThoseThreeWords said 5 years ago

    Super fun! Would be a cool bracelet too, love this idea! Thanks for sharing.

  • HumbleElegance

    HumbleElegance said 5 years ago

    Wow. I am definately going to try this . So creative

  • GardenApothecary

    GardenApothecary said 5 years ago

    loves it! you are never bound to go hungry with that on!

  • neighborhoodvintage

    neighborhoodvintage said 5 years ago

    I LOVE the natural aspect of these!!!!!!! Don't you dare see my shop: http://www.etsy.com/shop/neighborhoodvintage?ref=pr_shop_more

  • neighborhoodvintage

    neighborhoodvintage said 5 years ago

    I LOVE the natural aspect of these!!!!!!! Don't you dare see my shop: http://www.etsy.com/shop/neighborhoodvintage?ref=pr_shop_more

  • PassionFlowerVintage

    PassionFlowerVintage said 5 years ago

    What a great idea! Thanks!

  • WeddingLab

    WeddingLab said 5 years ago

    That is wonderful! Thanks!

  • ExpressingDevotion

    ExpressingDevotion said 5 years ago

    Great project--could be especially fun with kids!

  • myvintagecrush

    myvintagecrush said 5 years ago

    Beautiful! I love how only part of the seed is colored, so special!

  • lowercasejdesign

    lowercasejdesign said 5 years ago

    One summer I single handedly ate 3 full size watermelons over the course of a month. It was the best snack EVER. I don't think my mom was too thrilled that no one else was getting any watermelon! Maybe now I'll make her this necklace as a way of thanking her for all that watermelon.

  • dontblinkalabama

    dontblinkalabama said 5 years ago

    When I was little...we used to make necklaces and bracelets out of butterbeans...what memories this story just brought me!

  • ruddlecottage

    ruddlecottage said 5 years ago

    Beautiful! What patience you have!

  • Kagie

    Kagie said 5 years ago

    I love your jewelry - what a wonderful idea!

  • zatanah

    zatanah said 5 years ago

    That's really cool! Very creative.

  • verde86

    verde86 said 5 years ago

    Love this! I remember buying these in Jamaica...they made them from watermelon seeds. Definitley going to try this :)

  • verde86

    verde86 said 5 years ago

    Love this! I remember buying these in Jamaica...they made them from watermelon seeds. Definitley going to try this :)

  • MerCurios

    MerCurios said 5 years ago

    What a fun project! This brought back so many childhood memories of crafts with my aunts. thank you.

  • HouseOfMoss

    HouseOfMoss said 5 years ago

    This project is beautiful! Thanks for sharing, Maya!

  • jpgphotography

    jpgphotography said 5 years ago

    What a fun how-to... at first glance they remind me of a puka shell necklace.

  • girltuesdayjewelry

    girltuesdayjewelry said 5 years ago

    What a great summertime project!

  • RedbirdGreen

    RedbirdGreen said 5 years ago

    Can't wait to do this with my girls this summer!

  • Lilsugarskulls

    Lilsugarskulls said 5 years ago

    Love the Article...I love the "Carnival Ring" very nice♥

  • aldari

    aldari said 5 years ago

    Love it all! Thank you!

  • Rewoodtoys

    Rewoodtoys said 5 years ago

    This is awesome. What a great article. Repurposing at its best :)

  • WoolnFelt

    WoolnFelt said 5 years ago

    coolest necklace EVER

  • YesterdaysMuse

    YesterdaysMuse said 5 years ago

    This would be great to do with a number of different seeds. I like how you painted them, but they would look just as great in their natural shades for us earthy toned people!

  • pbmay

    pbmay said 5 years ago

    Wow--thanks for the tutorial! Definitely a grandma and me project!

  • TheScarfTree

    TheScarfTree said 5 years ago

    So pretty and so effective! Thank you for sharing!

  • ChrissiesRibbons

    ChrissiesRibbons said 5 years ago

    Oh this is so fun... Love!

  • sewella

    sewella said 5 years ago

    Thank you so much on the overwhelming comments!! Truly appreciate this!

  • blevison Admin

    blevison said 5 years ago

    What an amazing idea. Can't wait to make these at the beach!

  • de12812

    de12812 said 5 years ago

    I get seedless watermelon and will have to look for seeded now!! I bet the black seeds would look pretty too. Must buy watermelons soon! Thanks!!

  • WristletsnThings

    WristletsnThings said 5 years ago

    Wow! This is definitely a cool idea. Thanks for the how-to.

  • ohbabydotcom

    ohbabydotcom said 5 years ago

    Fantastic!

  • mudhousedesigns

    mudhousedesigns said 5 years ago

    I love it! Natural and recycled necklaces ROCK!

  • HandiworkinGirls

    HandiworkinGirls said 5 years ago

    This has got to be one of the most original "How-Tuesday" posts I've ever read. Way to go, thinking outside the box! :)

  • styleforlife

    styleforlife said 5 years ago

    AMAZING!!! Love this blog post! :-))) xx EL Vintage

  • BeautyPower

    BeautyPower said 5 years ago

    Great idea

  • BeautyPower

    BeautyPower said 5 years ago

    Great idea

  • BeautyPower

    BeautyPower said 5 years ago

    Great idea

  • BeautyPower

    BeautyPower said 5 years ago

    Great idea

  • cattuslavandula

    cattuslavandula said 5 years ago

    *imagines hungry birds stalking the wearer*

  • FabricFascination

    FabricFascination said 5 years ago

    What a great idea. Beautiful too.

  • saburkitty

    saburkitty said 5 years ago

    Adorable!

  • kathyjohnson3

    kathyjohnson3 said 5 years ago

    Love the necklaces, how creative!

  • TheMommalady

    TheMommalady said 5 years ago

    I'll never look at a seed as garbage again. Very Clever!!

  • Pixelality

    Pixelality said 5 years ago

    I made one of these with Cantaloupe seeds about 20 years ago and it's still holding up great. Instead of coloring the seeds with markers I soaked them in liquid food coloring. That gave them a lovely, soft hint of color. Then I strung them with seed beads. The finished necklace can be a little pokey on the skin if you're sensitive to that sort of thing.

  • ResaArtDesign

    ResaArtDesign said 5 years ago

    Love it! Great organic idea. Looks like something my grandmother would do as she was all about repurposing!

  • MishaGirl

    MishaGirl said 5 years ago

    What a cool idea, to use seeds as beads!!!!!

  • marytaelliott

    marytaelliott said 5 years ago

    i like to work with seeds!! sometimes you can also fry then to get a brownish color

  • ManilaExtract

    ManilaExtract said 5 years ago

    Great tutorial! Before moving to Hawaii, I never thought of using botanical seeds, nuts, etc. as beads. However in Hawaiian lei, flowers & ferns are often adorned with kukui nuts & peka’a seeds. I use Hawaiian, botanical seed beads to embellish zippers on my clutches :).

  • rozzie

    rozzie said 5 years ago

    FREE MATERIALS yes! :)

  • CathsKickassArt

    CathsKickassArt said 5 years ago

    How cool is this!

  • drumchick99

    drumchick99 said 5 years ago

    It's the macaroni necklace for adults!

  • rozzie

    rozzie said 5 years ago

    just realized how rare it is to find a watermelon with big black seeds these days... (Calgary, AB, Canada)

  • viltalakim

    viltalakim said 5 years ago

    super !! let the summer vacation start please!!

  • BanglewoodSupplies

    BanglewoodSupplies said 5 years ago

    Watermelon seeds. Awesome.

  • twamies

    twamies said 5 years ago

    This is such a great post. I have a few vintage seed necklaces & love them to death!

  • MisplacedAncestors

    MisplacedAncestors said 5 years ago

    A recycling your seeds make this a perfect necklace for gardener. Very cool idea.

  • IKLyndojewelry

    IKLyndojewelry said 5 years ago

    Love the way u work with seeds:) i have found that if u paint the melon seeds with edible dyes they last last longer and give the seeds a beautiful pastel color :)

  • IKLyndojewelry

    IKLyndojewelry said 5 years ago

    Love the way u work with seeds:) i have found that if u paint the melon seeds with edible dyes they last last longer and give the seeds a beautiful pastel color :)

  • IKLyndojewelry

    IKLyndojewelry said 5 years ago

    Oops! I didn't mean to say the last longer, I meant the last long too ;) cheers!

  • printsnpatterns

    printsnpatterns said 5 years ago

    This is fabulous! I love the way you painted half the seed to keep its organic look. Smart.

  • Notcathy

    Notcathy said 5 years ago

    Very artistic and fabulous necklace.. :) iRenew

  • CreationsdeFlorence

    CreationsdeFlorence said 5 years ago

    Love it! Now that my kids are off from school, we'll give it a try.

  • KateHeidi

    KateHeidi said 5 years ago

    where do you get your seeds from? I spent all day yesterday looking!

  • TidbitsOfColor

    TidbitsOfColor said 5 years ago

    What a unique idea! I love reading these stories of creative people. I'll be making one of these seed necklaces for sure now :)

  • teconlene

    teconlene said 5 years ago

    Love this idea!! I'll try it! Thanks for sharing :)

  • stargazer00742

    stargazer00742 said 5 years ago

    how creative! :D

  • StuffByKim

    StuffByKim said 5 years ago

    Love the unique take on the seed beads

  • unmisted

    unmisted said 5 years ago

    What an amazing idea<3 I will definitely be saving my seeds now to create one of these great necklaces.

  • go2girl

    go2girl said 5 years ago

    These necklaces are beautiful and original Maya, thanks for sharing!

  • 2VirgosDesigns

    2VirgosDesigns said 5 years ago

    gorgeous idea! thanks for sharing.

  • glassypainterdesigns

    glassypainterdesigns said 5 years ago

    Great post, Thanks for sharing!

  • aedrieloriginals

    aedrieloriginals said 5 years ago

    So fun! Thanks so much for sharing. :)

  • TheArtOfGreatness

    TheArtOfGreatness said 5 years ago

    What a lovely project! I'm certainly going to give it a try :) I make paper mache beads to create necklaces and bracelets and they are lots of fun! Thanks for the tutorial!

  • whitenoisemaker

    whitenoisemaker said 5 years ago

    Love it!

  • samsstuff

    samsstuff said 5 years ago

    Cute idea! Thanks for sharing this tutorial with us :)

  • Fianaturals

    Fianaturals said 5 years ago

    I love and use african seeds!!!

  • AVATARB3DCOV3R

    AVATARB3DCOV3R said 5 years ago

    What a creative work.... salute AVATAR ARTbed cover Bali http://friendster.com/avatarbedcoverbali

  • GoshnPoche

    GoshnPoche said 5 years ago

    Aren't the most simple, most natural things the most beautiful ? Beautiful !

  • junebugjunction

    junebugjunction said 5 years ago

    I cant wait to try this!!!!

  • JandRDesigns

    JandRDesigns said 5 years ago

    You are so talented...what a fantastic idea. I think you have a lot more patience that I do tho. Thanks for sharing this great idea.

  • TheSunshineStore

    TheSunshineStore said 5 years ago

    I love it!

  • kfwilsonstudios

    kfwilsonstudios said 5 years ago

    Nice and tribal - love it!!!!

  • nacklace

    nacklace said 5 years ago

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  • AnnemiekeA

    AnnemiekeA said 5 years ago

    Beautiful and inspiring

  • THREEerincadigan

    THREEerincadigan said 5 years ago

    I love the half painted seed, it really adds depth. This is a great project for adults but also kids. Maybe even a "make your own jewelry birthday party!" inexpensive, non toxic and cool!' Great idea ***3EC***

  • in2ition

    in2ition said 5 years ago

    absolutely beautiful!

  • eastwitching

    eastwitching said 5 years ago

    OMG - this has whisked me right back to the 70's summers when my sister Julya and I made up our own makeshift "shop" on the pavement outside our parents real grocers shop and sold our sunflower seed elasticated necklaces! Can you believe it! We would gorge ourselves on the special summer treat melons after having scooped out the pulp and pips. We washed and dried them and the needled them on to elastic thread. We had nothing as sophisticated as your colours or dye and some old pensioners must have taken pity or thought us cute as they bought some:) Brilliant fun and thanks for bringing back my memories. I was an Etsyian before Etsy was a twinkle in someone's eye:) Ali x

  • lillebeart

    lillebeart said 5 years ago

    Seeds- the original bead.....still modern and yet still unique. Awesome

  • JennysFunCreations

    JennysFunCreations said 5 years ago

    That's awesome. :)

  • byajay

    byajay said 5 years ago

    I remember making these at Brownies years ago! must get eatting some melon now! great work Maya! By a Jay x

  • MagdaleneMichelle

    MagdaleneMichelle said 5 years ago

    Well done!

  • whimsicaljewellery

    whimsicaljewellery said 5 years ago

    Love the concept of using seeds. gonna start saving mine from now!

  • MomMind

    MomMind said 5 years ago

    Cool idea!

  • VERXATIL

    VERXATIL said 5 years ago

    such a creative idea and ECO-Friendly.. ill give it a try :] thanks for sharing!

  • CameronsJewelryBox

    CameronsJewelryBox said 5 years ago

    Wow! This is soooo neat! Who would've ever thought that you could make watermelon seeds look so beautiful!

  • mybunnystitches

    mybunnystitches said 5 years ago

    Love your artistry! http://www.etsy.com/shop/mybunnystitches

  • mybunnystitches

    mybunnystitches said 5 years ago

    http://www.etsy.com/people/mybunnystitches

  • shreyasi22sharma

    Shreyasi Sharma from ShreyasiSharma said 4 years ago

    super creative!! Thank you so much for sharing!! love the tip on painting beads! can't wait to make one!

  • beatrizlc2

    beatriz leitão from B2Shop said 4 years ago

    Nice work,congratulation!

  • My Homepage said 2 years ago

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