Beading Jewelry as a Home Based Business

Tahong shells
While surfing online, I found 24 pieces of peeled Tahong shells that was being sold for 36 US dollars (see photo on the right). Yes, the ever abundant tahong shells that we throw away after eating the meat. Having seen numerous different types of shells more beautiful and stronger than tahong in many fishing communities around the country, I realized that these resources are being wasted when they can be turned into a livelihood (I know there are already a cottage/craft industry that is turning these into tourist souvenirs, but more can be done on this resources). These shells can be processed and made to jewelry – and the most popular way to make jewelry out of these shells is to make beads out them. A bead is a small/tiny, decorative object that is usually pierced for threading or stringing. Below are many interesting things and procedures how to process these seemingly waste shells into items that can be sold in the local market or even exported.

How to make beads from shells

Abalone beads
This procedure applies not just to abalone, tahong, clams, barnacles, but to other materials that you think can be made into beads; just be creative. Also, do not think that only beads can be made out of these shells, you can also make them into buttons, pins, rings, pendants, necklaces, key chains, and a plethora of crafts depending on your creativity. For this example, we will use abalone because they are abundant in many fishing communities, the shells are elegant, beautiful, and have a rainbow iridescent that is bright and appealing, and certainly thicker and stronger than tahong and some clams. You will need, of course, abalone shells, gloves, dish soap, toothbrush, clear nail polish (natural), nail polish remover, cellophane tape, and fine-tip pen and drill bits. Clean the abalone shells using soap and toothbrush, you can soak the shells in water with soap if it is really dirty. Once the shells are cleaned and dried, you can cut them into bead size of your choice using a rotary tool (use gloves in doing this to protect your hand). Using a fine-tip pen you can make the area/s where you want to drill hole/s. Once done, you can use the natural nail polish to protect the color and brightness of the beads (or your desired finished product). 

How to make beaded jewelry 

After you have made the beads, you can start beading them into jewelry ( ideally you should have already decided on what type of craft or jewelry you would make so that you can create the shell beads described above according to your jewelry design). The typical tools that you would be needing are : round nose pliers for bending wire and making loops, chain or flat nose pliers as all around tool from holding your pieces to opening and closing chain links and jump rings etc., wire or side cutters for cut stringing material and light gauge wire, crimping pliers for crimping beads, awl for knotting, awl makes it easier make consistent and tight knots, sharp scissors, bead boards have a curved groove with a measuring scale alongside with compartments in which the beads can be held while you work. This will end your frustration of all the beads ending up on the floor, adhesives ie resin based glues are ideal for use with metal, china and glass. All purpose clear, strong adhesives are useful for sticking non-metal items such as wooden beads, tweezers, hammer, beading needles, measuring stick.

Raw materials for plastics, glass, stone beads including tools and equipments can easily be bought from Divisoria or Baclaran cheaply. This is a low capital/low cost business with huge returns, and ideally can be started as a hobby. Remember, you just have to be artistic and creative to succeed in this business, and if you are really good, your creativity can evolved into a valuable jewelry brand. 

If you are really serious in getting into this business, you can visit TRC and buy videos and instructional materials, you can search their website or you can call (727-6205). You can also find many guides how to make beaded jewelry on youtube. Some of the videos are shown below.

Jewelry Making Ideas -- powered by ehow

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