Sand dollars are a fun, natural resource to use in all types of craft projects for both children and adults. Making sand dollar jewelry can be a creative afternoon activity for the kids and can result in some unique inexpensive gifts for friends and family.
If you live near the water sand dollars can be easily collected. Otherwise mock sand dollars can be purchased at most craft stores. You will also want to have on hand materials for making necklaces, earrings or whatever type of jewelry you're interested in creating. String, cord, beads, accents, wire, hooks, clasps and earrings can also be found at your local craft store. You will also need a drill with a 1/16 inch drill bit for making holes in the sand dollars.
Before making your sand dollar jewelry make sure that you thoroughly clean your collected sand dollars with mild soap and water to remove sand and debris. You will want to soak them first, but don't soak them for too long or they may become too fragile and break. Change the water until it stays clear. Then soak them in a solution of bleach and water for 5-10 minutes to whiten the sand dollars. Remove them from the bleach, rinse in fresh water and let them dry. This can be repeated if necessary. To preserve the sand dollars mix together some white glue and water in equal parts. Use a sponge brush to cover the sand dollars with the mixture and let dry. Now they are ready to use in your project!
A nice children's craft project is to have the child thread your sand dollars onto string or cord along with their choice of beads or other objects, perhaps some shells that could also be collected on a beach. Then the necklace can either be tied off at the ends or a clasp could be attached to the ends. They could make some sand dollar jewelry to wear their selves or to give to a friend or family member.
A necklace could also become a more complex project for an adult to make. A pendant necklace could be made with a bail hook and a jump ring. The jump ring will go through a hole at the top of the sand dollar, and that ring will attach to the bail hook. You will need a chain to attach the hook and complete your pendant necklace.
To make earrings you will need to carefully drill a hole in the sand dollar and thread some wire through. The wire will then be attached to the earring hooks or glued to posts. Beads or other decorative accents can also be added, especially to create long dangling earrings.