Organic seeds in jewelry. The idea struck me as odd when I first heard of it, but then I remembered teaching classes of school children how to string dried beans to make necklaces and bracelets. The beans were not organic seed, and the string was mere cotton twine, so the results were rough and un-wearable. Nevertheless, mothers did wear them out of love for their children, and the children had fun making them.
Using organic seeds in jewelry crafting is now an art, with a few artisans learning to incorporate organic seeds into jewelry with beads and other materials.
Beans are Great Organic Seeds for Jewelry
Most of the organic seeds used in jewelry are beans. There are several reasons for this.
1. Beans naturally have beautiful patterns and colors.
2. Beans dry naturally, and retain their shape when dried.
3. Beans will not shrivel up in use.
4. Bean jewelry will last indefinitely, with proper care.
Black beans are great organic seeds to use in jewelry. Although their names include the word “black” as in Black Nightfall, black beans are not entirely jet black. These beans exhibit shades of black, gray, brown, and ivory. The swirls of color seem to shimmer when the beans are separated by small glass beads or silver metal.
Red beans are another good organic seed choice for use in making jewelry. Those with red and scarlet in the name may be predominantly deep reddish brown, or they may be half beige, half deep red, like the Red Calypso bean. The Red Calypso makes intriguing organic seed jewelry, since its even division of color becomes wavy lines in a necklace or bracelet.
Paint Dry beans are a good choice or organic seeds for summer jewelry. The light tan and off-white coloration appears cool, and would complement light summer colors and fabrics.
Green Flagolet beans are another good summer choice. The green in these organic seeds is pale and cool-looking. When set off with glass beads of deeper greens, the organic seeds look almost like ivory beans.
For organic seeds that look like polished stones in jewelry, the Tiger Eye bean is a good choice. It looks very like a tiger eye rock.
Other Organic Seeds
While beans are the most common of the organic seeds used in jewelry, some artisans use dried corn as well. Red, gold, orange, green, and gray hues appear in dried corn. Interspersed with gleaming metals and glass beads, these pieces often have a harvest glow.
Other organic seeds that might be used successfully include watermelon seed, squash seed, pumpkin seed, and other large vegetable seeds.
Use Your Own Organic Seeds in Jewelry
If you decide to use organic seeds in making jewelry, you will need to prepare your seeds following these steps.
1. Wash the seeds thoroughly, and let them dry.
2. Buff each seed with a soft cloth.
3. Make holes in the seeds, taking care not to break them.
4. Apply a clear, protective coating inside and out to preserve the seeds.
Once you have prepared your seeds, use them as you would use any bead in making jewelry. In fact, if you teach school, why not make truly wearable jewelry with your students by using prepared organic seeds?
Advantages of Using Organic Seeds in Jewelry
My research reveals only one advantage of using organic seeds to make jewelry, and that is the “green” factor. Organic seeds incorporated into jewelry can be presented as an “eco-friendly” gift.