How to Turn Fruit & Vegetables Into Jewelry

Overview

Jewelry made with beads of dried vegetable and fruit adds a rustic element to a casual outfit. No one will guess that your interesting necklace is actually made from veggetables. String all the same kinds of beads onto separate necklaces and wear together or alternate the beads on the same string for another look.

Make the Beads

Step 1

Peel root vegetables such as sweet potatoes, beets, carrots and turnips. Peel pineapples and cantaloupes.

Step 2

Cut the vegetables and fruits into 1-inch squares. The squares don't have to be perfect. Slice a bit off each corner of the square so the shape is more rounded. As the veggie bead dries its shape will become more interesting.

Step 3

Thread the rounded squares of fruit or vegetable onto a thin wooden skewer leaving 1/4 inch of space between each. Thread all the same kind of vegetable on one skewer since different vegetables may have longer or shorter drying times. Do the same thing with the fruit. Fruit will take longer to dry because it starts out with more moisture. Skewers are necessary as they create the holes for the beads.

Step 4

Dry the veggies in a dehydrator. One of the most commonly used dehydrators is round with three to five trays, depending on the price. Turn it on by plugging it in and off by unplugging it. Cut the ends of the skewers off if necessary so they fit in the tray. It's possible to fit eight threaded skewers on each tray.

Step 5

After 12 hours move the bottom tray to the top of the stack of trays on the dehydrator. After another 12 hours, again move the bottom tray to the top. This will rotate the trays so the beads will all dry at the same rate.

Step 6

Spray the beads with a light coating of shellac to preserve them and add a slight sheen. Let dry completely.

Step 7

Remove the veggies and fruits from the skewers when completely dry and hard. This could take anywhere from two days to several days depending on the dehydrator used and the humidity.

Assembling the Jewelry

Step 1

Thread the beads onto colored yarn or beading thread for a necklace. Make a knot between each bead if desired. The knot isn't necessary but they add a bit of color and variety to the jewelry. The length of yarn with the ends tied together should be long enough to easily go over the head.

Step 2

Thread the beads onto a thin piece of elastic that is 9 inches long for a bracelet. Leave 1 inch at each end of the elastic without beads so they can be tied together. Double knot the ends then cut off any excess.

Step 3

Use a piece of elastic that is 18 inches long for a bracelet that can be doubled over and twisted around the wrist.

Tips and Warnings

  • Don't use white potatoes they will oxidize and turn an ugly gray color.

Things You'll Need

  • Root vegetables
  • Pineapple
  • Cantaloupe
  • Kumquats
  • Knife
  • Wooden skewers
  • Dehydrator
  • Yarn or beading thread
  • Upholstery needle
  • Elastic

References

  • "Super Simple Jewelry;" Karen Latchana Kenney; 2009
  • World Carrot Museum: Dried Fruit and Vegetable Jewelry
  • "Getting Started Stringing Beads;" Jean Campbell; 2005

Who Can Help

  • How to Make Jewelry.com: Jewelry Making for the Rest of Us
Keywords: bracelets made from fruit, necklace made from vegetables, fruit and vegetable jewelry

About this Author

Dee Power holds an MBA. She is the co-author of "Attracting Capital from Angels," "Inside Secrets to Venture Capital," "The Making of a Bestseller," the novel "Over Time," and several screenplays. She contributes to several Web sites and is a regular columnist for favstocks.com