Lady Roots, one of my blog readers recently tipped me off on this breaking story about cicada jewelry. The brainchild of two enterprising Cape Cod teenagers, Katheryn Maloney and Brady Cullinan, these make unique jewelry for those who are not squeamish about bugs. Buyers included a schoolteacher who said her young students would love her new earrings in the fall.

The pair were interviewed for this news video (photo source) at their craft stall at the weekly Sandwich Farmers Market last week where in one day they sold 14 necklaces and 7 pairs of earrings and made $210. Not bad considering the dead bugs cost them 5 cents each from neighbourhood kids. The beetles are heavily lacquered with shellac. Every design is unique as the designers add beads and either spray paint or use food coloring for variety. The wings are either open or closed. The treatment process takes them a whole day with the trickiest bit being piercing the hard body in order to attach them to the findings.

Maloney and Cullinan took advantage of the cicada swarm which alighted on Cape Cod for the first time in 17 years and plan to continue selling cicada jewelry for as long as supplies last. Their success has prompted them to consider other invertebrates like small horseshoe crabs but Maloney draws the line at spiders.

The Beading Gem's Journal