I often like to say, "It's not what you use but HOW you use it that counts". Maya from The Little Treasures blog demonstrates that mantra very well.

Her melon seed necklace tutorial is simple to do because it is just stringing. But some deft coloring and coordinating wooden balls transforms the necklace into a charming organic creation.

This is a great way to use up pumpkin seeds which is what Pam did for her pumpkin seed necklace (no longer available) over at the Gingerbread Snowflakes blog. She used food dyes to get a wonderful mix of colors. She also suggests incorporating Indian corn in the design. I agree that this project is great as a kid's craft idea.

Wolf willow( Elaeagnus commutata or  Buffalo Willow or American Silverberry) seeds also make gorgeous organic necklaces.   This shrub is found in the Priaries and was traditionally used by the Plains Indians such as the Meti for adornment. The berry of the plant is silvery in color hence the common name. The pointed seeds inside are dark brown with white vertical stripes.

Wolf willow seed necklace by Mary Conway

The Native Americans used to collect the berries in the fall after the first frost. The outer husk is rubbed off to reveal the seeds inside. The seeds were boiled to soften them before piercing holes through them. The seeds were either strung mixed with glass beads or used in the clothing fringes. The settlers learned the craft from the tribal people and wolf willow jewelry is still made today.

Note that other Silverberry species are found in other parts of the world in the temperate to subtropical areas. Leslie on Flicker took the above image of wolf willow berries and seeds she found by the roadside by Wascana Lake in Regina, Saskatechewan. She told me that she thinks what she found is an Eurasian species not the native wolf willow because the berries look more oblong than round.

Does this inspire you to keep a sharp lookout on your next countryside walk?

Other organic jewelry inspirations :

Original Post by THE BEADING GEM
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