Shell Necklace and the Heart of Te Fiti 

If you caught my last #FridayIntroductions on Instagram, you know that Moana is THE movie in our house right now. Our little girl told us that she is going to ask for the Heart of Te Fiti for Christmas. Of course, she doesn’t know that Christmas is a whole 7 months away, but her innocence is so endearing.  She was so patient, I wanted to surprise her!  Not just with the shell necklace, but one that opened to hold the Heart of Te Fiti wherever she went!

There are 3 parts to this tutorial. Although it is not one of my easiest DIYs, it is definitely doable if you customize how detailed you want it to be.

Here is how you can make your own shell necklace and Heart of Te Fiti gem.

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Tutorials 1 & 2
Moana’s Necklace – Abalone Shell & Pearl Cording

You will need:

  • 1 sheet of stiff light blue felt for shell base
  • 1 sheet of light blue craft felt
  • 1 sheet of grey felt
  • Adhesive velcro for fabric
  • Shell template – download HERE
  • Brown cording
  • Pearl beads
  • Small silver jump ring (not pictured)
  • Embroidery thread (optional)
  • Sequins & seed beads (optional)
  • Hot glue

Tutorial 1
Moana’s Necklace – Abalone Shell

Cut out your pieces of felt according to the instructions on the template. Make sure to cut the notch at the top of the grey felt and base felt pieces. In order to give the shell it’s 3D shape, cross over the two notched pieces on your base felt and glue together depending on how deep you want your shell to be. Repeat with your grey felt pieces.

Depending on how detailed you would like to get, you can decorate your shell in a variety of ways. On the bottom portion, I used sequins to mimic the waves of color in an abalone shell, but you could also embroider, glue on other felt pieces, or even use fabric marker.

For the top portion of the shell, I embroidered the wave and tribal signs from the necklace in the movie. Take your decorated pieces and glue them on top of the light blue base. Repeat with the back portions.  Make sure to mirror the grey felt on the back to the front so that the two pieces will fit together seamlessly.

To attach the shell to the necklace, thread a piece of cording about 4 inches long through the silver ring. knot on top and at the bottom. Cut a thin rectangular piece of the stiff felt. This will be used to secure the cording to the shell.

Place the cording on the back of the decorated shell piece with the silver loop peeking out the top. Glue the strip of felt across the cording, in the middle of the two knots. Glue together the front and back of the shell at the top, only about an inch wide so that the shell will open. Cut some velcro pieces and attach along the bottom and sides so that it will secure the gem inside.

Tutorial 2
Moana’s Necklace – Pearl Cording

String your pearl beads on the cording and knot before and after each bead to hold them in place. Moana’s necklace has a lot of detail and I decided that it would be easier to add them after the pearl base was completed. Take another piece of cording and tie your loops onto your base in the same pattern as Moana’s necklace above. Lastly, knot cording to each of the larger loops and cut close to the knot.

You can now attach your shell. I used cording to tie a loop from the jewelry hoop to the necklace but you could open the hoop up and attach it that way. Your necklace is done! Time to start the gem!

Tutorial 3
The Heart of Te Fiti

You will need:

  • A tool with a pointed tip to engrave the details (I used a chopstick and a meat thermometer!)

Knead your clay until it softens and create a small dish like shape to hold a couple drops of your green dye. Mix in. Wear gloves as the dye seeps out through the sides as you are mixing it together.

Continue to add dye until you get the desired shade of green. Roll it into a ball and then shape the semi pointed ends on top and bottom. Make sure it will fit in your shell necklace. Using your tools, recreate the design on the stone from the movie.  You can smooth over any rough spots by rubbing them gently with your fingertips. I wish ours glowed in the dark a little more, but mixing it with the transparent clay dulled it out a bit. Like I said above, skip the transparent. The package should give you baking instructions but I did mine at 275 degrees for 30 minutes.

Let it cool, pop it into the abalone shell and…

surprise your own little Moana!