Message in a Bottle Necklace | DIY Tutorial

A finished message in a bottle necklace on a suede cord

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Learn how to make a message in a bottle necklace with this easy tutorial. Bring a little bit of the beach with you wherever you go.

A close of of the charm on a finished message in a bottle necklace

Years ago I was really into making jewelry with tiny craft bottles. And when I say I was really into it, I mean I was REALLY into it. I made quite the collection of necklaces that I filled with whatever I could fit in those little bottles, from glitter to beads to feathers and plenty of other things.

One of the early ideas I came up with was a tiny little rolled up message with some sand. It was so cute, but seemed like it was missing something. Then later when I got ahold of some tiny seashells, that ended up being the perfect addition.

I don’t make very many of these types of necklaces anymore. But since starting this blog, I figured I could share a few of my favorite projects that I’ve made. I’ll add the others here and there in between my other projects. But because it’s summer, I thought it would be a good idea to start with this one. Anything beach related is very summer-y after all.

I’m using the same sand and some of the same seashells that I used in my 3D Beach Canvas Art. So if you enjoy working with these little shells you might enjoy that one as well.

Text "Message in a Bottle Necklace" above a bottle necklace sitting on some sand

What You Will Need to Make a Message in a Bottle Necklace

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Mini Glass Bottle

Tiny Seashells

Necklace Cord


Thick Thread

Jump Ring

Multipurpose Glue (I recommend Beacon 527 or Aleene’s The Ultimate)



Jewelry Pliers


An empty bottle charm, tiny seashells, a suede cord necklace, a container of sand, red thread, a heavy jump ring, glue, a toothpick, a piece of paper, jewelry pliers, and scissors

How to Make a Message in a Bottle Necklace

Step 1: Make Tiny Message

First let’s make the focal piece of the bottle: the tiny message. As far as the paper, you want something very thin so it will roll up easier. I would recommend just plain printer paper. It’s cheap and most people would already have some anyway.

If you want the paper to look a little more aged, this would be the time to do it. I tea stained mine by dabbing a wet teabag all over my paper, then left it to dry.

A piece of tea stained paper

Then rip a very small rectangle of paper for your message. You could also cut the paper, but I think ripping it gives it a bit more character with the uneven edges.

How big this little paper needs to be will depend on the size of your bottle. My bottle is about an inch tall. So I made my message around a half inch tall. The length is about three inches wide.

A small strip of ripped tea stained paper

At this point you could also write something on the inside of the paper. If you’re making the bottle for yourself it could be a secret message that only you’d know about. Or if you’re giving it as a gift, it could be a special message for the recipient. I chose to leave mine blank, but there are so many possibilities.

When you’re happy with how the paper looks, roll it up tightly. Then use a small piece of thread to keep everything in place. You can use just about any kind of thread you want, but I used button thread. It’s a bit thicker so it’s easier to see.

A tiny rolled paper message tied with a small red thread

Before moving on, I like to pop my message into my bottle to make sure I’m happy with the size. Just keep in mind that after adding in the sand, it will stand a bit taller.

Step 2: Add Contents to Bottle

Now gather together everything else you want to put in the bottle. I have sand and some tiny shells in addition to the little message from Step 1.

A container of sand, a small bottle charm, two tiny seashells, and a mini rolled paper message

The order you put these in the bottle doesn’t entirely matter, but I like to start by adding the sand first. You only need a tiny pinch. Then I add the seashells and tiny message.

An open message in a bottle with sand and seashells

Step 3: Glue Cork into Bottle

This next part is completely optional. When I make these kinds of bottle necklaces I don’t plan on opening them again. So I like to hold the cork down with a little glue to make sure it stays in place.

However I haven’t had any issues with even unglued corks coming out of the bottles as long as they were pushed in tightly enough. If you want to be able to open the bottle again, like if you wrote something special on the message, I would skip this part.

But if you do want your cork glued down, grab your glue and a toothpick. I’ve tried a few different glues in the past to seal my bottle necklaces. The two best ones I’ve found are both multipurpose glues. One is made by Beacon and the other is the Aleene’s brand. It’s the latter that I’m using here.

Both glues are a good consistency and dry completely clear. So you can’t even tell there’s glue on the bottle at all. But most importantly, it holds everything in place permanently.

Squeeze a small amount of glue all the way around the bottom edge of the cork. Don’t worry too much about the amount because any excess will be wiped away.

A tiny cork with glue on the bottom

Then press it firmly into the bottle. Most likely you will have some glue coming up over the edge of the bottle like in the picture below.

A cork added to a message in a bottle necklace charm with glue oozing over the bottle

Use the toothpick to wipe away any of this excess glue.

Using a toothpick to remove the excess glue from the cork of the message in a bottle necklace

Once that’s done, set the bottle aside to dry. I would wait at least an hour or so. But most of these types of glues take 24 hours to fully cure. So if you want to be on the safe side, set it aside until the next day.

Step 4: Add Jump Ring and Necklace

Lastly, attach the bottle charm to the necklace with a jump ring. As long as it’s big enough, any size jump ring should be fine. I prefer to use heavy gauge jump rings for any kind of charm necklace. I’m much more confident that nothing will fall apart that way.

Remember to open up the jump ring by pulling one end either toward or away from you. Just don’t pull the ends apart or you will have a terrible time trying to get the ends to come together again. And in some cases, that would also weaken the metal and put it more at risk of breaking.

An open heavy gauge jump ring with a message in a bottle necklace charm and suede cord being added

Add the bottle charm and necklace cord to the jump ring. Then close it by pulling it back in the opposite direction until the tips of the ring line up again.

A finished message in a bottle necklace on a brown suede cord

Your message in a bottle necklace is now ready to wear or be given as a gift!

A finished message in a bottle necklace laid out lengthwise

Additional Notes on Message in a Bottle Necklace

I kept this project simple, but there are plenty of ways to customize it. Of course the message inside can be the most personal touch. But if you have sand and shells from a particular beach, that would be a perfect way to carry a little bit of that around with you.

If you aren’t into the beach theme, you could also adjust the contents of the bottle a bit. If you wanted more of a forest theme, you can use dried moss or tiny pebbles instead of sand and shells.

You could also add a charm to the necklace cord as well to add a little something extra. Only after I finished my project did I think about doing this. So unfortunately mine was a bit more simple.

I hope that you enjoyed this tutorial and found it helpful. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to leave them below. I’d love to hear from you! Thank you for stopping by and happy crafting!

Signature "Chel" written in orange colored cursive

If you liked this tutorial, don’t forget to pin it for later on Pinterest!

Various contents for a beach bottle necklace above the text "Message in a Bottle Necklace DIY Tutorial" above a message in a bottle necklace sitting in some sand

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