What to make out of spent shell cases?

beatrice_outdoors(6a MA)October 27, 2011

Someone on my local freecycle group just posted that they have buckets and buckets of spent shell cases-"...various calibers, mostly rimfires but all kinds of stuff, 9mm,

40, rifle, etc." They must be from one of the local firing ranges??

These just sound too cool-does anyone have any suggestions on possible GJ uses? I am envisioning flowers or wreaths of some sort.

Thanks in advance for any suggestions.


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wreaths, find a stick and hang a cartrige in a bare tree...make a clock with the different sizes for hours and minutes...glue a line on them upside down for wind chimes, the large size could have a clip or pin put on it and use for a fresh flower pin to wear...... geeme

    Bookmark   October 27, 2011 at 6:59PM
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DH & Son are hunters and they had shells that I Borrowed. I Made these Christmas wreaths for them :

    Bookmark   October 27, 2011 at 10:00PM
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concretenprimroses(4B NH)

Maybe you could sell them to steampunk jewelers on Etsy.
this listing is for "antique" ones.


I searched "bullet casings" under handmade at Etsy. the link is below, tho you may need to redo it.

Its quite amazing what people do with them!

Have fun, and remember to post pics for us if you do use them to make something.


Here is a link that might be useful: bullet casings search at etsy

    Bookmark   October 28, 2011 at 7:15AM
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concretenprimroses(4B NH)

Most of the search above is jewelry, so I did a search:
bullet casing -jewelry

to get rid of the jewelry, and found this amazing bird house. Much more up our alley.

Here is a link that might be useful: Bird house on etsy

    Bookmark   October 28, 2011 at 7:21AM
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I like the wreath. I checked out the bird house and fell in love with it! I mosaiced a squirrell feeder on wood and was advised it may not hold up outside with the wood as a substrate. So the bird house may be a better indoor deco project. Sure did like it. The jewelry was neat too. My GS does fair entries and I had him save his spent shells and a couple of boxes, as I have envisioned him making a lamp for his room.

    Bookmark   October 28, 2011 at 11:18AM
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At a craft show a couple of years ago I saw strings of Christmas lights made from shotgun shells. Could the same thing be done with rifle shells?

    Bookmark   October 28, 2011 at 1:54PM
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beatrice_outdoors(6a MA)

These are fantastic ides! Thank you everyone! I'm gong to take some for myself, and post the ideas on the other group in case anyone else near me wants to join in the fun. Laurastheme gives me an idea-I think I'll make a holiday garland. I'll look for something to put in between every 4th or 5th case. Every year I make a new ornament to go on our tree-this will be perfect! Darn, if I had only asked for that batch of thread spools that were posted recently they would have been awesome as the in-betweens, painted funky colors.

If I can get them to lie flat, I'm also going to try to make a wreath-my brain is thinking long end flat, but maybe short end would look better? I'll have to play with them.

If I decide to make anything else I'll post it. I'll do my best to add pictures when done.


    Bookmark   October 28, 2011 at 4:16PM
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I just got home last night from the Covered Bridge Festival in Mansfield, Indiana.
A friend there brought me a big bag of shotgun shells, and one of the first posts I saw was this one.
Dog-gone it--I forgot and left them in my cabin!!!!
I was so looking forward to making a hunters wreath.
I will have to have a friend ship them, or wait until
I go up to my cabin next year!
I have always want to use shells for a wreath....

    Bookmark   October 30, 2011 at 6:55PM
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beatrice_outdoors(6a MA)

Bugger! The guy who offered them said he ended up sorting through them, cleaned most and plans to reuse them. I guess folks who shoot need to save money on bullets, too. There is a small batch left and I hope to pick them up tomorrow. I hope there's enough for my planned string of garland.I bet if put a bunch of the bell flowers in between small batches it will look nice.

    Bookmark   November 2, 2011 at 7:58AM
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Beatrice, you might want to go hang out at a shooting range. lol Although serious shooters do collect their spent shells and reload them. This post reminded me of one of the few momentos I have from my dad. My dad was an avid hunter and gunsmith who loaded his own shells. He made a key chain for me with a .45 rifle shell. I sure had problems when I went through security checks at the courthouse! The cop wouldn't let me through with my key ring. Not sure what he expected me to do with an empty shell...throw it at someone? lol My dad would have loved your wreath TMG!

    Bookmark   November 6, 2011 at 7:17PM
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I ran into the greatest idea to do with the casings of rifle shells today!
i went over to my buddies house and i noticed his keys over on the counter and instantly i reolized he had a shell on his keychain! it looked very simple and a great keychain idea!
all you need is one of those keychain loops
then just drill a hole into the top of the shell. works well and looks very good on shells that taper down. so you can drill a little hole in the smaller part near the top straight through both sizes (parallel). then you just loop the keychain loop through both holes!
hopefully gonna make a few of these tomorrow with my 7mm casings and gonna give them out as gifts to my family and friends cuz they are small and look great to any hunter or sportsman! and is practically free. wish i had a pic to show you guys but your just gonna have to take my word....... THEY LOOK GOOD!!!!

hope i was a little help

    Bookmark   February 17, 2013 at 12:05AM
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Most on etsy not made in the trenches, but I have 2 vases and an ashtray that are classified as "trench art"

    Bookmark   February 17, 2013 at 7:35PM
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most shell casings are made of brass, so i'd take them & go directly to local metal recycler & sell them. brass has good junk value, or if determend to be crafty glue them to a piece of marine grade plywood at the same height for bases, very close together) let dry, grout & add legs for a table or a hanger for wall hanging. place outside for patina to form. (will form great vertagris color)

    Bookmark   March 3, 2013 at 9:52AM
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glue them together and make homes for the mason bees!
Tally HO!

    Bookmark   March 15, 2013 at 11:33AM
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