The Art of the Empty Shell

The Art of the Empty Shell
An American Flag made from hundreds of spent shotshells, from Janelle James' Etsy store: Ready Aim Craft. .

Apparently, spent shotshells and arts & crafts are a match made in heaven. A small company on Etsy called "Ready Aim Craft" launched in 2013, making a few baubles from shotshell casings like key chains and earrings, the business has since bloomed with a catalog of more than 100 items, according to this story from ammoland.com, and they just passed the 500-sale mark.

Founder Janelle James says she's been crafting for years as a hobby and wanted to create items for other to enjoy as well. She makes all the items for sale, along with her husband who serves in the U.S. Air Force, according to the story.

The Art of the Empty Shell
Flowers with a bang. From Ready, Aim, Craft.

"I love being able to sort through a box of spent shotgun shells, that most people throw away, and turn them into unique pieces of art," James said. "Most customers are shopping Ready Aim Craft because they're searching for something special. I've created American Flags for husbands and brothers coming home from Afghanistan, as well as Thin Blue Line flags for family members graduating from the Police Academy. I'm humbled each and every time someone chooses one of my items to give as a gift, for occasions far more celebratory than the standard birthday or holiday."

One of the more elaborate creations is an American flag made from hundreds of 12-gauge shotgun shells. James says she plans to make shotgun shell flags for each branch of the military, set to go on sale in time for the Fourth of July. You can see the whole catalog here.

For some years, jewelry made from ammunition and parts of casings have gained popularity, like those sold by Jectz. There are other companies that sell jewelry that looks like ammo, but is anything but. BulletForge.com has a "round" made from 14k solid white gold instead of hollow brass. The hollowpoint bullet is filled with a diamond surrounded by more than 72 more little diamonds. The price? A cool $3,000. But not everything they sell is so outlandish. You can get a solid silver .45 ACP round for $125. And yes, the whole cartridge is solid silver and cannot be made to fire.

The Art of the Empty Shell
Diamond and white gold bullets for $3,000 from Jectz.com.