Whether you spent the entire Summer walking up and down the beach or you only made it to the beach once on that family vacation, you’ve probably discovered a bowl (or bucket) full of sea shells have come home with you. So, what on earth do you do with them all? Here are some fun craft and decorating ideas that you can do with or without your kids!
Make a Memory Shadow Box
Use your sea shells to add some fun decorating touches to a shadow box featuring some of your favorite vacation photos and memories. We made a Summer Shadow Box using some of the rocks we collected over the Summer!
Not only do you get to use those sea shells but you also get to reuse your old vases or glass containers and create a beautiful center piece perfect for summertime or cottages! Simply add some sand (you can actually buy small bags of sand at your local craft store) to a vase or glass container and then place the sea shells inside. You can also add candles for more decoration.
Dress Up a Picture Frame or Mirror
This is a great way to create a “new” frame or mirror, especially if you already have one lying around! Or you can easily pick up a basic frame or mirror from a thrift store or dollar store. Use some Mod Podge or hot glue to adhere your shells to your picture frame or the frame of the mirror. Cover the entire frame or just place a few on the corners. Include a fun vacation photo in your frame and you’ve got a great souvenir!
Sea Shell Creatures
Your sea shells used to house creatures at one time…Why not let them come to life once again! Kind of. I love theses little sea shell creatures! With some glue, goggly eyes, and whatever other supplies you want to use, you can create all sorts of creatures. Like koalas (below) or these clay sculpted snails or these all around fun little creatures.
A little string, sticks and shells and you’ve got yourself a little sea shell wind chime that doesn’t drive you crazy with much noise!
Dress-up a Flower Pot, Vase, Jewelry Box and more!
Use a lot or just a few shells and turn your boring flower pots, vases, jewelry boxes, etc. into works of art. Or just cute. Glue them all over your surface or just along the edges. I also love the idea of using some rope and sea shells as a way to decorate those vases or flower pots!
A great idea if you have a lot (and I mean A LOT) of shells. This sea shell wreathe would make a fun and classy decor piece for cottages or beach houses.
Yes, I totally understand that shell necklaces scream cheesy souvenir shop but I think you’ll like this one! It is a great souvenir for the kids and is so easy to make! Take just one shell (maybe your kid’s absolute favorite one) and hot glue a charm clasp (you can find these in the jewelry section of a craft store) onto the shell. Then use some string, leather, etc. to create a necklace for your favorite little beach bum.
HINT: Washing Your Shells
Before creating any of these fun items with shells, you’re going to want to clean your shells. That beach “smell” isn’t so fun after few months. To wash them, simply put them in utensil basket in your dishwasher or you can use a small mesh bag (depending on the size of your shells) and run your normal dishwashing cycle. This will help to blast out the smell and any little grains of sand or yuckies.
What are some other ways that you use the sea shells you collect on vacation?