Shimmery Summer Sea Shells

February 12th, 2013 posted by Susie Tilton


Has anyone ever taken a beach vacation and not returned with a bag of seashells? If you visit yearly like we do, you find yourself with an amazing variety of beautiful shells that just don’t look as enticing as they did when they were being washed over by the waves. I’ve even purchased shells at the souvenir shop from exotic beaches I know I’ll never see. Here are a few ideas to make the most of those sea shells. Finding the best shells is easy. The best time to “shell,” as the locals call it, is at low tide after a storm. It is amazing what can wash ashore. We go to a small island that is full of tidal pools and an abundance of spectacular shells, so getting off the beaten path is crucial. The kids pick up everything. We sort them out later, I try to stick to a certain type or size. Many of the whelk variety have little critters inside of them even if you cannot see them. So, regardless of the origin, an overnight soak in mild bleach water is a must. Getting your shells home without breaking is easy provided you pack them densely in a box, wrapped in newspaper. Even sand dollars can make the trip like this. 

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Most vacation shells end up in a dish in the bathroom. Nice to look at, but they get dusty and dull. So get out the glue and the glitter! I lay out the clean shells on a cookie sheet. You can make a sheet for each of your crafters. Everyone will need a small bowl with a clear drying glue thinned with water and a paintbrush. The glue should spread but not be runny. And then of course you need glitter! You can buy inexpensive glitter at the hobby store or designer glitter that shimmers in an amazing array of colors. Your color theme is entirely up to you as well as whether you are covering the entire shell or highlighting it. I use glitter that has a shaker feature, so I can liberally shake the glitter on the wet glue over a piece of wax paper and then put the excess back in the original container, or shake all the colors together and create a new glitter. When the shells are thoroughly dry you can glue them to picture frames, napkin rings, trinket boxes just about anything. I love my rainbow of colored shells in a glass candy jar. The shells will be as beautiful as the day you picked them up on the beach. The only caveat to this project is that everyone (and anything you touch) will sparkle!

Susie Tilton (17 Posts)

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Cindy Rowe (7 Posts)

Cindy Rowe is the owner/editor of Crazylou Creations blog. On the blog, you will find a little bit of crazy, and a whole lot of fun! As a FT working mother, she still finds time to create crafts, play around in the kitchen, plan parties and exercise. You'll find all of this and more on her blog!

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