6 Sensational Seashell Crafts to Do With Your Kids
Spending some time at the beach this summer?
Want a way to make special seaside memories last all year ’round?
Bring home some shells and make something special with your kids.
The editors of My Kids’ Adventures searched the web to find fun and creative things to do with seashells.
In this article I’ll share our favorite seashell crafts that will lead to hours of fun family time.
Why Craft With Seashells?
One of the best parts of spending time at the beach is searching for seashells. Take a walk along the shore with your kids and search for treasures that are revealed with every wave. Pick up your favorites and fill your pockets.
Then do something with your seashells. Any time you create something from your shoreline souvenirs, whether you simply display them, sand and all, in a bucket or vase or you transform them through activities or crafts to do with the kids, it’s a great way to extend your beach adventure and make your memories last long after you get home.
Read on to find lots of fun activities your family can do with seashells.
No beach? No problem! Pick up some shells at a local craft store or download seashell printables, and then color them in with crayons, paint or markers and decorate as you would with real seashells.
Here are six sensational things you can do with seashells.
First things first, after you bring home your bounty, wash the seashells, so they’re clean and ready to use. Then choose your favorite project from the list below.
#1: Create Art
Most shell projects have an artistic element. Here are a few that stood out.
Make clay or use clay you have around the house. Then cut out shapes and press the shells into the dough.
This makes an excellent gift and a remembrance of fun times at the beach.
Find a mirror at a craft or dollar store and glue sand around the edges. Paint some ocean and add seashells.
Since no two shells are alike, each mirror will be different. Create a composition that triggers memories from the time you spent at the beach.
#2: Paint Shells
Painting seashells is a fun and easy project for kids of all ages. Paint them as simply or intricately as you want. Use one color or several. Add detail, sparkle, anything goes.
First, clean your shells and make sure you get all of the sand off. Then paint the shells and let them dry.
Just heat the seashells in the toaster oven and then draw on them with crayon.
Note: check the temperature before handing hot shells over to your kids. If the shells cool down too much, pop them back in the oven for a few minutes.
No matter what your method, put your colorful creations on a platter, in a bowl or set them aside for another fun seashell project.
#3: Construct Creatures and People
One of the cool things about seashells is that although they can be similar, they come in different shapes and sizes. That makes it easy to tap into your creativity and turn seashells into other things like creatures.
Check out Jackie’s Bird Seashell Ornaments on the Happy Hooligans blog. Look at your shells and see how they fit together. Add paint, googly eyes, feathers, whatever you have in your craft supplies to create your creatures, birds or otherwise.
Parents will need to help younger kids to use a hot glue gun to glue the shells and accessories in place.
Use wooden sticks from your local craft store or flat, wooden tongue depressors to make people. Draw the face and clothes with paint, crayons or markers. Glue on yarn for the hair and add the painted shells as skirts. Add a super-small shell for a purse or hat.
Alternate adventure: No craft sticks on hand? Place shells on construction paper or card stock and draw pictures of people, a beach or even a cityscape. Glue the shells down and frame your art in a shadow box. Or write or tell a story about the picture.
#4: Make Wind Chimes
Parents will have to help poking holes in the shells. Have everyone take a line of cord and add shells to make a seashell strand. Attach them to a piece of driftwood and make a wind chime you can display right outside your home.
#5: Make Accessories
Seashells turn any accessory into a piece of wearable art.
Paint seashells with nail polish. After they dry, glue them to hair clips, a headband or a ring.
Paint your shells. While they’re drying, embellish a cheap, plastic tiara with chenille stems, pipe cleaners, feathers or whatever you have that’ll work. Glue on the shells. Add glitter, plastic gems or whatever you want to make the tiara creative and unique, and you’re ready to rule your court.
For younger kids, use fewer or lighter shells, so the tiara isn’t too heavy. Also, do a version of this as a merman crown.
#6: Decorate With Seashells
Add seashells to decorative items throughout your home to give them some beachy personality. Add shells to picture frames, mirrors, boxes, coasters, anything.
Paint the shells, let them dry, arrange them and glue them onto the frame. Don’t forget to add a favorite photo to the frame.
If you want a decorative box for your shells, make a treasure box.
This adventure from Julie Williams at Education.com suggests you sort and identify the seashells before you glue them onto the box.
Bonus Adventure: Write up a memory from the beach where you picked up your shells. Put it at the bottom of the shell box, and read it anytime you take out the shells. It’s a surprise for your future self.
Some Final Thoughts…
A beach adventure is fun for the whole family. When you do art projects with seashells, you extend the experience.
This is just the tip of the iceberg. There are a ton of things you can make with seashells. Even just looking at them will bring a smile to your family’s face. When you do art projects with seashells and display them prominently, you’ll trigger those memories on a regular basis.
What do you think? Do you collect seashells at the beach? What do you do with all of your shells? Do you use them for projects or display them as-is? Share your seashell crafts and photos in the comments.
Images from iStockPhoto.
Debra Eckerling is an editor at My Kids Adventures. The creator of Write On Online, a website and community for writers, Debra helps individuals define, plan and achieve their goals. Other posts by Debra Eckerling »