Summer Seashell Crafts for the Whole Family


With minimal materials and a little time, you and your children can discover the joys of handmade crafts. Crafting expands your children’s creativity and inspires them to up-cycle things into beautiful works of art. Something as simple as a seashell can spark their imagination. A favorite past-time by the ocean is collecting seashells. Try these exciting craft ideas with them. 

1. Create Holiday Ornaments

Choose shells that are different sizes and shapes and are in good condition. Let your children paint them, or use spray adhesive to add glitter, beads, sequins, or anything that catches their eyes. 

Use a low-temperature glue gun to add an ornament hook onto each shell. You can hang your seashell creations on a string and make a colorful nautical garland. For this project, you will need sea shells, spray adhesive, paint, colorful beads, glitter, and ornament hooks. 

2. Seashell Jewelry

Most department and craft stores have a whole section devoted to jewelry-making supplies. You can buy basic supplies for little money. Small, spiral shells are ideal for stringing up pretty necklaces and bracelets. All you need is a needle and thin jewelry cord. Choose shiny and colorful beads to string with the shells for added beauty. Find matching shells that can be hot glued to hooks to make a pair of unique earrings. You will need shells, colorful beads, sewing needles, jewelry cord, necklace clasps, and earring hooks. 

3. Nautical Wreaths

Consider making a beautiful seashell wreath to celebrate summer. Let the kids pick out shells with exciting shapes and color. Use florist wire or a hot glue gun to wrap Spanish moss on a grapevine wreath. You simply hot glue shells, sand dollars, and small starfish around the wreath. Make a simple bow from raffia and hang your wreath on the front door for everyone to admire. For this project, you will need shells, grapevine wreath, dried Spanish moss, florist wire, hot glue gun, and raffia. 

4. Journals

Keeping a journal helps you save precious memories and improve creative writing skills. Purchase inexpensive journals with a blank cover. Encourage your children to use their imagination to decorate their books with shells, twine, markers, and paint. Maybe your boys want a make a pirate journal, or the girls want to make mermaid ones. Their imaginations only limit them. You will need a blank journal, seashells, glue, a roll of twine, markers, and paint.

5. Shell Lights

Many people hang string lights to add whimsy or ambiance to their porches or campers. This summer upgrade your usual light strings with seashells. Gather medium-sized scallop shells that are clean and in good shape. Use a hot-glue gun to glue a scallop shell in front of each light. When you turn the lights on, the shells will lend a lovely pink glow. For this project, you need scallop shells, a string of electric white lights. 

6. Seashell Tea Lights

Let your kids help you make this beautiful shell tea lights. Choose medium and large scallop shells for each candle. Add a small wick and pour enough melted wax in it to fill the shell. Place them around your picnic table for a rustic touch of the ocean. Let your tea lights do double duty and use citronella wax. You will have ambient light without mosquitoes. You need wax melts, wicks, and medium to large sized scallop shells. 

7. Picture Frames

Frame your favorite summer snapshots with gorgeous, easy-to-make seashell frames. You can find nice picture frames at yard sales or thrift shops for nearly nothing. Use cool, ocean-themed colors to paint your frames. After the paint dries, your kids can glue shells around them, hand them on the wall with photos, arrange them on a mantle, or give them as gifts. You will need hot glue, frames, paint, and a variety of shells.

8. Fun Flip-Flops

Dress up your feet while keeping them cool in these stylish shell flip-flops. Let your little girls choose pretty shells and beads. Glue everything on the rubber straps to create new, designer looking flip-flops. Be sure to let them dry thoroughly before wearing. You need rubber flip-flops, shells, colorful beads, and a hot glue gun.

9. Rustic Boho Wind Chimes

Boho wind-chimes add a rustic element with a touch of whimsy to any outdoor area. String sparkling and colorful beads on yarn, ribbon, or fabric strips and glue on various seashells. Tie the strings on the stick at different lengths. Tie a piece of twine on your hippy-inspired creation and hang it from a nail on your porch. You could also hang it on your wall for an instant touch of Bohemian style. You will need a stick or piece of driftwood about 14 inches long, seashells, beads, yarn, ribbon, fabric strips, and a hot-glue gun.

10. Shell Stamps

Add a touch of nautical style to a room. Paint the outer edges of a scallop shell with a little fabric paint, and stamp an attractive design where you want some color. Let the kids help you stamp pillowcases, sheets, or beach towels. You could even use ocean-themed colors to create a stamped seashell border on walls or doors. You will need small and medium scallop shells, brushes, and fabric paint. 

The next time you head to the beach and collect bags of shells, you will have many projects that will inspire you to do something with them. Shell art is beautiful and as unique as the shells used.


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