Summer Shell Art

As a kid, one of my favorite summer pastimes was collecting sea shells from the beach. I used to have containers of my treasures in my closet growing up and loved going through them and remembering great trips. But why keep the shells in boxes tucked away in a closet? Why not proudly display them in your home?

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When I moved into my first solo apartment after college a few years ago, I needed something to put on my empty walls, and looked to my beach finds for help. Within an hour I had painted a wooden frame, added a burlap background, attached a starfish on top, and hung it on my wall! Ever since then I’ve been finding different ways to create art out of sea shells, sharks teeth and oyster shells that I find around the Lowcountry.

Today, I’ll walk you through an easy beach craft that you can make no matter your age, and that can be customized to any room in your house!

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What you’ll need:

  • Canvas
  • Various sea shells & beach finds
  • Goop adhesive or hot glue

You can find regular or burlap canvases, as well as the Goop adhesive at your local craft store like Michael’s or Hobby Lobby, and be sure to use a coupon!

First, clean the sand off of your shells and let them dry on a paper towel. Then arrange the shells on the canvas in whatever design you want. Get creative! You can do a geometric design, a shape, or even write out something. I opted to make a wave out of sharks teeth, a heart and the palmetto and crescent with sea shells and just individual oyster shells on smaller canvases.

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Next you’ll want to attach the shells to the canvas one at a time using the Goop adhesive. Note: Goop adhesive is really strong, like a liquid cement. If you don’t have any, hot glue will work, but will not be as secure and permanent.

Finally, hang the canvas on your wall, stand back, and admire your work!

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If you’re feeling extra crafty, paint the canvas or shells to match your room. A fun colored canvas will give your shells and the room an extra pop! The options are endless with a full spectrum of paint colors and a box of your favorite beach finds.

About Kelley Wilds

Kelley Wilds is a DIY blogger & Etsy shop owner with a coastal vibe in Charleston, SC. She works in the tech industry by day,...

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3 thoughts on “Summer Shell Art

  1. I have jars and jars of old shells that I’ve never really known what to do with — of course I have no sharks teeth and now I want to make the shark tooth wave! Just something new to look for!

  2. This is such a great idea! My three year old spends his summers gathering shells with his grandmother. Now I know what we’ll do with them at the end of the season.

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