Sea Shell Art
Have you ever come home from vacation with a collection of shells you don’t know what to do with? Maybe you live at the beach like we do and somehow find yourself coming home with them in your pockets even when you try not to. It’s easy to do. They are so pretty and beg to be collected. However it can sometimes be challenging to know what to do with them once you get them home. We say gift them as art!
We decided to kick it up a notch with our shells this month and gave them a light color wash with acrylic paint (the safest option is water-based children’s paint). It’s not that they aren’t beautiful already in their natural state it was just something fun to do to while away an otherwise long boring summer afternoon.
If you are looking for a way to keep your kids occupied, this is it. My daughter spent hours daintily painting shell after shell. By the end of the afternoon we had quite a collection!
We also had some really pretty butcher paper that I intend to recycle into greeting cards later (but that’s another post). If you do this, save your paper! It makes great wrapping paper.
After all the shells were painted we let them dry for a day. Then we took our whole collection of painted and unpainted shells on a play date and let our friends have fun with them too. I set out the shells, some paint mixed with water and some white Elmer’s glue to paint with too. Most of the kids made collages, some made flowers and some wanted to paint more shells! I told you it was a kid-captivator! Funny how that works.
I wasn’t quite done with this craft yet. I wanted to see the shell art framed.
We found some cheap thrift store frames and painted them black (again, water-based children’s paint is the safest option).
Inside-out shirts make great painting smocks too when you don’t want to completely ruin your clothes.
I used some more watered-down acrylic paint, and gently painted some sheets of watercolor paper cut to fit the frames. Then I broke out the glue-gun (unlike the kids I didn’t really like the sticky white glue much. Glue guns should only be used by responsible adults) and had a go at making my own collage. The kids made beach scenes and flowers but I had a chicken in mind.
With a pearl for an eye, he came together. A few strokes of black for his legs and he was done! Then I popped him and some others into their frames and voila! ART!
Now to find somebody to gift these to….Published July 22, 2010. Last updated July 17, 2016.