What can I do with sea shells that isn't tacky?

by 54m8927216
Picked up a lot of shells at the beach and need craft/decorating ideas. Besides throwing them in a bowl or base of a lamp. Done that. icon

  33 answers
  • Elaine Reed Elaine Reed on Jan 25, 2017

    Check out or join the Facebook group seashells for fun. Beautiful things are made out of seashells

  • J Jo J Jo on Jan 26, 2017

    (Personally, I rather appreciate a medium to large, clean, clear lamp base half filled with a variety of unbroken nautical treasures from the sea, possibly an smallish anchor, surfboard, ocean-going boat/ship, sea gulls....anything relative to the ocean and beach.

  • Eroque022810 Eroque022810 on Jan 26, 2017

    How about applyingthem to a frame of a photo of the place you picked them up from?

  • Cheryl Cheryl on Jan 26, 2017

    A friend used them to make wind chimes. She used some sea glass as well. Very beachy and fun:)

  • Brad Mildern Brad Mildern on Jan 27, 2017

    Use a hot glue gun and make stick figures out of them, ie dogs or humans or birds in different poses. Saw a beautiful craft viking boat using a gourd as the hull and shell shields, cabin etc too. You could make knights as well.

  • Jude Jude on Jan 27, 2017

    Glue them around your bathroom mirror

  • I frequently display seashells and clam shells in apothecary jars when I'm staging homes I sell. I posted about it on my blog:


  • Gail Gail on Jan 28, 2017

    I have a friend who used to spend many hours searching for shells at the beach near his apartment. He cleaned them very well, preserved them with clear nail polish, and actually glued them in interesting patterns on a plain bookshelf he had. It was very cool. Obviously, he only used the perfectly in tact ones. He also glued them along the window sill. It looked great!

  • Mary Mary on Jan 28, 2017

    I lined my garden with them. They look pretty and enhance the pathways ☺️

  • Deb13686859 Deb13686859 on Jan 29, 2017

    I took a clear glass dish, mine is round and about 4" deep, I poured some kosher salt/ sea salt from the dollar store, about 1" from the top, looks like sand 👣 put my sea shells in, put one fan shaped one over a led votive. Voila! Night light, leds also from the dollar store , looks nice unlit too, mine is in my guest bathroom.

  • Mary Mary on Jan 29, 2017

    I have them in shadow box frames on cloth back ground. I put a nice label under them and if there are extra of the same kind I laid them on the bottom of the frame inside the glass. They look great on the wall in a hall or a bathroom.

  • Betty Sue Betty Sue on Jan 31, 2017

    Anyone have any picture to show off the work

  • Cindy R Starr Cindy R Starr on Jan 31, 2017

    My shell project below

  • AZ Stamper AZ Stamper on Feb 04, 2017

    I glued a few of them to a small lampshade in the guest room and also glued some on a waste basket in their bathroom. Very Florida!

  • Hat19678767 Hat19678767 on Feb 05, 2017

    Some shells are thinner in density than others, delicate ones can be used as a lighting item with a low voltage nite lite bulb or fairy lite string ten to fifteen lightes.

  • Sylvia Candler Sylvia Candler on Feb 06, 2017

    Glue to a picture frame or mirror frame.

  • Don Don on Feb 06, 2017

    They have been used, with epoxy, as door/drawer handles. I have a few in my tiki bar area. I also took a couple of large pickle jars, purchased a "lamp light kit" from a home improvement store. Then SLOWLY, carefully (with water as a coolant) drilled (with a cheap glass drill bit same store) a hole at the bottom of the jar for the cord to go through. Then drilled a hole in the center top of the lid just big enough to fit the lamp hardware pipe through and tightened all the nuts. Ran the cable down through and out of the jar.

    Filled the jar with sea shells and put my favorites to the outside glass for display Sort of like making a terrarium build on your way out while keeping the cord in the center to not be seen.

    I found all of these ideas either in books or online. I'm sure they are all online by now. This a few years ago.

  • Don Don on Feb 06, 2017

    Actually cord went in through bottom up to top....

  • I have decorated clearance aisle (after season) wreaths by gluing shells all around and then adding starfish, etc. I also have a garland made of shells but you need a decent strength glue and a thick-ish cord to adhere them to.

  • Marilyn Marilyn on Feb 19, 2017

    When I was a little girl in the '50's my mother used a variety of shells to transform a plain wicker purse. She used real sand, and whatever occurred to her at the time. The first time she was out shopping with it, another shopper bought it from her. She started buying plain wicker purses and she would spray paint the purse in whatever color her friends or just strangers asked for. Then she would glue on the shells. Once she sprinkled leftover glitter on the top before the glue dried. WOW!

  • Pauline Pauline on Feb 20, 2017

    My daughter made a heart in a shadow box with shells she found on the west coast and gave it to a friend who went with her. It was beautiful and will always be a memory she will have.

  • Kristy Kristy on Feb 21, 2017

    I have mine in varying sized apothecary jars in our master bath around the jet tub. Nothing tackier than the hanging shell monstrousities from the 60-70's.

  • Kj Kj on Feb 21, 2017

    If you have small shells, you could go to a big box home store or craft store for clear plastic towel bars, fill them with the small shells to make fun towel bars. If your shells are large, amazon.com has solar fairy lights that you could tuck up inside the shells to create garden or patio lights. I have several strings of the copper wire fairy lights-they are durable, easy to work with, and some have different flash patterns. I am impressed that mine are bright and have survived a blizzard. Good luck with your project!

  • Jane and Sonja Jane and Sonja on Feb 21, 2017

    We used some of ours to make a wind chime which we also use in a coastal styled bedroom. Would look great in a bathroom, or in a nursery as well. Here's a tutorial with video on how to make it: https://www.sustainmycrafthabit.com/blog/2017/2/15/how-to-make-a-diy-coastal-seashell-wind-chime

  • Terry Craig Terry Craig on Feb 23, 2017

    I've seen ceramic horse heads covered in different types of shells that looked amazing. They were positioned in a way that ran with the natural contour of the features and mane as well as the shapes of the shells. Oyster shells were used on the face. Spiral shells made up the mane. It looked incredible.

  • Tami Stone Tami Stone on Mar 16, 2017

    Make them into a fan pull.

    Attach them to a pre-made wind chime.

    Put'm inside a frame, just don't use the glass front.

    Attach'm to a basket as a room decoration.

    I'm in the middle of making sea shell decor to go in my living room. I'm using thrift store shadow boxes. I'm painting 3 of the insides a sky blue & with spray adhesive, I'm putting craft sand on the inside bottom then I'll glue down a shell or 3.

  • Cheryl Buchholz Tulloch Cheryl Buchholz Tulloch on Mar 25, 2017

    I put mone in a glass jar on a bathroom shelf. Large ones I put in my garden if front of a plant so it lifts the leaves off the ground, but fall onto the shelf, I keep the plant trimmed so you see the shell. I am also going to make some concrete stepping stones with shells, marbles etc etc. Place in bottom of concrete circle when dry flip over to see the beauty.

    i also painted and cut wide baseboard to go around the mirror and glued on shells.

    so many ideas really. In a bowl with sand on the bottom, pillar candle in the middle surrounded by sea shells on a table beside your outdoor patio furniture.

  • Lorraine Lorraine on Mar 26, 2017

    if you are into jewellery making , you can clean the not to large ones. drill a hole for a cord or short chain to pass through. i put a pearl on the end of the chain so it lays in the shell. then i add a circle with glue so neck cord or chain will pass through. makes great flea market jewellery and the locals and visitors to our local camp sites will purchase them.I have done small pieces of drift wood and sea birds that i found in dollar store along with small shells and it makes a novelty sovenier for visitors.

  • Sheila Sheila on Apr 02, 2017

    I made a wreath with sea shells-cardboard circle with hole, glue on sea shells and fill in empty spaces with Spanish moss!

  • Brenda Brenda on Apr 02, 2017

    You can take old boxes and glue shells to them. Taking different sizes and grouping them together is very pretty on vanity, dresser top or coffee table. Also take a dollar store mirror and glue them around the frame completely covering it. I've seen these sell in Key West for hundreds of dollars.

  • Roanne Roanne on Apr 26, 2017

    hey would look nice in a transparent glass lamp.