A Coastal Christmas Gift With Maps and Shells

7 Materials
30 Minutes

I love to go on vacation somewhere near the sea. In fact all my favourite places in the world are coastal ones. On my last holiday I picked up some lovely large shells on the beach. I have already made some shell dishes this year. However, this time I thought I would combine the shells with maps to create a momento gift to frame and hang on the wall.

I love vintage maps and there is a huge collection you can download here for free if you don't have any of your own. Or you can just use road maps.

All you need for this craft is a large shell, map, tissue paper, masking tape, Mod Podge, Mounting squares and a picture frame.

Using masking tape carefully stick a sheet of tissue paper to a sheet of computer paper. This will enable you to feed the tissue paper into your computer printer and then print onto the tissue paper.

Print the map you have chosen onto the tissue paper using this method.

Next, cut out the map. It should be just slightly larger than your shell.

Next, cover the inside of the shell with decoupage glue.

Then, carefully press the tissue paper down onto the shell. As tissue paper is so thin it should easily bend to the contors of the shell.

Once the decoupage glue has dried, using a brush and water, wet the edges.

Then, carefully tear away any excess tissue paper.

Cover with another layer of glue, this will act as a varnish.

To add a bit of glamour to the shell decoration, I painted the edges with gold paint.

Finally, using Mounting Squares I mounted the shell into a frame.

I love how the shell turned out so much I made another one this time with a map of Norway.

If you drill a hole into the top of the shells, you could hang them with twine as a decoration instead.

Visit the blog for more photos and free maps. What maps would you use for your shell?

Resources for this project:

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Claire Armstrong
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Frequently asked questions

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  1 question
  • Melinda Brown Inglesby Melinda Brown Inglesby on Dec 10, 2019

    Did you just use random maps, or did you match the map to the locale where you found the shell?


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2 of 44 comments
  • Giselle Giselle on Nov 16, 2020

    Wow, this is such an awesome idea! I love sentimental gifts and this would be perfect!

  • Dl.5660408 Dl.5660408 on Nov 17, 2020

    Such a beautiful idea👏🏻 I was thinking of using a map from the camp where my grandson met his wife and giving it as an anniversary gift. The camp burned to the ground this year in the horrific fires we had all along the West Coast