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Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Seashells by the Seashore

Well we arrived home with, what, ten Ziploc bags full of shells? Not just the kind you buy in the store, you know those beautiful ones you find displayed on tropical islands. No, these are the ones that are pieces of pieces--ones that look like "long fingernails," parts of "beautiful" clams, the shell of the month--about a hundred of the same colored scallop shell, and the list goes on and on. Oh well, they say beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

So, what now? What do I do with all these shells? I will say I don't have an abundance of ideas for them, I probably can find a use for about --10? Anyway, I have come up with three ideas that may help out someone.

First and the easiest, is to find some empty jars and fill them with those "lovely" shells for a great knickknack for the special someone's room. If it's for someone special you can find some lovely jars, or even old vases at some thrift shops. Now if it is for your little ones room, maybe you could wash out that mayo jar, or pickle jar-good luck with the smell. Anyway, it is easy for them to do and it makes a neat decoration.

One problem I have with the above idea is that my wonderful son insists that each and every shell be seen in full view. Right now his bookshelf has shelves filled with pieces of shells so that he can look at them.

Another idea is to make some beach scenes with these shells. For this project you will need--glue, sand, cardboard, tacky, shells. I used a piece of cardboard from the side of a cereal box for this project because using the sand and shells on paper just doesn't hold up well. The cereal box was a bit flimsy. First, have the child paint the piece of cardboard with the glue. Then pour sand over the entire piece of cardboard, now you have a sandy piece of board. Next find the shells that will accentuate the wonderful piece of art work. Use tacky to adhere the shells to the "beach." I use tacky because it holds heavier objects better. You can either put globs of tacky on the board and let your child glue down the shells, or put the glue on the shells and let the child place them on the board--you need a lot of glue. If you would like, hot glue would probably hold the shells down too.

You could also spice up the above project by painting some sea water. First, paint on the glue and add the sand. Then use some tempra paint to add water. You don't want to paint first and then add sand because the sand will stick to the paint too. You could paint first and let the paint dry, but just remember sand will stick to wet paint.

The last project would be a use for all those pieces of shells you have. It would be a mosaic. You can draw a shape, do freestyle, or just do decorative areas, but just put some heavy glue down on some cardboard and allow the child to fill in the area with the pieces, making a mosaic. My daughter helped me make this project. She said it is the sun over the sea and sunset with a sandcastle. I think she did a pretty good job--she's not a preschooler though.

Some of you may be much more creative and be able to make some shell animals, or other creations--good luck. I hope you have a good time finding some uses for those shells.

UPDATE: I've gotten some great comments, thanks so much. Take a look for other ideas. Thanks.

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prasad said...

Hi, I added you to my favourites on my blog. I would be delighted if u can do the same :)

Hmm, Is that So? said...

Great ideas! I would also like to suggest gluing the shells to a cheap picture frame and then putting a favorite picture from the beach inside.

Siddhartha said...

I used to collect them a lot, and made some sort of toys with them... they look beautiful.

Unknown said...

i just love seashells! used to collect them when I lived in a bigger house. your posts are interesting. =) drop by my site if you have the time.

The Minking Than said...

OK here is my 10c. Make small holes in the shells and then tie shells together with small nylon threads and presto you have your shell necklace - Hang it around pictures or use it to decorate walls. Thanks for the review on LinkReferral :-).