Sea Shell Crafts

img_0876Creative Wednesdays

Who doesn’t love summertime and days spent at the beach with the kids? I love taking walks down the sandy beaches of the Jersey shore collecting shells, smooth pebbles, and sea glass with my Nanny Kids. We have made photo frames, shell hair clips, and painted the nautical treasures we find. When painting shells with younger children just have them paint the shells in rainbow stripes or plain and then help them write “peace,” “love,” or the children’s names on the shells.

img_0873Sea Shell Painting

You Will Need:

Clean sea shells with smooth surfaces
Pencils to draw designs
Paint brushes
Acrylic paint
Sharpie markers

What to Do:

1. Cover the work surface and wear smocks.
2. Clean and dry shells.
3. Have kids paint shells with a base color and dry completely.
4. Use a pencil to draw design.
5. Use paint or Sharpie markers to finish design.

img_0874Sea Shell Hair Pins

You Will Need:

Small Sea Shells
Hair Pins (Bobby Pins)
Super Glue
Protected Work Surface
Rubber Gloves to Protect Your Hands

What to Do:

1. Clean and dry the sea shells. Protect the work surface and wear rubber gloves.
2. Figure out how you want to balance the shell to the bobby pin before adding the glue. I used the cardboard the hair pins came on to help balance the pins (see photo on right).
3. Carefully add a few drops of glue to the shell and hair pin. Do not let the kids near the glue or their fingers can get glued together.
4. Allow to dry completely. Let the mermaids wear their nautical creations.

img_0875Sea Shell Photo Frame

You Will Need:

1. Cheap flat photo frame in sand color (or cardboard and sharp scissors or razor blade)
2. Treasures from seashore such as shells, sea glass, drift wood, pebbles, and don’t forget the beach badge
3. White glue
4. Paint brush
5. Disposable cup
6. Plastic bag

What to Do:

1. If you cannot purchase an inexpensive, flat photo frame from the store, cut out a photo frame from cardboard you can find in the family recycling bin.
2. Cut out the rectangle with a sharp scissor or razor blade. Then cut out a hole from the front square of the photo frame so you can glue a photo to the back of it when the project is complete. Leave at least one-inch border around the photo frame since you need space to glue shells and sea glass tot he frame. I used a sharp scissor to cut out the inside hole of the frame to slip the photo into the frame.
3. Place a piece of plastic or a plastic bag under the store bought frame, or homemade frame, so that if any glue drips the frame won’t stick to the work surface.
4. Pour plenty of white glue into a disposable cup. Help the kids use paint brushes to slather on heaps of glue onto the frame and shells when pasting the sea side treasures to the frame. The glue will dry clear so use enough to keep the seashore prizes secure.
5. Let the frame dry for a day. After it is completely dry slide in a photo of the child from the day spent at the beach. Simply paste the photo to the back of the frame if using a homemade frame.


Projects and Photos by Stephanie Felzenberg and her Nanny Kids


  1. […] an easy way to save the children’s favorite sea shells they gathered at the shore this summer. Click here to see some other projects I have made with children with their sea shells […]

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