How To Make Memories Out of Seashells

IMG-9063We had a wonderful vacation this past June in North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. It was our first real beach vacation as a family. One of my favorite things we did was walk down to the shore and collect sea shells. I collected a whole gallon size bag and decided apart from the two spoons I got for my collection I would make my souvenirs from my shells.

                                                                                                      Hunter and David   collecting shells

I found so many ideas and things to do with them on line but to start I wanted to make a monogram of the shells first before I tried anything else. So when we returned home it was one of the first crafts I made. While collecting seashells I really liked the really little ones and initially planned on making it entirely of that but because of the way this wooden M was shaped I decided instead I would use as many different shapes as I could.

                                                        Some of our shells drying in the sun after being cleaned

Before we left Myrtle beach I had already cleaned my seashells. To clean them I put them in a 2 gallon bucket with bleach water and let them sit for at least 5 hours, a few times overnight. Then using a small brush I cleaned anything remaining off and laid them on towels to dry on our balcony. That way when I brought them home they didn’t smell and were ready to store until I could make my projects out of them. The first step to making the seashell monogram was to find a wooden letter.6234D152-1D2C-49EB-9A97-D514A49F0FA1 I found mine at Walmart very inexpensive, you can find them at almost any craft store as they are very popular. First I laid out a pattern of the shells as carefully as I could on the M. It did not end up being the final design but allowed me to see just how many shells I needed and how I would need to place them so that they overlapped. B0696BBA-F321-4D4E-8C25-AA576D799271I also used a number of our broken shells to wrap around or layer by the whole shells. Then I took the shells off and laid them out on paper towels (you could use newspaper too) and sprayed them, front and back with Rust-o-leum Painters Touch Ultra Cover Clear Gloss. This gives the shells a shiny sheen so that they look like they are still wet. While they dried I painted the front and the sides of my M white and let that dry overnight. It took about two coats.

Once the M and the shells were dry I got out a plastic knife ( you can also use a wide Popsicle stick or stir stick) and my SimpleSet pre-mixed Thin -set Mortar in white.IMG-9015 I love this stuff and a little goes a long way. I layered the mortar on one area at a time and pressed the shells into the mortar. I used my favorite small shells for the skinny legs of the M and the big shells for the large ones. Once all the shells have been placed I let my piece dry in the sun for about 2 hours before moving it. I wrote the date of our vacation and where we went on the back of the M and hung it on my command center wall in my kitchen. IMG-9065

Its a wonderful reminder of the fun we had this summer.

Supplies you need for this project

  1. Clean Dry Seashells
  2. Wooden letter
  3. white wood paint
  4. Clear Gloss Spray paint
  5. Pre-mixed thin-set Mortar
  6. Stick or plastic knife for spreading

Want to try this project, leave a comment below.


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