15 Ways to Use Shells

Shells come in a wide array of shapes, sizes, and colors for just about any craft, art, or display design.
Shells come in a wide array of shapes, sizes, and colors for just about any craft, art, or display design. | Source
Shells provide wonderful colors and textures for clos-up photography.
Shells provide wonderful colors and textures for clos-up photography. | Source
The shells texture can look like some strange, alien landform or terrain.
The shells texture can look like some strange, alien landform or terrain. | Source
Using special lighting can produce cool effects when photographing shells close up.
Using special lighting can produce cool effects when photographing shells close up. | Source
The color of a shell may be the main reason for choosing for any project.
The color of a shell may be the main reason for choosing for any project. | Source
Scallop shells are great for baptisms and for seafood sidedishes or appetizers.
Scallop shells are great for baptisms and for seafood sidedishes or appetizers. | Source

Joan Whetzel

Ahhh! Warm summer days at the beach. Wriggling your toes into the sand. The taste of salt water accidentally swallowed when a wave washes over your face. Building sandcastles, then smashing them. Beachcombing for the best shells and sand dollars. If you go to the beach a lot, you've probably taken part in this popular pasttime and may have built up a fine collection of shells over the years. There are an amazing number of ideas for using those shells, which of course, includes proudly displaying them.

  1. Create Christmas ornaments. Use Dreml tool to drill small holes in one end of your favorite shells. Use jewelry findings from the craft store or simply insert a ornament hook through the hole and hang it on the tree.
  2. Baptisms. One way to pour the baptismal water over the baby's head is with a nice scallop shell. Check with your church and pastor beforehand.
  3. Seafood Appetizer Serving Dish. Great for small dishes like something containing bay scallops or those tiny shrimp, or some seafood appetizer dip. Make sure the shells are thoroughly cleaned beforehand.
  4. Mixed Media Artwork. This could be any type of artwork you can dream up that uses more than one type of media including attachments of found objects like shells.
  5. Shell Sculptures.
  6. Clay Molds.
  7. Sandcastle Molds.
  8. Mirror Frames. Angelo52 has a Hub on glues for seashells that would be ideal for this.
  1. Displayed Under a Glass Top Table. Add some sand and display the shells artistically in any way that appeals to you.
  2. Wind Chimes. Use the Dreml tool to drill small holes in the shells and string them together with wire, string, or fishing nylon. Then tie them to a round disk with a hook in the center. Either hang them outside where the wind will catch them or near an air conditioning/ heating vent where they will be stirred any time the air or heat comes on.
  3. Fill a Clear Glass Lamp Base. This will give any room a nautical feel.
  4. Display Shells in Clear Glass Jars or Vases. Separate the shells into same shell types, one type of shell for each jar or vase. Then display them on a shelving unit or in a curio cabinet.
  5. Display Larger Shells as Individual Pieces of Nature's Art.
  6. Suspend Them From the Ceiling in a Fishing Net.
  7. Photography. Photograph them close up or zoom out for a compilation shot. There's no limit to the ways that shells can be photographed with a cool effect.

The great thing about shells is that they come in a wide array of shapes, sized, and colors so that each piece of artwork or display model you assemble will be unique. There are also a number of ways to decorate the shells themselves. Angelo52 has written quite a few hubs on this topic. One includes a way to use Polyurethane Paint with Seashell Crafts it can be found at: http://angelo52.hubpages.com/hub/poly-paint-seashell-crafts


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Comments 8 comments

carol7777 profile image

carol7777 4 years ago from Arizona

I love shells and when living near the ocean I always came back with a sack full. There are many fun ways to use these shells. Thanks for the great ideas.


ChitrangadaSharan profile image

ChitrangadaSharan 4 years ago from New Delhi, India

Nice ideas shared by you, about using shells.

I am fascinated by them and have a good collection of shells. I have some small ones in my fish aquarium as well. In Indian markets too, you can find pots, jewellery, wall hangings, fancy curtains etc. made with shells.

Thanks for sharing some great decoration tips with shells.


Angie Jardine profile image

Angie Jardine 4 years ago from Cornwall, land of the eternally youthful mind ...

I must admit that I always wonder if we all come back from the beach with a load of shells, will we completely lose all our shells on the beaches?

It’s the same with the crystals we continually mine for ...

Sorry … it’s the conservationist in me … my mum wouldn’t even pick flowers from the garden. She felt they were happier being unpicked :)


joanwz profile image

joanwz 4 years ago from Katy, Texas Author

I have wondered, myself, whether we'd run out of shells if people always collected them. I love the story about picking the flowers.


agusfanani profile image

agusfanani 4 years ago from Indonesia

I like to collect shells and you've told me how to make better use of them. Thank you.


Whidbeywriter profile image

Whidbeywriter 4 years ago from Oak Harbor on Whidbey Island, Washington

Loved this hub.....I use scallop and clam shells and make angel ornaments. Be sure to check those cuties out when you get a chance. Great hub!


joanwz profile image

joanwz 4 years ago from Katy, Texas Author

How cool. I will check it out.


Green Art profile image

Green Art 3 years ago

I have a nice shell collection and enjoy sorting, identifying, and making projects with them. My four year old grandson has a small collection at my house that he keeps in an open wooden box with individual sections for a few shells. We talk about the various shapes and colors and what creatures once lived in them.

Shells are also a great subject matter to draw and paint as well. Voted up and useful!

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