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How To Make A Sea Shell Painting

Updated on December 22, 2010

Let's Get Started! Recycling Shells Into Art!

if you like to spend your vacations at the ocean, chances are you have collected a few seashells, driftwood, etc. If so, you may want an easy, attractive way to display them, while updating your décor at the same time! This arts and crafts painting project is both simple and easy to do, and doesn't take a long time to make or a lot of artistic talent. Even a child could make this, with a small amount of supervision.

First, you will need to assemble your items, so I will make a list of the things you will need.

1. Gallery wrap canvas, any shape you wish. (I had oval here, size 16" x 20")

2. Assorted acrylic paints in colors you wish. (I used pinks, blues and whites. Pastels look the best for this project)

3. Assorted shells, sand dollars, driftwood and/or dried ocean plants(...if available, and your own selection)

4. Glitterama®, Opalescent Floral Craft and Party Spray paint by Cascade (or another type if not available-look in silk flower or spray paint section of hobby store)

5. Section of thick rope, cut to fit around outside of gallery wrap canvas

6. White tissue paper (for textured background - look closely at my photos!)

7. White gesso (for background. Available at artist or craft stores)

8.Hot glue gun and glue sticks

9. 2 small screws and picture hanging wire, to hang picture with






Photos of shell art picture

Full image of completed seashell art picture.
Full image of completed seashell art picture.
Up close, detailed photo of sea shell art, showing placement of shells, grasses, textured tissue paper, driftwood, etc.
Up close, detailed photo of sea shell art, showing placement of shells, grasses, textured tissue paper, driftwood, etc.
Up close photo of how tissue paper should look, to show texture behind items.
Up close photo of how tissue paper should look, to show texture behind items.
Back view of completed project.Notice wire and screws in wood for hanging picture.
Back view of completed project.Notice wire and screws in wood for hanging picture.

Instructions for Your Project!

Please Read All Instructions Before You Start!!

Step 1. First of all, lay the canvas down on a flat surface so you can attach the two screws and the picture wire to hang your finished project.

Step 2. Flip the canvas over, and apply two, thick coats of the white gesso to the front and sides of your canvas, being sure to let the coats dry well between each coat. (Tip - if it feels cool to the touch, the paint is still wet!)

Step 3. Once the canvas is dry, arrange your shells and items on the canvas like you like them, then take a photo of it for reference later. This way, you will be able to get the exact look you want, with no messy mistakes!

Step 4. Apply a 3rd coat of gesso, then apply the tissue paper to the front of the canvas while the gesso is wet, sliding it around carefully with your fingertips to give it a textured look, and try to not tear it. It's no huge thing if you do, but it just looks better if you don't. Let dry well.

Step 5. After applying the tissue paper, paint the canvas and the attached tissue paper with the pastel colors, mingling them here and there. You can incorporate colors like seafoam greens, powder blues, pinks, peaches, whites and creams, etc. Let dry well.

Step 6. Going by the reference photo, arrange the shells, sea grasses, driftwood, etc. to the front of the canvas, using the hot glue gun. Use a minimal amount of glue and clean off any "strings" of glue when it has cooled.

Step 7. Paint the attached shells and grasses with the pastel colors to suit you. Be sure to use really light colors for a delicate look like I have here. Let dry well.

Step 8. Once everything is attached, painted, and dry, use the hot glue gun to attach the length of rope to the edges of the gallery wrap canvas. This really gives it a nautical look and feel!

Now, you are ready to hang your new project, give it as a gift, or even try to sell it!  You could make these in several different sizes, and sell them as they don't cost much to make. Enjoy this art and craft idea, and look for more projects to come! Please email me with any questions you have about this project.

 

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Comments

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    • Laura Thykeson profile imageAUTHOR

      Laura Thykeson 

      6 years ago from Central Texas

      Thank you so much!! I really enjoy my art....

    • profile image

      Charmaine Basson 

      6 years ago

      Hi

      How do I sign in to become a member?

    • Rehana Stormme profile image

      Rehana Stormme 

      6 years ago

      Wow, this is absolutely awesome! A great way to 'display' the sea shells and other beachy items I've collected! Thanks a bunch - voted up and useful!

    • Laura Thykeson profile imageAUTHOR

      Laura Thykeson 

      8 years ago from Central Texas

      Maritime Gem: I hope you enjoy making your picture!

    • MaritimeGem profile image

      MaritimeGem 

      8 years ago from Gaspe Quebec Canada

      Great idea! I am always collecting seashells and driftwood with my grandson, now we have a project to work on, Thank you!!!

    • Laura Thykeson profile imageAUTHOR

      Laura Thykeson 

      8 years ago from Central Texas

      sadai,

      Thank you so much for commenting!I have other painting hubs written if you check out my profile.

      Laura T.

    • profile image

      sadai 

      8 years ago

      this is reallllllllllllllly great i love it teach more such crafts pleas thank u

    • Laura Thykeson profile imageAUTHOR

      Laura Thykeson 

      8 years ago from Central Texas

      Georgina,

      Thank you for reading my hub. I always like hearing from readers that enjoyed my hubs. Glad you enjoyed it.

      Laura T.

    • Georgina_writes profile image

      Georgina Crawford 

      8 years ago from Dartmoor

      Lovely hub - I can never resist shells when I'm at the beach.

    • Laura Thykeson profile imageAUTHOR

      Laura Thykeson 

      8 years ago from Central Texas

      You are exactly right. A lot of people let them sit in bleach and warm water for a bit, rinse well, and let dry. This seems to take care of any odors. Thank you for your input.

      Laura T.

    • 2patricias profile image

      2patricias 

      8 years ago from Sussex by the Sea

      Your example is very pretty.

      We live near a beach and often house guests collect shells. We would advise that you make clean the shells as soon as possible after collecting them, or else they will smell bad.

      Fun hub - thanks.

    • Laura Thykeson profile imageAUTHOR

      Laura Thykeson 

      8 years ago from Central Texas

      Hello, hello,

      Thank you for your sweet comment. Luckily, this is one of those projects anyone can make! It's easy, if one just follows the steps. I have decided to stick to art with my hubs, and as soon as I did, I got "Featured" on the front page! Guess I am back in the "swing" of things, lol!!

      Thanks for reading-

      Laura T.

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 

      8 years ago from London, UK

      Thank you for a great hub. They are beautiful. You are a great artist.

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