- Arts and Design
Make a Seashell Cross
Five Easy Steps to a Seashell Cross
This seashell cross is very easy to make and would be a great craft for children and for seniors in nursing homes.
My mother is in an Alzheimer unit in a home near my house. Mom has always been a busy person and she still is happiest when she is kept busy. I have volunteered to do crafts with the ladies in Mom's home and have been looking for easy crafts and activities to do to keep them busy.
As I was walking along the beach on our vacation it occurred to me that there should be lots of different activities that I could do with Mom's group using seashells. I started right away collecting bags of shells and then went to my computer to research some crafts that I could do. Many of the ideas were too elaborate, so I devised this simple cross seashell to make. I made a sample, which I photographed for this lens, and then went on to work with my Mom's group to make the crosses. It is very simple to make and with just can be altered to work with both children and adults.
photographs by Mary Beth Granger
Sea Shells at the Seashore
collect shells as you walk
When we travel, we often go to the ocean. I love to take long walks on the beach and as I walk I also look for unusual shells. The shells in the photo below were found on Coral Cove Beach in Jupiter, Florida. It is one place that we go each year that always seems to have an abundance of shells.
If you have access to a beach then you can collect shells for this project and other shell crafts. If you don't have access to a beach then you can purchase shells at most craft stores or online.
Additional Supplies Needed - Sea Shell Cross
In order to make the shell crosses you will need some foam cutout crosses and some yarn. The tools you will need to complete the project include a hole punch, glue gun, and scissors.
Foam Cross Shapes - multiple color shapes
I bought my foam crosses at a local craft store. Here are some that look very similar. These foam shapes come in a variety of different shapes and colors. Two of the other shapes that I think would good for a shell craft are the heart shapes and the star shapes.
Step One- Sort Sea Shells - sort by size and/or colors
When I do this craft with the ladies in Mom's home, I will first let them sort the shells into groups by size and color. When we do this we can talk about the various shells and everyone can pick their favorites. This will also get the shells ready to make a design on the cross.
Step Two- Punch Hole in Cross
Punch a hole in the top of the cross about 1/2 inch from the top.
Step 3- Add Yarn to Cross
Next you will want to cut a length of yarn to hang the cross. I cut the yarn into 12 inch lengths but you can get them any length that you would like. You will then string the yarn through the hole in the cross and tie a knot near the end.
Step 4- Arrange Shells on Cross
This is the area where you can use a bit of creativity. Each person can arrange their shells in a pattern on the cross. I think it works good to use a variety of sizes on the cross. I first laid out the larger shells and then filled in with smaller ones.
Step 5- Glue on the Shells - use low temp glue gun
In the next step the shells will be glued on to the cross. Pick up the shells one at a time and put a few dots of hot glue on the back of the shell. Then press the shell back into place on the cross. They will dry very fast so make sure you put it back exactly where you want it. Continue with this procedure until all the shells are glued in place.
Low Temp Glue Gun
For this project a low temperature glue gun will work the best.
Finished Shell Cross - door hanger
Here is the finished project. It can be hung on a doorknob or on a hook on the wall. I think it will make a colorful decoration for my Mom and her friends.
Sea Shells to Purchase
If you don't have access to a beach where you can get shells you can purchase shells at a quite reasonable price. I have seen them in various sizes and types at craft stores. Here are some that you can purchase online.
Now that I'm doing crafts with the ladies at my Mom's Alzheimer unit I can sure use some ideas for easy crafts. If you have any ideas please share them with me.