Keeping shells as a reminder of carefree days on the beach is best in the form of interior items, decorations and souvenirs. After all, they are such a beautiful, completely free, natural and durable material. In this material you will find 50 inspirational photos, 8 ideas and the same step-by-step master-classes on making crafts from shells with your own hands for beginners.
Basic instructions for preparing shells
Before you start making crafts from shells, you need to properly prepare them.
- If the shells are “dead” and there are no remains of mollusks in them, then you just need to soak them in a solution of water and any chlorine-containing agent( eg, with bleach, “Duckling”, etc.) in a ratio of 1: 1 for 30 minutes. If the shells are very dirty, or you want to remove the dark outer layer( periostracum), then soak them longer. After soaking, clean the shells with a brush and rinse in clean water.
- If the shells are “alive”, that is, they have the remains of mollusks( albeit long dead) and have an unpleasant smell, they must be thoroughly cleaned. To do this, lower the shells in boiling water for 5 minutes, and then remove the remains of the mollusks using forceps, nail scissors, etc. There is a second way: heat the shells in the microwave for 30 seconds, then try to remove the remains with forceps. In case of failure, continue heating the shells in the microwave oven, checking the result every 10 seconds. When all remains are removed, treat the shells with chlorine-containing agent according to the first instruction.
After processing, inspect the shells for chipping and, if any, sand them with a grinding block, disc, or sandpaper. If you wish, you can add shine to them with a clear nail polish or furniture, as well as with the help of oil or greasy cream. However, in this case, before processing the shells with glue, the gluing sites will have to be further degreased with alcohol.
To make some kinds of crafts from shells( for example, wind music, garlands, beads, bracelet and other decorations), you need to drill a hole in them. This task is quite simple, the difficulty consists only in the fact that shells can crack or stratify at the drilling site.
- Therefore, keep in mind the main rule: the thinner the sink, the smaller the hole should be in it and, accordingly, the thread / decoration accessories.
There are two ways to make holes in the shells - manual and automated.
Method 1. Select a drill bit for a drill, screwdriver, or straight grinder with a diameter of 0.8 - 2 mm. Put the shell on a wooden or plastic board and glue it with masking tape. Drill a hole right on the tape - it will not allow the shell to split or peel.
Method 2. If you do not have a screwdriver or a drill, then you can make a hole in the sink with a stud and a hammer. To do this, first paste the seashell with masking tape, put a label on the inside of the shell, then stick a carnation and gently tap it with a hammer several times to make the initial hole. Then expand the hole, moving the same nail back and forth inside it until you reach the desired diameter.
If there is neither a nail, nor a hammer at hand, use an ordinary needle, nail scissors or a knife and “drill” the hole manually. The result will appear in about 10 minutes.
Idea 1. Encrusted with frames, frames and frames
With shell shells you can decorate the frame of a mirror, a picture or a photo frame. Examples of such crafts are presented in the following collection( scroll through the photo to the right).
Today we suggest you decorate a frame for a mirror with seashells, but on the same principle you can decorate any photo frame or picture frame.
- Shells of small, medium and large size and, if desired, additional decorations( eg, starfishes, pearls, skate figures, etc.).
- Glue gun and a few sticks of glue or transparent epoxy glue.
- Newspaper or any unnecessary paper to protect the mirror from glue.
- Painting tape or regular adhesive tape.
Step 1. Protect the mirror with paper, securing it with masking tape. At this stage, the frame can be painted if its initial appearance does not suit you.
Step 2. Sort the seashells by size to facilitate the creation of a future composition.
Step 3. First glue the first row of small or medium shells( approximately the same size) around the mirror.
Step 4. Now start gluing the largest shells. Previously, you can play with the layouts and choose the best. If you use epoxy glue, after all the parts are glued, leave the frame to dry overnight.
Step 5. Next, fill in the gaps between large shells, medium and small shells.
Idea 2. Mastering an Valentine's Panel
From a collection of shells of various shapes and sizes, you can make a panel in the shape of a valentine. However, you can cut out any other shape from cardboard / plywood, say, the same seahorse or letter.
- Glue gun or any glue of strong adhesion;
- Collection of river and sea shells;
Step 1. Cut a cardboard base for heart-shaped panels.
Step 2. Using a knife or an awl, make two holes for the twine.
Step 3. Start gluing the shells, trying to keep minimal spaces between them. Leave the holes for the loop open.
Step 4. Cut the twine of the desired length, pass the two ends of the rope into the holes from the inside of the panel and tie into double knots.
In the following video you can see a visual workshop on making crafts from shells with your own hands in the form of a Valentine's panel.
Below are other ideas for creating seashells.
Idea 3. “Writing” a picture on canvas
And here is another idea to create wall crafts from seashells.
- Canvas on a stretcher;
- Adhesive glue or other strong adhesion glue, eg “Moment”;
- Pattern or stencil of the desired pattern printed on paper;
- Acrylic paint to create a background( optional);
- Brush( optional).
- If you want to repeat the idea of the picture of this master class, first create a background for the composition of the seashells. To do this, use a brush and acrylic paint of the desired color. Wait until the background is dry, and proceed to the next step.
- Fix the template or stencil on the canvas with masking tape, and then circle its outlines with a pencil.
- Start gluing the shells on the pattern, without going beyond its borders.
Idea 4. Cooking candles for mini-candlesticks
Shells are almost ready miniature candlesticks that are just waiting to be filled with paraffin and wick. The resulting candles you can use for table setting, a romantic picnic or just to decorate the interior.
- Marine or large river shells;
- Small round candles in tin molds;
- Water and water bath casserole;
- PVA glue or double-sided tape.
Step 1. Remove the candle itself from the tin container and then remove the wick from the tin container by pulling the metal base at the bottom of the candle( see photo).Put the wicks, and the candles themselves return in the molds.
Step 2. Glue each wick on double-sided tape or PVA glue in the center of the shell.
Step 3. Now we need to melt the paraffin to completely liquid state. This can be done in three ways:
- Bring the water to the boil in a saucepan, then loosen the heat so that the water stops boiling and dip the molds into it.
- Place the candles on a stove, heated to a minimum heat, and make sure that the wax does not burn.
- Heat paraffin with a hair dryer.
Step 4. Once the paraffin has melted, remove the molds from the heat and proceed to filling the shells. It is best to use some forceps or a pair of Chinese chopsticks for this. Do not forget to pre-protect the surface of the table with a newspaper.
- If the shells are too unstable, and you are afraid that the paraffin will harden unevenly, then it is better to place the candles in the egg packaging cells or fix, for example, soft clay that leaves no residue.
After about 20 minutes, the paraffin will completely harden, and you can enjoy the light of the seashell candles.
Idea 5. Making a nautical style topiary
Topiary is a small decoration in the form of a tree in a pot. You can learn the principles of making a shell topiary yourself in our master class or from the next video lesson.
And in this collection of photos you can get ideas for decorating topiary from shells with your own hands of a traditional round shape or in the form of a New Year tree.
Idea 6. Mastering an
Flower Candle Holder If you have a sufficient number of bivalve seashells, you can make beautiful candlesticks in the form of flowers.
Today we offer to make just such a craft from mussel shells.
- Shells of bivalve mollusks;
- Any round base of small diameter;
- glue gun;
- PVA Adhesive( optional);
- Shine( optional).
Step 1. Prepare the shells - wash them with soap, remove the remains of organic matter and, if desired, bleach them using chlorine-containing products( see the instructions at the beginning of the article).
Step 2. Paint the round base of the candlestick in any neutral color, for example, white.
Step 3. While the base is drying, sort your set of sinks by size.
Step 4. Start to glue 1 row of sinks on the sides of the base with thermo-glue.
Step 5. When the first row dries out a little, proceed to create the second row, placing each new shell overlapped with the previous one and so that it is between the two shells of the first row. As a result, you will form the layout of the shells of two rows in a staggered manner as shown in the photo.
Step 6. Glue the third and all subsequent rows according to the same principle, but not on the base, but on the joints of the previous row’s shells( the place is indicated by the arrow in the photo below).
Step 7. When you glue the last row, look at the candlestick and add another one or two rows where you think it is necessary.
Step 8. Hurray, the candlestick made of shells is ready! If you wish, you can additionally decorate it with sparkles. To do this, you need to perform the following steps:
- Process the shells with PVA glue inside or just around the edges.
- Sprinkle glitter on the craftwork generously, let the glue dry, and then shake off any excess.
See also material: DIY ribbon flowers - 6 master classes for beginners.
Idea 7. Create the wind music
Shell - this is the ideal material for making wind music, because the "chime" of such sea bells is very pleasant to hear.
- Twine, fishing line or any thread.
- Sprig or wooden stick.
- Hot glue gun or tool for drilling small holes( a drill with a 2 mm drill or just a needle and nail scissors).
Step 1. If you want the shells to be attached to the threads, first drill holes in them( see the Basic Instruction at the beginning of the article).If you do not have the tool, and you are satisfied with the adhesive method of attachment, then immediately proceed to the next stage.
Step 2. Tie a twine to the branch as shown in the photo, measure about 7 cm from it, and cut off the excess.
- If you use shells with holes, then the twine should be cut immediately to the desired length with a margin on the nodules.
Step 3. Glue the seashell to the string with a drop of thermal adhesive. Then, at the other end of the shell, glue another 7 centimeter thread of twine. Continue to work until you are satisfied with the length of the first row.
- Shells with holes can be tied to the thread in at least two ways: by tying knots around or under the holes( the knot must be larger than the hole).
Step 4. Continue hanging threads with shells until the desired number. In this case, you can play with the length of the rows to form, say, an arch or a ladder. In this case, wind music has alternating short and long threads.
Step 5. When the product is ready, tie another piece of twine at both ends of the branch.
According to the principles of this master class, but replacing a branch with a hoop or adding seashells, beads, feathers and other decorations to the shells, you can create more fanciful designs of wind music.
Idea 8. Making a cowry shell bracelet
If you have at least one cowry shell, you can make a boho bracelet for your hand or foot with your own hands. You can buy all the accessories for such decoration in stores for needlework or in large sewing stores.
- One Cowry Shell;
- 1 m silk lace;
- Half a skein of floss in a contrasting color;
- Beads( this master class uses copper beads from the old bracelet);
- A pair of crimp-type kontsevikov with loops( designed for cords and manufacturing bracelets);
- Fastener for jewelry( in the form of a ring or carbine);
- Ring for fastener( detachable);
Step 1. Drill a small hole at both ends of the kauri( see. Basic instructions at the beginning of the article).
Step 2. Cut about 15 cm from the skein of silk lace and set this line aside for a while.
Step 3. Pass the silk cord about half the length through one hole of the shell and tie a knot.
Step 4. Pass the other end of the cord through the middle of the sink and tie a knot in the second hole of the cord.
Step 5. Cut a few strands of floss, collect them and fold the resulting bundle around the silk lace next to the shell as shown in the photo.
Step 6. Take a short piece of lace, wrap it tightly around the top of the folded floss threads, tie a knot and cut off the excess. You get a brush. Fan it and, if necessary, trim it with scissors.
Step 7. Start stringing beads on both ends of the bracelet. After the desired length has been reached, bend the ends of the cords in half and stick the resulting tips into the crimp-off switches.
Step 8. Use pliers to clamp the limit switches on the tips of the bracelet, and then cut off the excess cord.
Step 9. Using pliers, attach a ring to one end switch and a clasp to the other. Your seashell bracelet is ready!
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