Get Creative with Summer Seashells: DIY Arts, Crafts, and Gifts

Beach-bound this summer and looking for ways to get artsy and crafty with seashells? If you can’t get to the beach this summer, head to the craft store instead. Gather your materials, invite some friends over, put on some beachy, ocean-inspired music, and get creative with those seashells! 

Creative crafts ideas include jewelry, ornaments, key chains, mosaics, a treasure box, stationary and greeting cards, sculpture and home décor, candles, and more. 

Upside benefits from a day of seashell art therapy? You’ll end up with plenty of beautiful mementos that make ideal gifts. Consider donating some as gifts to support those with cancer, veterans, or kids with diverse abilities to brighten their day and sweeten their summer. And, you’ll keep the kids busy (at least as long as their short attention spans allow).


Fill glass Mason jars about one-quarter full of sand, then arrange shells on top and add a candle. Tie a hemp, jute, or raffia bow around the top and dangle little charms and/or shells.  KISS (keep it simple, sweetie), or decorate more ornately by painting some waves at the bottom, sun or clouds at the top, and gluing on confetti, rhinestones, and/or glitter. 

Clamshells can add ambiance, too. They can hold small tealights, can turn into soap dishes, and can display your jewelry.


Pick your color palette, like blue hues, sunrise and sunset colors, or shimmery metallic silvers and golds. Use a large flat, rectangular brush, and turn your canvas widthwise for a horizontal sea or skyscape. Dilute slightly with water and brush paint onto the canvas with horizontal brushstrokes. Experiment with blending colors or with layering them. When dry, you can use a round or fan-shaped brush to create clouds or waves with a lighter color like white, silver, or gold. When satisfied, let dry, and glue on seashells. And, while you’ve got your paints out, why not let each seashell be a canvas ready for embellishment?


  • Pretty-up a picture frame by gluing on seashells. Add mini-pearls as a perfect pairing. 
  • Glue seashells around a wreath or circular structure. Make a loop with hemp, jute, or raffia to hang your seashell wreath. 
  • Loop and knot hemp, jute, or raffia around seashells and drape from a long piece of twine for a garland that’s both wearable and decorative. More into mobiles? Counterbalance a piece of driftwood and dangle seashells for a wind-chime effect. 
  • Drill small holes with a Dremel and hang strands of seashells with twine, ribbon, or yarn. Pretty them up with tinier seashells glued onto larger seashells and add pearls and rhinestones. 
  • Coat Christmas ball ornaments with a thin layer of glue and roll in sand. Then, glue seashells on the sandy layer. 


  • Use a glue gun to adhere seashells onto a belt or get crafty with your Converse and glue on some tiny seashells. 
  • For mermaid vibes with seashell wearables, glue seashells onto hair clips, bobby pins, and barrettes. These pair perfectly with your beach waves (braid wet hair and let it air dry naturally). 


Soak up all that sun with some sea salt texturizing air spray. No need to buy it when you can DIY your own sea salt hair spray for better beach waves that will be free of all chemicals. It’s easy! Just dissolve 1 tablespoon of sea salt in one cup of warm water, add to a spray bottle, shake and spray. Personalize this basic recipe and add ingredients tailored to your own hair. Try chamomile tea instead of warm water and add 1 teaspoon lemon juice to bring out blond highlights. If your hair is dry, add a teaspoon of a plant-based oil, like argan or almond oil for moisturizing, and to add shine. Add a few drops of your favorite essential oil, like lavender, rosemary, or citrus for an aromatherapy experience. Shake well and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 or 4 months. 

Feel those fresh sea breezes, pull out your stash of seashells, and get creative!


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