Hi Kenarry Readers! We’re Jennifer and Kitty from RunningWithSisters.com, and we’re back to share a pretty shell project with you –– a DIY Shell Frame! We just got back from visiting family in Florida where we started each day combing the beach for shells. We looked for scallop shells, cat’s eyes, little conch shells––anything we thought would look pretty in a beachy craft project. And boy, did we find some beauties!
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We love using shells in craft projects because they remind us of those sunny walks in the sand and bring a little of that vacation feeling into our décor. So we thought it’d be fun to share our love of shells with you by embellishing a picture frame. It’s perfect for a favorite beach vacation pic! You can use shells you’ve collected yourself or, if you haven’t been to the beach lately, shells from the craft store. They have some amazing seashells!
Here’s a video showing how to make a DIY shell frame, including tips for placing and layering the shells. Follow along with us as we make this DIY Shell Frame, then embellish your own frame using the steps below as your guide. And remember if you have any questions about the DIY Shell Frame, just leave us a comment below and we’ll reply. We are happy to help!
How To Make A DIY Shell Frame
Materials & Tools
- Wooden picture frame
- Acrylic craft paints (We used Plaid Folk Art Multi-Surface Acrylic Craft Paint in Wicker White #901 and Jamaican Sea #320.)
- Craft paintbrush
- Paper towels
- E6000 permanent adhesive
Here’s what we used:
- 1 starfish. 2-2 1/2″
- 2 scallop shells, 1 1/2″
- 1 cat’s eye shell, 1″
- 2 spiral auger shells, 1″
- 3-4 small conch shells, 1/2″
- 3-4 tiny conch shells, 1/4″
1. To give your frame a distressed “beachy” look, paint the frame with white craft paint, then wipe some of the paint off before it dries. This will give the frame a white-washed look. Next, paint a coat of aqua, again wiping the paint with a paper towel before it fully dries. Lightly sand the edges and surface of the frame. Be sure to sand the edges down to the wood to really make it look weathered.
2. For this frame, we decided to embellish only the bottom right-hand corner of the frame with the shells extending out from the corner. To do this, start by gluing the two scallop shells just above and to the left of the corner.
3. Next, glue the starfish in the corner so its “arms” rest on top of the two scallop shells.
4. Glue a medium-sized shell, like a cat’s eye or a conch-type shell, on either side of the scallops. It helps to place the shell on the frame first to see where the touch-points are for the shell, then add the glue just to those points.
5. Finally, add a few more small shells on either side of the medium shells so the design extends out and tapers. Fill in any gaps with tiny shells.
We showcased a pretty picture of palm trees in our DIY Seashell Picture Frame, and we think it looks decorator chic! Do you love shell crafts as much as we do? What have you embellished with shells? Let us know! We’d love to hear from you! Leave us a comment below!
You may also be interested in checking out our Easy Beaded Picture Frame if you’re looking for more ways to display your photos.
Jennifer & Kitty
Jennifer and Kitty O’Neil are sisters and authors of several books including Steampunk Chic: Vintage Flair From Recycled Finds. Their crafting, decorating, and flea market articles have appeared in Woman’s World, Craft Ideas, and Create and Decorate magazines and on the web sites of Better Homes and Gardens, Family Circle, and HGTV. Their detailed craft videos can be found on Curious.com and YouTube. The O’Neil Sisters share their enthusiasm and their fresh approach to crafting and decorating on their blog, RunningWithSisters.com.