How to Make a Seashell Frame You’ll Treasure Forever

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Inside: Here’s how to bring your summer beach vacation home with you and display it all year long. Collect your favorite shells then make this beautiful seashell frame.

When You Go On a Beach Vacation…

When my children were 8 and 9 I took them to the beach for the first time. As Kansas natives, the beach is a pretty big deal.

Walking along the South Carolina coastline my children delighted in collecting seashells. Their amazement and my love of all things beach couldn’t tell them to stop.

When we arrived home in Kansas two weeks later, had a huge bag of seashells (and quite a bit of loose sand.)

I also had a ton of fabulous pictures that needed framing.

Related: Single Parent Travel: What You Need to Know

How to Make a Seashell Frame from Your Beach Vacation

seashell frame

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  • Frame – any size, new or old – doesn’t matter, you’re gonna make look new!
  • Spray Paint – your favorite beach color plus sealant (optional)
  • Seashells collected from your recent vacation
  • Gorilla Glue

Prepare Frame

Temporarily remove the glass from the frame. Clean the wood on the frame to ensure there are no dust particles.
Spray paint the frame any color you choose. Depending on how many shells you have, the spray paint may or may not peek through.

Use a Sealant

Optional: spray the picture frame with sealant.

If you’ll have large portions of your frame with no shells, for example, you don’t have a lot of shells and simply want to nest some shells on the bottom corner, then protect the paint and spray it with a sealant.

If you’ll have the whole frame covered as I did, this may not be necessary.

Related: How to Make Amazing DIY Wall Decor

Lay Out Your Shells

Lay your shells out and get a general idea of how you want them placed throughout your frame.

Once you’re ready, begin by squeezing a small amount of gorilla glue onto the shell.

It can take a while for it to dry so its best to use a flat frame so you can balance the shell and leave it there and continue to work. If your frame is slanted, you’ll want to hold onto the shell and your project will take longer.

seashell glue seashell frame glue shell seashell glue

Caution: Gorilla Glue

Gorilla glue is the best glue for getting shells to stick long term onto wood surfaces.

However, be very careful about overdoing it. Gorilla glue comes out of the container very thin but as it dries it puffs up and you will quickly have a mess on your hands. If you accidentally get glue on a surface you didn’t mean to, wipe it up completely or it will puff up and once it dries it’ll be very difficult to get off.

Here’s an example of what happened when I got just a little too much glue and walked away while it dried.

seashell frame too much glue

It’s worth practicing with this glue on a different surface and with a different object first.

Fun Extras

Optionally, we found a few knick-knacks of various sea creatures from the beach shop in South Carolina and I added those to our beach frame.

seashell frame closeupseashell frame closeup

Another way to Keep Your Summer Beach Vacation Alive

If you have more shells leftover or go on another beach vacation, try making this seashell clothespin wreath.

clothespin wreaths

How to Make a Seashell Frame You\'ll Treasure Forever