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Create Summer Seashell Souvenirs

July 7, 2011
By Donne Erickson

Beautiful seashells are priceless, especially those your kids hand-pick on a lazy day at a favorite shore this summer. Or maybe your family hit warm climates this past winter and you have some choice "keepers" from a special beach. As your collection grows, sort them, clean them, then make one of these simple seashell souvenirs suitable for saving!

Wind Chimes

Select a small seashell and glue it on the end of a 23-inch length of fishing line or twine. (If your shell has a large enough hole, thread the line through the hole and tie a knot instead.) Make several. When the glue is dry, arrange each line vertically in front of you with the shells on the bottom. Set an 8- to 10-inch piece of driftwood, a small branch or a dowel across the top. Tie the loose ends of the lines around the driftwood and knot, making sure that when the shells dangle, they will touch each other when a gentle breeze blows.

Article Photos

Or, intersperse several more shells on the length of fishing line or twine. Knot each one evenly in place and end with the final shell dangling.

Chic Decorator Shells

Display larger and self-standing shells on your windowsill, around your bathtub or in your garden. Conch shells make lovely miniplanters for potting plants, while clam and abalone shells can make interesting soap dishes.

Shell Jewelry

String a variety of shells with small holes in them on a chain or string to wear around your neck.

Shell Prints

On a newspaper-covered table, apply acrylic paints with a sponge brush to the outside of a flat shell, such as a scallop shell. Gently lay a plain cotton T-shirt, napkin or canvas tote bag over it. Press lightly with your fingers so that the paint is transferred onto the cloth. Remove from the shell to reveal the beautiful natural pattern. Add more paint to the shell for more prints. Or, paint additional shells in various sizes using contrasting colors to make a pleasing design. Beginners might wish to make prints on paper napkins, perfect for a seaside picnic.

Donna Erickson's award-winning series "Donna's Day" is airing on public television nationwide. To find more of her creative family recipes and activities, visit and link to the NEW Donna's Day Facebook fan page. Her latest book is "Donna Erickson's Fabulous Funstuff for Families."



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