Make A Shell Frame {Tutorial}

We’ve been relaxing a bit around here and having a little fun! I hope you all had a chance to enjoy being outside over the long weekend.

Here’s a little project that would be great to do yourself or with your children over the summer. What a wonderful way to remember a day at the beach!


These shells were found on the beaches of Captiva, Cayo Costa, and Sanibel.

Living in Florida and boating on a regular basis, we get to go shelling a lot! I love it! It’s one of the most relaxing things in the world…just strolling along the beach with the sun shining down, the waves lapping against the shore, and the birds flying overhead. All the while looking through piles of shells on beautiful white sand. Always looking for one more shell before stopping to turn back to the boat.

Have you noticed all the new shell home decor coming out in the stores? Well, I’m going to show you how to make your own shell frame today! This can all be done at a fraction of the price you would pay in a store, and you’re being so creative!! That’s a good thing!


I keep clean shells in boxes so I can start a project with shells without having to wash and dry them. These have a thin coat of clear on them already.

You can purchase shells, but just make sure you get plenty. It takes quite a few shells to make this frame. I always end up using more than I planned on when I started. Good thing I’ve got boxes of them!

First, you start with a frame. A large flat surface works best. Remove the glass until you’re finished.


Make sure all your shells are clean. Now, it’s best to find shells of a similar size for the base row. This can be done with all white or whatever shells you have. Just try to keep a uniform look on this part.


Use a hot glue gun to secure them to the frame. You could stop right there and call it a day. It’s a nice shell frame already. But to make it extra special, let’s add more.


Start by finding shells to fit in the empty spaces. Don’t glue yet, just move them around until you have about 10 or so in place. Go ahead and glue them down before you knock them off and don’t know where you had them. {That’s never happened to me…I’m just saying.}


It takes time to find a shell to fit just right in each spot. It’s kinda like a puzzle. Keep working on it until you love it! Add one here and there. Then check it from all angles to see what it looks like. When you’re done, you’ll know it!

When you are finished spray it will a clear glaze. {The glaze is thicker and has more of a shine than regular clear spray.} This will bring out all the colors in the shells! It also hides some of the extra glue that you might see. Let it dry. Add a photo!


Not too hard, but it does take a little time. Enjoy creating something beautiful!

Did you make anything over the weekend?



  1. says

    You have some of the prettiest shells! I have only collected around Gulf Shores, AL, and they are not known for their shells! I would love to go to Sanibel. They have the best shelling beach in the country, but I’m sure you already know that! : )
    .-= Heathahlee´s last blog ..Update – short and sweet =-.

  2. cmc says

    I do these as well. I live in St. Pete, FL and collect shells on every beach day. Michael’s has good frame sales, so I bulk up there and make these as gifts.

  3. says

    Love the frame! I am going to do one all in white for my bathroom mirror!
    I paint glass ornaments and always wanted to do a wreath with small glass ornaments. I am going to do it now using this method! Thank you for the ton of inspiration.

  4. says

    Beautiful! I love decorating with shells…I have a whole bathroom dedicated to them since we were married on the beach! You did a great job on the frame, thanks for sharing the tutorial.

  5. says

    Oh, I love this. The beach bum in me is tickled pink (we must be kindred spirits). Will be on the hunt for shells on our 4th of July trip to the beach, though I am quite sure we don’t have amazing shells like you. Awesome pictures.

  6. says

    I am green with envy….but I do have my own shell boxes and just blogged about some beach/summer things I made even though I’m 4+ hours from the sand. Hope you’re not in the oil path.
    .-= Barbra´s last blog ..Dots Gone Wild Bookmark =-.


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