DIY Shell Frame Project

How many times have you collected beautiful objects during an outing and never do anything with them? After finding so many gorgeous shells last weekend at Gasparilla State Park, Florida, I wanted to make sure that I made a keepsake using them.My shells

I wanted it to be something that I would see often and that would remind me of the lovely time we had at that beach. So, off to the craft store I went. At first, I thought I would glue the shells onto a wooden plaque that would hang on the wall. But you know my love of photos. And Michaels has a perfect wooden frame for $1.00! I knew I had some acrylic paint back in the camper, so all I needed was a sponge brush. After sanding with 220 sand paper, I gave the frame one quick coat of paint.Shell Frame Project by Janine Broscious www.joyfulwonder.com

Acrylic craft paint would have been a bit easier to use and less expensive. Lately, I’ve been trying to limit my spending, but I think 50 cents would have been okay to spend on craft paint. Also, in that theme of trying to spend less money, I bought some cheap tacky glue for the project. But after researching projects like this online, I decided that I should use a hot glue gun. Of course, we have about three of them at home, but not one down here in the camper. I asked several neighbors and friends here in the RV park and did not find one. This time Walmart had just what I needed, including satin finish sealer.Shell Frame Project by Janine Broscious www.joyfulwonder.com

After the paint dried, I put down a layer of the most flat shells. I wonder if the frame would have looked better with an all white shell bottom layer or all black shells. But I didn’t have enough of just one color so the first layer looked like this.Shell Frame Project by Janine Broscious www.joyfulwonder.com

I may still paint the back of the frame with some craft paint. But until I do, I wrote on the back so I won’t forget where the shells came from. Shell Frame Project by Janine Broscious www.joyfulwonder.com

The frame looked pretty with just the first layer of shells, but I had lots of shells so I just kept going. I haven’t had much experience with hot glue guns and I’ve come to realize that the ones at home must be low temp. Gee, that was hot! I do have a blister on one of my fingers now. It I ever make another shell frame, I will use tweezers to help place the little shells. Yep, I have a great pair of tweezers at home that I was wishing I had. After 3 hours of gluing, I determined that the frame was finished! I gave it two quick sprays with the sealer. Shell Frame Project by Janine Broscious www.joyfulwonder.com

Of course, I had to take it to the beach for a photo.Shell Frame Project by Janine Broscious www.joyfulwonder.com

And that photo of Matt and me at the beach, well, I boosted colors and made it look just right to stand out in that colorful frame.Shell Frame Project by Janine Broscious www.joyfulwonder.com

Hope this inspires you to make something with your treasures from special events. Happy crafting!Shell Frame Project by Janine Broscious www.joyfulwonder.com