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15 Shell Crafts for Kids: Easy DIY Projects for Creative Fun

Shell crafts are a great way for children to develop their creativity and motor skills. By using shells, kids can create a variety of projects ranging from simple decorations to more complex art pieces. Sea Shells come in many shapes and sizes, providing a natural resource that is often readily available on beach trips or can be purchased at craft stores.

Incorporating easy seashell crafts into activities stimulates children’s imaginations and allows for tactile learning. As they handle different shells, children learn about textures and colors, and how to manipulate small objects. Sorting, painting, and gluing these colorful shells into different patterns and forms can also enhance their understanding of symmetry, balance, and design.

Fun sea shell crafts also introduces children to a form of eco-friendly art, as they repurpose found items into beautiful objects. 

sea shell crafts for kids

Types of Shells Suitable for Crafting

Not all seashells are equal when it comes to crafting. Some are more durable and easier to work with, making them ideal for children’s crafts. The following table outlines a few shells that are a good use for an adorable seashell craft: 

Shell TypeCharacteristicsCrafting Uses
Scallop ShellSturdy and fan-shapedPainting, garden decorations
Cockle ShellsHeart-shaped and symmetricalJewelry, mosaics
Clam ShellsVariety of sizes, strongContainers, candle holders
Conch ShellsLarge with a spiral designWind chimes, planters
Sand DollarsFlat and circularOrnaments, wall art

These shells lend themselves to a range of projects. Scallop shells, with their broad surfaces, are excellent for painting a simple craft or even complex one. Cockle shells, often symmetrical, can be used in jewelry-making or to create mosaic art. Clam shells, coming in various sizes, can be turned into small containers or even candle holders. Conch shells add a whimsical touch to projects like wind chimes or planters. Lastly, sand dollars, with their unique pattern, make beautiful ornaments or can be incorporated into wall art. If you don’t live near the beach, you can still find some of these shells at a craft store or online and create fun beach crafts with them. 

Materials

Scissors: Necessary for cutting threads, ribbons, or paper.

Glue: A non-toxic, child-friendly adhesive suitable for attaching shells to various surfaces.

Paintbrushes: Used for applying glue or adding decorative touches with paint.

Bowls: For holding small shells and mixed glue or paint.

Tweezers: Helpful for placing small shells or intricate pieces securely.

Seashell Craft Ideas for Kids

Easy crafts involving shells offer children a chance to work with natural materials, honing their creativity and fine motor skills. These crafts are good for kids of all ages. 

Seashell Turtle Craft

If you are a turtle lover this easy seashell turtle craft is for you! Learn how to take a simple seashell and turn it into a cute turtle! You only need a few basic craft supplies so it’s great for kids of all ages.

seashell turtle craft idea

Kids Monster Craft with Seashells

Grab a handful of seashells and some fun crafting supplies and learn to make these cute monster seashells! This craft allows kids to be as creative as they want.

seashell monsters

Shell Painting

Shells can be transformed into different colors and fun artwork with a few simple supplies: non-toxic paint, brushes, and imagination. One should start by cleaning the shells and then proceed to paint.

Supplies NeededInstructions
Clean shells1. Begin with a clean, dry shell.
Non-toxic paint2. Apply a base coat if desired and let dry.
Paintbrushes3. Use fine brushes for details.
Water (for rinsing)4. Allow the paint to dry completely.

Colorful Shell Sculptures for kids 

By taking a few seashells and painting them fun colors with glitter paint and placing them on Air Dry clay, you create a beautiful shell sculpture that you can display anywhere! Little hands will enjoy not only seeing the colors of these shells come to life, but also arranging them and placing them in a beautiful way in order to display them. 

​If you don’t have modeling clay, you can also use a salt dough formula, but you’ll need to bake it when you are done placing everything. 

DIY Seashell Angelfish Craft Idea

This is the cutest beach craft that teaches your kids to transform any seashell into an angelfish! Grab a few craft supplies and a few shells and learn how!

DIY Seashell angelfish craft idea

Seashell Butterfly Craft for Kids

This cute seashell craft includes simple tips to take just a few seashells and turn them into a lovely butterfly!  The best part is that kids can customize these butterflies any which way they want!

seashell butterfly craft for kids

How to Dye the Most Vibrant Seashells

Everyone dyes eggs around Easter right? Why not learn to dye seashells too! This simple tutorial shares how to dye seashells with vibrant colors!

Shell Collage

Creating a shell collage is an excellent way for children to work on composition and storytelling. They need a sturdy base like cardboard, glue, and an assortment of shells.

  • Step 1: Arrange the shells on the base to plan out the design.
  • Step 2: Glue each shell in place and wait for it to dry.
  • Step 3: Optionally, one may add details with markers or glitter.

Beach in a Bottle Keepsake

Check out this cute idea to cherish all those beach trips. Grab a mason jar, some sand, seashells and a lots of those beach memories to make this cute keepsake to remember with.

beach in a bottle with mason jar, picture and shells to keep memories of beach trip.

Intermediate Shell Craft Ideas

Intermediate shell crafts offer a more challenging experience for children who have mastered basic crafting skills and are a great craft for older kids. They provide a fun way to create more intricate art pieces and functional items.

How to Make a Seashell Bird Feeder

Check out this fun tutorial on how to take a clam shell or larger seashell and make a bird feeder out of it! What a great way to re use an item found at the beach.

How to make a seashell bird feeder

Shell Mosaic Art

Shell Mosaic Art requires precision and an eye for detail. Kids can use small shells or broken shell pieces to create patterns or images on a flat surface like wood or cardboard. They should select a design, apply a thin layer of glue to a section of the base, and then carefully place the shells.

  • Materials Needed:
    • Small shells or shell fragments
    • Wood or cardboard base
    • Glue
    • Pencil (for design sketching)
  • Steps:
    1. Sketch the desired design on the base.
    2. Apply glue in small sections.
    3. Place shells to fill in the design.
    4. Let it dry thoroughly.

Decorative Shell Containers

Decorative Shell Containers are both functional and aesthetically pleasing. Children can decorate containers such as jewelry boxespencil holders, or plant pots using a variety of shells. They should carefully plan out the placement of the shells to ensure an even, attractive look. They even make great gifts!

  • Materials Needed:
    • Shells of various sizes
    • Plain containers (boxes, pots, etc.)
    • Strong adhesive
  • Steps:
    1. Choose shells to fit the container’s dimensions.
    2. Clean the container surface for better adhesive bonding.
    3. Glue shells onto the container in the desired pattern.
    4. Allow the adhesive to set completely before using the container.

How to Make a Magnet with Seashells

Check out this easy tutorial on how to transform those beautiful sea shells into a an easy seashell craft idea! By using air-dry clay, a few small magnets and some shells, you can create your own seashell magnet!

Advanced Shell Crafting Techniques

The advanced techniques in shell crafting allow one to create intricate artworks and jewelry that showcase a higher level of skill and creativity.

Elaborate Shell Jewelry

Elaborate shell jewelry requires precise tools for drilling and shaping delicate shells without causing damage. Crafters typically use a mini hand drill with various bit sizes for precision holes. They incorporate fine materials like sterling silver or gold-filled wires to enhance the elegance of the jewelry. A variety of techniques such as wire wrapping or beading can be used to assemble the final piece, with focus on symmetry and detail.

​How to Make Crystal Seashells

​Learn how to make Crystal Seashells with this easy project. This fun craft can use smaller shells or larger ones too to teach kids about Crystal Seashell science. With only a few ingredients and a small seashell collection, you can watch crystals form on the shells! 

Incorporating Educational Elements

Shell crafts offer more than just a fun activity; they provide invaluable opportunities for children to learn about marine biology and geography in a hands-on way. Reading a book that goes along with a seashell craft is a great way to encourage learning and reading! Here are a few great books below;

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Books that teach about seashells and Ocean science:

Ultimate Oceanpedia: The Most Complete Ocean Reference Ever (National Geographic Kids

 Seashells by the Seashore: A Counting Book for Kids Perfect for the Beach or Classroom

Next Time You See a Seashell

Seashells & Beachcombing for Kids: An Introduction to Beach Life of the Atlantic, Gulf, and Pacific Coasts

I hope we’ve given you enough ideas to create much fun with your little ones! Happy Crafting.