Thursday, August 23, 2012

DIY: Painted Seashell Jewelry

Summer may be almost over but you can hold onto the memories with this tutorial. Just head down to the beach and collect some seashells (or if you don't have a beach nearby - go to your local craft store!) and pick up your favorite colors of spray paint!

I used Valspar metallic spray paint, Krylon "short cuts" in pastel blue, white & pink and some Martha Stewart acrylic craft paints. The only issue I had as far as getting good coverage was with the sand dollars. But of course, they're pretty porous, so the paint kind of just sinks through them!

For the spray painted shells, I laid out a handful of shells into some cardboard box lids. Then with a slow, sweeping motion, I sprayed on a layer of paint. Giving it about 15 minutes in between each coat, I applied 2 coats of the metallic paint and 3 coats of the colored paint. Be sure to flip the shells over to completely coat each piece.

My favorite paint was definitely the metallic silver. It coated so well and was almost solid with just one application! And they turned out so shiny!

For the acrylic paints, I just used a small paint brush. I had some fun adding lines and patterns. The purple pearl paint leaves a nice shimmer -- my mom snatched that necklace up quick!

Using some hot glue, I added some shells to ring blanks, clip on earring findings and brooch pins.

I also glued bails on the underside of some shells and attached jump rings to make some cute pendants!

After I overloaded my jewelry box with new pieces, I decided to turn half of the leftover painted shells into vase fillers and decor. For the other half of the stash, I glued on magnets!

Now, our local beaches are filled with clam shells and mussels, but there's not much variety. So the bulk of the shells I used were purchased at Michael's craft store. I found them near the glass rocks and floral tape. They had bags of very interesting and gorgeous shells for decor. Some were so pretty with their natural colors, I couldn't dare to paint them!

Plus, I scored big time at the thrift store! I found two bags of sand dollars for $4 bucks! I don't know what to do with the rest of them! Maybe a giveaway??

There are tons of fun things you can do with seashells. These are just a few examples! Besides the examples found in this post, you could add your seashells to other objects with some hot glue and a few bright ideas!

Such as...

- bobby pins
- barrettes
- headband
- lamp or lampshade
- picture frame
- mirror
- sunglasses
- belt buckle

the possibilities are endless!

What do you think? Are you interested in making some seashell crafts or jewelry? Would you be interested in a giveaway if the prize was a bag of shells painted and unpainted -- and maybe some finished seashell jewelry or magnets? If there's enough interest in a giveaway, I'll post it next week! 


  1. I love this idea, especially the metallic ones!

  2. This is such a fantastic idea! I love everything that spray paint can do :)

  3. Beautiful! Been crazy about seashells since I was a kid. And handmade seashell jewelery... oohhh! Nothing can beat that now, can it? Unfortunately, no beaches here... I live in the desert part of India! :( But, I'll see if I can find a store that sells seashells.

  4. Love this idea.. these are so great!!

  5. Those look great. Thanks for sharing the tutorials. Gives me some ideas.

  6. What a great idea! I love projects that can help me save my vacation time souvenirs and turn them into something awesome like jewelry! : )

    -Mel the Crafty Scientist

  7. Great idea! I have some shells that have been sitting around for ages in need of a craft project. I'll give this a try!

    Curiously, Kimberly

  8. very nice. i have beaches all round me. Ive needless to say collected a garbage can worth, and then some. I used this idea for a bowl of painted shells, mixed with natural. Also a picture frame with vintage beads and hand painted shells. Fingernail polish is an awesome medium for this as well. Neat colors,pearlescent effect. Beautiful work! Keep on keepin on.....Mistic


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