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Decorate a Picture Frame with Seashells

Going to the beach? Here's a fun picture frame you can make with the seashells you collect.

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Participant Age: 7 to 12, Under 7
Approximate Cost: Under $10
Duration: 1 to 60 minutes
Difficulty:
Physical Challenge:
Paint the frame.

Paint a plain wooden picture frame (available at craft stores), using a brush and a small bottle of acrylic paint. Let it dry completely.

Glue on the shells.

Brush Tacky Glue on the front of the frame, and then stick on 20 to 30 seashells and any other beach treasures you like.

Sprinkle the sand on the frame.

While the glue is still wet, use a spoon to sprinkle sand on the undecorated parts of the frame. Let the frame dry for at least a day before inserting your favorite vacation photo.


NOTE: Before you pick up any treasures from a beach, be sure it's not against the law. Also make sure the sea stars and shelled creatures you pick up are not living. To keep your beach treasures from getting too stinky, ask an adult to soak them in a mixture of  half bleach and half water overnight. Then have an adult rinse them thoroughly before you work with them. You shouldn't have to do this with beach treasures you buy at a store.



Craft by Robin Walker; photos by Susan McElhinney

As a variation on this craft, you can paint the frame blue to make it look like sky and waves

For this variation, we used smaller shells.


Gathering shells can be a great outdoor activity

Considering bringing a sieve to speed up the process. And remember to look for shark's teeth while you are there!


At certain times of year and tide heights, tiny shells can be plentiful
When gluing shells on your frame, try to find the flattest side, which can be tricky

Sometimes that means you are actually going to show the inside of the shell, if it is more colorful or rounded.


Tiny shells provide exquisite texture when glued together on a frame
You can glue shells on all sides of the frame, or just a few and paint the gaps

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