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Mosaics for Architecture & Fun

Inexpensive Sea Shell Mosaic Projects

Sea shell mosaic are a perfect project for children. Oftentimes they collect shells on a vacation and it is very easy to purchase a few extras at local seaside souvenir shops.

To show what can be done with an absolute minimum of expense, I went to a dollar store and bought several frames and boxes for $1 each to cover with small shells.

Mosaic Boxes from the Dollar Store

These items were only one U.S. dollar each bought at the beach on the Gulf Coast. The wood frame has ugly green glitter and glued on 'jewels' that were easily knocked off with a kitchen knife.

The larger box is plastic, made to resemble lacquered wood and the smaller one is painted wood.

The frame is about 6 inches across.

Start with your largest shells you plan to use.

I played around with my biggest shells and tried different arrangements before I glued anything in place.

Now is also the time to paint the frame a good background color for your project. Cheap spray paint is fine, or brush-on craft acrylics. I suggest white or off white for a sea shell picture frame.

Shell FrameShell Frame
Product image of 'Goop'.
My favorite glue in the whole wide world.
Shell Mosaic Frame, and box of faux-pearls

Start with your larges shells first, then begin to add the smaller ones. This box of pretend pearls was $1 from the same dollar store that the frame came from. I glued a few pearls here and there to add a bit of shine to the sea shell covered frame.

Shell Mosaic Frame

Here we have the the finished sea shell frame, a great little $2.00 project--(plus a bit of glue and some off white paint). If you are headed to the beach, you can pick up a few items in your hometown before you leave to cover with shells. It is a great indoor  project, should you have a rainy day at the beach .

The cardboard back and  hinged stand can now be reinserted with a beach vacation photo!


Sea Shell Mosaic Heart Plaque

A small wooden heart shaped plaque was purchased at Wal-Mart. By covering it with small shells in a pattern we will be making an old fashioned "Sailor's Valentine".

Small Colorful Shells for Mosaics

We bought some inexpensive tiny colorful dyed shells at a souvenir shop where they are sold by the scoop to add a bit of color to our beach gathered little shells. All the shells were glued on using Goop!, a clear, thick, waterproof glue.
Shell Mosaic Heart Shell Mosaic Heart
Mosaic Shell Heart

These shells are all glued flat, not overlapping like on the frame above.

We could have painted the wood heart plaque before we began, but chose not to. The wood form came with a clear hanger attached at top center, so we just left it on.

Now--A Real Seaside Valentine.

So go out beach walking a pick up some shells !

Kids Mosaic Box Project

The Dollar Store oval box was painted to look like wood, but I believe it is really plastic. It is rigid, so it really didn't matter to me. I used Goop glue to attach my uncut 3/4 in. glass tiles around the bottom edge and the lower top edge. I knew not to let them hang over past the edges any or the top late would not fit on correctly. I used cut tiles on the top and around the narrow space left above my light blue ones. I later grouted this box with grey grout. I just made the design up as I went along, trying different arrangements on the lid until I liked it.

Kids Mosaic Box Project Kids Mosaic Box Project
Kids Mosaic Box Project

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Copyright 2002-2014  Lundy Wilder
June 10, 2014
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