When we were kids, my mom would take my brother and me to the beach to look for seashells. We always found the most beautiful conch shells, starfish, and sand dollars. Only later did I learn that my mom actually planted the shells in the sand so we could “find” them! I have fond memories of those times, and looking back now as a mom, I know it must have been very special for my mom to see the amazement on our faces when we found a beautiful shell.

During our trip to Anguilla, the kids and I collected seashells by the beach (just the ones that were already there, I swear!). Last week, we used them to craft fun summer t-shirts. Here’s how you can do the same with your kids:

Start with a bowl of shells. Here are some I bought and some we found on our summer vacation in Anguilla.

Use plain white tees and fabric paint. Cover your surface with craft paper or newspaper. Pour paint on paper plates, then let your kids dip the shells in paint or use a brush and paint the shells, then press the painted imprint onto the t-shirt.

With Stella’s, I cut the end of the tee into shredded strips and added fun neon beads and knotted the ends. Gave it that fun summer 80’s look! Be creative!

Here’s Stella’s finished t-shirt…

…and Liam’s finished tank.

Stella and Liam model their beachwear!

After you’re done, clamshells make great soap, candle, or salt holders. Here are some more fun ideas for crafting with seashells:

Place assorted seashells at the base of a vase of flowers.
Glue smaller shells around the perimeter of a picture frame and put a picture ofyour family at the beach inside the frame.

Replace the plastic shade on a nightlight with a glued-on seashell.

Wrap air-drying clay around a clean, used 15 oz can and press seashells into wetclay, then let dry. Use to pot a small plant or as a pencil holder.

Make a collage with seashells, pebbles, pictures, and any other small tokens from your trip to the beach. Glue your collage elements to a piece of wood.

Drill a hole in each shell and thread them together to create seashell necklaces or bracelets. Let your kids choose their favorite shells.

What creative crafts have you done with seashells? Share your ideas in the comments below, and I’ll share my favorites next week!

Photos: WeHeartIt, TikiMaster, Amazon, Tumblr, LinmarTreasures, Etsy
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