shell diy
I live by the beach so shells are cheap and easy to find here. I was able to create seashell bathroom decor without spending much money. Places like Micheals, Kohls, Homegoods, Pottery Barn and Bed Bath & Beyond charge A LOT of money for seashell decor that you could make yourself for less than $10. You will need a glue gun for most of these projects.
shell night light

Seashell Nightlight 

  • LED night light with cover removed
  • Large scallop shell
  1. Glue shell onto night light

shell picture

Framed Shell Picture

  • Inexpensive wood or white picture frames (depending on what color shell you use)
  • Large decorative shells (sand dollars, starfish, scallops etc)
  • Beach sand scrapbook paper or textured burlap
  1. Remove glass from frame
  2. Cut paper or burlap to fit into frame
  3. Glue paper to frame
  4. Glue shells to the paper or burlap

shell wreath

Seashell Wreath

This is where you can get really creative. There are many ways to make shell wreaths. Below is the simplest and cheapest way to make a shell wreath:
  • Wreath base (foam, straw, etc., depending on what kind of wreath you want to design)
  • Small mixed shells (I recommend getting a mixed bag of cheap small shells. Goodwill sells them for $2 per bag. You will need at least 3 bags). You can add a few bigger shells for accent too.
  1. Hot glue shells onto wreath, making sure there are no gaps that show the wreath base.
  2. OPTIONAL: You can add flourishes like burlap, driftwood, grapevine, rope and ribbons.

shell bottles

Shell Topped Bottles

  • Medium sized shells ( Conch shell, spiral shells, etc)
  • Beach sand
  • Bottle with cork
  • Little shells
  1. Glue medium/large shell on top of cork; try not to have any of the glue visible around the cork.
  2. Pour sand inside bottle. Fill 1/4 of bottle.
  3. Drop in small shells on top of the sand. Fill to desired level.

shell candles

Seashell Candle

  • White candle
  • Burlap fabric or rope
  • Candle jar (optional – you can just use a large pillar candle instead)
  • Decorative shells
  1. Wrap twine or burlap around middle of jar or pillar candle and glue in place
  2. Glue a large shell in the middle of the twine or burlap wrap

    shell picture frame

Seashell Photo Frame

  • Cheap and basic picture frame
  • Bag of mixed shells
  • Craft glue
  • Sand
  • Paint brush


  1. Remove the frame back
  2. Paint craft glue onto the front of the frame until completely cover. don’t forget the edges
  3. Dust with sand using mesh sieve.
  4. Shake off excess sand
  5. Let dry
  6. Add another layer of glue and sand. repeat until you have enough sand coating the frame.
  7. Use a glue gun to arrange shells along the frame. if you didn’t want to use the sand and glue frame, you could just cover the entire frame with shells or if you used sand, just place shells along the bottom or corners in a decorative manner.
shell basket

Seashell Basket

  • Seagrass basket
  • 3 large sized star fish
  1. Glue starfish to the middle of the basket

shell wind chime

Seashell Wind Chimes

This project is a lot of work, but definitely worth the effort.
  • Shells of all shapes and sizes
  • Fishing line
  • Drill or hammer and nails to make SMALL holes in shells (1/16 if using a drill)
  • Beads
  • Driftwood or large starfish for the top
  1. Drill small holes in shells
  2. Thread shells through the fishing line
  3. Tie knots to secure shells to the fishing line. If holes are too big, shells will not secure very well to the line
  4. Add beads if desired
  5. Tie the finished lines to a piece of drift wood or large starfish legs.
Optional: you can paint the shells if you want a more colorful design

shell treasure box

Shell Treasure Box

  • Small box (you can get cheap wooden one at Walmart or a craft store)
  • Assortment of small shells; for best results, pay attention to colors and sizes
  1. Glue shells to the box in a pattern. (ex: small shells lining the bottom of box, bigger shells of the same kind filling the middle). Make sure the entire surface of the box is covered with shells.

shell Potpourri

Shell Potpourri

Don’t buy premixed shell & potpourri when you can make your own for a fraction of the cost!
  • Ocean mist/sea breeze scented potpourri in neutral colors (browns, beiges and whites)
  • Assorted shells (small and large)
  • Driftwood
  • Ribbon
  1. Mix artfully in a clear bag
  2. Tie with a ribbon of your choosing.
  3. Makes a great gift!

shell bookends

Shell Bookend

  • Clear or wood bookends
  • Large shells (Pearl Nautilus Seashell, giant clam shell, etc)
  1. Glue one shell onto each bookend

shell garden

Shell Garden

(great idea for a center piece on a coffee table)

I haven’t had the chance to make this decor piece yet so I don’t have an accurate picture of the finished product. The closest thing I have seen to my idea is: Kohls so I will use the picture from there.
  • Sand
  • Shells (starfish, conchs, etc)
  • Tray (ex: a white, rectangular distressed tray with rope around handles, wood, etc)
  • Small candles
  • Beach pebbles (shades of browns, tans and cream colors)
  1. Pour sand on the bottom of the tray, covering the bottom completely.
  2. Artfully place tealight candles, shells, and pebbles in the sand.

shell candlesShell Tea Light Candles

Instructions for shell candles here:

shell reed diffusers

Shell Reed Diffusers 

  • White bottle (can be clear and painted white)
  • Medium sized shell (scallops, starfish or cockle shells would probably work best)
  • Drill
  • Twine
  • Assortment of small shells of similar colors  or even small pieces of driftwood
  • Reed diffusers sticks (natural light or dark)
  • Reed diffuser oil (ocean scent)
  1. Wrap twine around top neck of the bottle
  2. Drill a small hole at the top of a medium sized shell
  3. Thread medium sized shell in the twine so that the shell is dangling around the middle of the bottle
  4. Pour oil into bottle
  5. Glue small shells to SOME tops of the reed diffuser sticks.
  6. Arrange shell sticks like a bouquet in the vase, spacing them out.
Tip: if you try to glue heavy shells to the sticks, they will bend and eventually break, so make sure you choose light and small shells.

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