Cragmama "Not all who wander are lost…" JRR Tolkien

3 Ideas for Preserving Family Beach Memories

Scores of seashells just waiting to be crafted with!

In a previous post about our family’s beach trip this past summer, I mentioned that we brought a few seashells home with us.  Well that might have been an understatement considering that our stash still has leftovers after multiple craft projects and some garden accents.  I had initially wanted to wait until we had used up all of our seashells to post, but what with school starting and the perfect fall weather we’ve been having, it makes more sense to put indoor craft time on the back burner for a little while.  (Holiday gift ideas, anyone?)  That being said, all 3 of our seashell projects turned out great, and I’m excited to share the results…

1.  DRAINAGE DECOR:  We’d been having a problem with pooling water below one particular gutter, so we made a shallow trench to funnel the excess water out onto the sidewalk.  I used some extra stones I had lying around to help maintain the grading, but I wasn’t completely happy with the way it looked.  When we got back from the beach I knew the seashells would be a perfect accent to fill in around the stones!  C was very meticulous about which shells went where, and it took some doing to convince him that we were all done with moving the shells around. 😉  

Step 1 – wash all the sand off the shells!


Step 2: Place in garden…and wait for spring bulbs to come up!

2.  PICTURE FRAME:  If pictures speak a thousand words, a picture in a homemade frame must be a dissertation in family memories!  This was hands-down C’s favorite project of the 3 – what toddler can pass up a chance to get messy with glue and sand!  We put the shells on first, then painted glue on the “un-shelled” parts of the frame and sprinkled the sand on just like it was glitter.

3.  BEACH IN A JAR:  This one was a no-brainer.  C put the shells in the jar, and I did a bit of organizing so that our favorite ones were on the outside and easily seen.  It adds a bright and happy touch to our mantel.  



 C and I had a lot of fun working on these projects together.  I think it was an especially good learning experience for him as he had a part in the entire process – gathering the shells, washing them off, and then using them in different ways for each project.  And even though he’s probably not at the age yet where he’ll have any long term memories from this trip, he sure does enjoy talking about his beach trip in the short term, and our seashell memories scattered about the house encourage the discussion!  In fact, just this past weekend our family enjoyed a day at the lake, and as soon as C saw it, he said, “That’s the ocean, Mommy.”  

Does anyone else try to get creative with vacation memories?  Anyone got any more fun seashell craft ideas for our leftover shells?  Please share! 


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“Not all who wander are lost.” —JRR TOLKIEN