Thursday, April 21, 2016

{Guest Post} Me, My Shells, And I: Crafting With Seashells Part 1

For the past couple of weeks, my youngest son has been searching the creek that runs through our property for pieces of petrified wood that the winter rains washed downstream.  As for me, I'm happy to have a guest post by Joanna Campbell Slan about the treasures she finds in her neck of the woods...

Me, My Shells, and I:
Crafting with Seashells

By Joanna Campbell Slan

~ Part 1 ~

One cannot collect all the beautiful shells on the beach. One can collect only a few, and they are more beautiful if they are few. -- Anne Morrow Lindbergh

Anne might be wrong. I walk the beach nearly every day and pick up seashells. In fact, I’m such a regular on the beach that a fisherman stopped me the other day to ask, “Lady, where on earth are you putting all those shells?”

Good question—and a lot of my answers appear in my Cara Mia Delgatto mysteries, because like me, Cara’s never met a seashell she doesn’t like. Since it is important to “write what you know,” I’ve worked hard to create cool items that Cara can sell her in shop, The Treasure Chest. Because Michelle’s a good friend of mine (and any friend of Michelle’s is my buddy, too), I thought I’d share with you eight cool projects, plus tips for finding and using shells. Here we go!

1. Mirrors. Not long after moving to Florida, I saw a beautiful shell encrusted mirror that was out of my price range. So I decided to make one. It dawned on me while collecting shells that they don’t have to be perfect to be useful. In fact, broken shells are often best for using on mirrors, because you can layer them better. Cheap mirrors are fine, but make sure the hanger and frame can support the weight of the shells you’re adding.

2. Planter. My bedroom needed a pop of color and a fern seemed like a great idea, but I couldn’t find a planter I liked, so I made one. The base is a simple cardboard box that I reinforced with papier-mâché. Once that dried, I lined the inside with plastic. On the bottom are wooden “feet” I bought at Home Depot.

3. Vases. After finding so many empty liquor bottles on the sand, I decided to dress them up by adding rocks, shells, and twine. When they aren’t holding a flower or a piece of greenery, they display dried coral stems.

4. Jars. My husband is always emptying his pockets of change. I decided an old salsa jar was too ugly to leave on his nightstand, so I added seashells to the lid.

~To be continued Tomorrow~

About the Author: As soon as she finishes her writing chores for the day, Joanna Campbell Slan hooks the leash onto her dog, Jax, and they go for a walk on the beach. Her most recent book—All Washed Up—is set on the Treasure Coast of Florida and features Cara Mia Delgatto, an entrepreneur who recycles, upcycles, and repurposes décor items with a coastal theme. You can see a few of Joanna’s favorite things at or contact her at You can read two of Joanna’s books free here: and


http://thankfullga447 said...

Such a nice surprise with the wonderful projects with sea shells. My Mom
lived near the Gulf of Mexico in Florida and her house was filled with shells. She had a few mirrors decorated with them.

Unknown said...

Gisela, you can find shells anywhere along our Floridian coast. So glad to hear your mother shares my interest.

TLConner said...

I like the photos of your projects! Thank you for sharing!


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