Want the easiest craft of all time… even for someone with negative artistic ability? A DIY Shell Artwork on canvas. Here’s how to do it: hot glue shells to a canvas. I can’t even pretend it’s more difficult than that for some elaborate tutorial. 🙂
Right after we first moved into this house we were at the beach just about at the edge of our neighborhood. It’s a rocky beach and it’s an amazing spot to find shells. One day we’d all walked down there with our bathing suits and the kids were wading out in the water with AJ while I collected these gorgeous flat shells. I’m not sure if they are clam shells worn flat or what they are but they are stunning.
This winter I’d force myself to get out for a run on cold mornings by telling myself that I could run to the beach and just collect shells. To me, the lazy collecting of shells is the ultimate feeling of vacation so to let myself have 10ish minutes of doing this every morning was such a great way to kick off the day. I’d generally end my runs at the beach because otherwise I’d be running with two big pocketfuls of flat shells.
After many mornings collecting shells I had enough to begin my project of covering this canvas. Simply lay them out in a way that the natural colors of the shells coordinate with each other. Some were very pearly white, some were very off-white and others were more purple-y. The glue works best when you stick it to the flatest part of the shell so that it has the maximum amount of area to attach to the canvas.
Supplies (affiliate links below at no additional cost to you)
- Giant canvas (mine is 30×40)
- Shells (I think Capiz shells would look great with this, although they don’t have the interest in coloring that these shells on the beach had)
- Glue gun
- Glue gun sticks (trust me, you’ll need a lot!)
I’m excited to pull out some colors in this piece of artwork and paint the room! As you can see we’ve got a blank canvas. The previous owners were great and painted an incredibly neutral color scheme, so even though I want to add paint to make the space fit our furnishings and decor it hasn’t felt like a rush to get anything painted immediately (like if there were orange walls).
One of the things I love about this craft and continually collecting these shells is the constant reminder every single morning, and now whenever I look at this canvas, is how appearances can be decieving. I’d find shells on the beach that looked ancient, boring and grody with years in the ocean… and then I’d turn the shell over and I’d see this stunning pearly iridescent inside. Such a beautiful reminder that our outside appearance doesn’t represent the whole us. The other lesson I found from these shells was that the more worn and flat from years of being tossed around by the ocean the more beautiful they were (lesson for life, maybe?).