How to display seashells

One of the best parts of a beach vacation is searching for the perfect seashells in the ocean. But what do you do with them when you get home? Maybe you have buckets of seashells and sand in your garage left over from your latest beach beach vacations and grand plans to turn them into something amazing, but you’re just not sure where to start. Here are some of my favorite ideas to display seashells and beach sand!

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I purchased a Shadow Box Picture Frame for a few bucks and got ready to display our recent seashells and a favorite picture from the beach. You can buy these at Walmart, hobby stores or of course on

Pick out the frame:

Layer several scoops of sand and your favorite shells from your vacation onto the glass. I had some sand that wanted to seep out between the frame and glass so I just put a line of glue on the bottom to make a seal.

Tape your picture to a piece of linen style scrapbook paper.

Attach the back. Display and enjoy!

Create Memories using Seashells!

What is your favorite way to display seashell memories from your latest vacation? I’d love to hear and see your souvenirs!

We found some beautiful seashells while on vacation in Florida a few years ago. And of course, we brought many of them home. So now what do we do with all these seashells? There are so many ways to display your seashell memories. Here are a few of my favorites.

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Make Christmas ornaments!

We picked up some clear glass ornament balls. Then we added some Florida sand and the tiny seashells that we had collected.

We let them sit out in the sun for several hours to dry out all the moisture from the sand and shells. Now the sand and shells can be clearly seen even when you shake the ornament.

Word of caution: These glass ornaments are fragile. We broke one by trying to push a shell in the hole and a 2nd ornament got a little crack in it from bumping against some of the other ornaments. These turned out so well, that I think we may pick up another box and make some more.

Decorative Jars and Bottles

We let the kids pick out a plastic bottle for each of them. Then they picked out their favorite shells and put them in their personal bottle. The bottles cost less than $2.00 each at Hobby Lobby.

Did you notice the shape of the one bottle? It’s a dolphin. My then 7-year-old daughter had so much fun on our dolphin cruise aboard the Southern Star in Destin, FL that she wanted to make sure her shells and sand were kept in a dolphin bottle!

How do collect and display your seashell memories? I’d love to hear!

I’m sure I’m not the only one out there who has gone to the beach, collected seashells, glass, rocks, etc, gotten home, and then wondered what to do with it all, right? I mean what’s the best way to make a seashell display for all of those lovely mementos? Everything looks vibrant and beautiful at the beach, but a little lackluster when dry and sitting on a shelf at home. Plus all those ‘treasures’ are kind of a pain to dust. That’s probably why everything ends up in a box, or even a jar, but certainly not looking as great as it did on the beach.

How to display seashells

I finally decided to see if I could find a way to make a seashell display that would restore my beach finds to all of their original brilliance. Something that might even justify me keeping them in the first place. After a little research and a few experiments (always my favorite part), I found two different solutions that really make the seashells shine like they did when I found them.

Solution One: Mod Podge, a fantastic non-toxic substance

How to display seashells

This sounds really easy, and it is, but it works great. All you need to do is paint a thin (very thin) layer of Mod Podge on the shells, glass, or even rocks, that you want to display, let it dry, and voila! Your beach collectibles look as vibrant as they did when you got them out of the water. In this resplendent state they can be glued or grouted onto other projects, like a mosaic tray, or a picture frame, or even a wind chime. No more boxes or dust-gathering for these mementos!


Check out how much better the sea glass looks, too!


There are several Mod Podge formulas out there, including one for outdoor use, and a new one that is dishwasher safe, although that one has a 28 day curing time. In my own experiments I found that the regular, glossy formula is water-resistant once cured for several days, so would work fine for incidental contact with water. My head is spinning with project possibilities! I’m thinking maybe a backsplash or snack tray might be where I start, but now I also want to collect more sea glass for a wind chime,

What you will need:

  • Small paintbrush
  • Dish to hold a little bit of Mod Podge
  • Mod Podge

If you want to learn more about what you can do with Mod Podge, this blog has everything you ever wanted to know about it:

Option Two: Mason Jar Soap Dispenser

Making a mason jar soap dispenser used to be a lot more complicated, but now that they sell soap pump tops for mason jars, it’s incredibly simple.

How to display seashells

All you need to do is put your beach treasures in the mason jar, fill it up with liquid soap, and attach the lid with the pump. It’s so easy it seems silly to write about, but everything looks so good in the soap-filled jar I really can’t believe I didn’t try this sooner. You can even change which shells are most visible by shaking the jar a bit or moving everything around with a spoon.

What you will need:

  • Mason jar (regular mouth)
  • Mason jar soap pump adapter kit
  • Clear liquid hand soap or dish soap

Tip: To help keep the glass jar from slipping into the sink, try putting it on a rubber coaster or a piece of no-slip drawer lining.

How to display seashells

Enjoy your seashell display soap dispenser and finally being able to see your beach treasures in all their glory! Feel free to leave a comment or ask a question and send photos of any projects you’re inspired to make with your Mod Podged collection. Don’t forget to follow Creatorvox on Facebook and Twitter for more tips and tricks between posts. Thanks for reading, and happy making!