Friday, July 8, 2011

She Sells Sea Shells...

A recent trip to Myrtle Beach yielded a bag full of gorgeous sea shells.  We were pulling up handfuls of these perfect shells, and all I could think was, "These would make some pretty awesome crafts."  So if you have your own collection of seaside souvenirs, take a look at what the girls and I put together, and you might find inspiration for a rainy afternoon craft of your own.

Many shells we found had a small hole in the end, just nature taking its course, I suppose.  But nature's imperfections made me think that we could make some cool necklaces for the girls.

First, I wanted to make sure the shells were properly cleaned.  I've read that if you don't remove the residue from the ocean (and the little critter that once lived in the shell), it could start to smell.  I took a pan, filled it with water and shells, and poured some bleach in there.  The ratio of water to bleach is supposed to be 50/50, but that seemed a lot to me.  I just poured maybe a 1/4 cup in the large roasting pan that held the shells.  Let it sit overnight, and then rinse with some dish soap and water.  I've also read you can brighten the shell up by rubbing a little mineral or baby oil on it.

We bought some plastic rope at the craft store, the kind that's used to make braided lanyards.  You can use leather or suede cording from the jewelry section, too, which would look nicer.  The lanyard cost $0.99 for 10 yards and the jewelry cording cost $3.50 for 3 yards.  We were aiming for cheap!

Measure the lanyard around your child's neck, leaving room for extra.  We measured about half a yard.  Thread the shell onto the lanyard - the kids have a lot of fun with this!  After your shell is secure on the lanyard, tie a slip knot on each end.  This allows you to easily adjust the necklace and means you don't need any special clasp.

Depending on the cording you choose, you could have a really pretty piece of jewelry, or something quick and fun for the kids to add to their dress up costumes.  Either way, it's a nice way to remember a fun family vacation!

We're finishing up another shell project, which I'll feature in a few days.

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