Painting with Shells and On Shells

Painting with shells and on shells is a fun way to create with your summer memories.

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There are so many different ways to paint, things to paint with and to paint on, that you could really do a different painting activity every day of the year. If you don’t believe me, check out more than 200 painting ideas at Emma Owl’s Paintathon page. We’re excited to share an easy, low set up, fun painting activity we tried recently: painting with shells and painting on shells. Painting with shells and on shells is a fun way to create with your summer memories.

What You’ll Need

  • seashells, rocks, eroded beach stuff
  • paint (we used various colors of washable paints) and palettes (plastic lids)
  • paper
  • paintbrushes
  • a paint-friendly surface (I covered the table with a plastic tablecloth)Supplies for painting with and on shells

How to Paint with Shells

Once you have everything set out, it’s pretty self-explanatory.

You can paint shells.painted shell

You can paint with shells and other beachy stuff. shell prints made with painting

I tried making prints with the fronts of shells and found the best effect from loading up the paint and scraping down rather than rocking the shell to get a print.

You can also make prints of the back side of the shell, which is mostly what the girl did, along with some fingerpainting. I really like the way it turned out. painting with shells

This is a fun way to relive a little bit of a beach vacation if you use shells you collected yourself, and if you use washable paint you can always clean up the shells you used for painting if you decide you’d rather they had their original colors back. painted shells

We picked up enough shells on our last vacation that we can paint a ton and still have plenty to enjoy in their natural state.

Painted shells can be used in other crafts. Use them with playdough or salt dough (via Teach Mama) to make ornaments or just pretty designs. Or try some of the adorable shell projects over at Red Ted Art (these painted shells would make pretty little boats, but you’d need to use waterproof paint).

Have you ever crafted with shells? I’d love to know what you did; I need some more great ideas for using all our shells!

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  1. This is such a neat little project! I’d love to try this one out with my four-year-old sometime. Looks like fun! Thanks for throwing the idea out there!

  2. We love painting with anything that is NOT a paintbrush! I have never thought of shells – this is wonderfully clever!

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