I’ve never been disappointed after beach combing any of the beaches of SouthWest Florida. There’s always something new to discover whether it’s a shoreline filled with shells, beautiful shore birds doing their own beach combing, sea life playing a game of hide and seek in the Gulf Of Mexico or finding lots of different BEACH BLING in the high tide wrack line. If I feel like I have to collect something from my day of beach combing, but I didn’t find the perfect shell… I love to sift through the bling and maybe look for a SEA BEAN or find a beautiful piece of DRIFTWOOD…
Even if most of the shells strewn along the shoreline are broken, they are still beautiful to me… especially if they have holes naturally drilled in them from other mollusks or cracked open from CRABS looking for a meal. I will pick up a broken FIGHTING CONCH in a heart beat if I feel like I need to get my shell collecting fix. I always have ideas what I can do with them!
I bring those beach beauties home and save them in a jar until I’m ready to make something with them. I’m so ready for a craft project! How about you!
I spilled that jar of broken shells out on a work table along with one of those long pieces of DRIFT WOOD, a spool of twine and a pair of scissors. I’m going to make a SEASHELL MOBILE … Sanibel Island style!
This is so easy, y’all! I picked out the shells I want to use and lined them up just how I wanted them to hang from the DRIFT WOOD…
I cut 4 pieces of twine almost double what I needed for each line just to make it easy to tie each piece as needed. I’d rather have it too long than to have to redo the whole thing for being too short. Then I started from the bottom by tying the heaviest ones first…
Most long time shellers would never pick this broken FIGHTING CONCH up but for some reason when I saw it… it spoke to me. It said… “I would be sooooo easy to tie on a string for a mobile, Pam!”
And I’ve always loved shells with perfectly drilled holes in them. They are perfect for this project!
Once I had them all strung, I then tied each shell string to the DRIFTWOOD. I didn’t do any fancy knots… I just tied a double knot because twine has a way of holding together especially when the weight keeps them in place. I tied one long string to the ends of the DRIFT “STICK” to use as the hanger. Voila! I had a shell mobile.
But…. hmmmmm… something was missing. It was still cute and islandy but it still needed a little bit of color for my own taste. So I got out some of my SEA GLASS and started tying the twine around the SEAGLASS with a knot to secure it, then tying the ends of the glass twine around the mobile twine with a nice secure knot… then cutting the excess off with the scissors. It worked!
I wanted to keep it a simple beachy look so I didn’t overwhelm it with shells or SEAGLASS.
I think that broken piece of JUNONIA steals the show anyway- LOL!
I think it’s sweet, simple, raw island. I love it! It makes me happy. I love to collect broken shells to make something beautiful … just like the OLIVE BRACELET. So if you ever feel disappointed in your shells finds, take a second look at all of the beautiful things that are surrounding you on the beach. Maybe some of the shells or bling that you normally pass by will start speaking to you as well.
LOVE, LOVE, LOVE! You are awesome!
Definitely working on one this weekend, thanks for the tutorial
Pam I LOVE this! I have been combing my Northern (MI) beaches and am about to embark on some projects that include my northern rocks, beach glass, driftwood, beach bling (I just found a green plastic dinosaur!), and my Sanibel shells! I guess I am going to have to collect broken shells when I come in January too. I’m going to need a bigger suitcase! Thank you for sharing!
Have you found sea glass on Sanibel or elsewhere in FL. If so WHERE??? :o)
I find more sea glass on Bonita beaches than I do in Sanibel/Captiva… Here is a link to the beaches there- http://www.iloveshelling.com/blog/category/day-trips-from-sanibel/bonita-beach/
But most of our sea glass has been found in other parts of the world like Cozumel, Hong Kong, Va Beach, Cat Island and Cuba. I hear there are great places in California and New England too but haven’t gotten there yet. Good luck!
The Welcome Mat is always out for ya here in CT; ill take ya sea glass hunting!
…& ill leave the light on
East Granby CT
OMG You are welcome you guys! I had to make something with some of those broken shells so I thought yall would want to do the same thing since its so easy and turns out so cute.
What a neat idea…we will be arriving tomorrow…can’t wait!
This was the project that you hinted to us about, wasn’t it? I love this idea, and I think everyone will get one on their next birthdays. Beautiful!
Nice job, Pam..
Nice…. I love these classes!!
East Granby CT
Happy Shelling everyone
Love this! I wonder if by stringing them closer you could make a wind chime? I have jars and jars of sea glass I collected as a kid on Staten Island. It’s not as easy to come by anymore now that glass is recycled instead of winding up in the ocean. Which is a good thing … I think …. :-)
Pam, I LOVE this – I think this type of thing is called Wabi Sabi (it means finding perfection in imperfection!) And you have hit it on the head!!!! Beautiful.
Absolutely magical! I love imperfect shells, and I have some I’ve been saving for “something special”, I just didn’t know what….until now! Definitely gonna make myself one of these for my birthday next week, yay! And I know exactly where I’m gonna hang it!
Thanks so much for the wonderful inspiration!
Pam, I wish I had all your energy! Have to try this but need to organize my shells. Any suggestions on how to do this?
Pam, you are so very artistic and creative. Love that idea. Have a good day!
Really great Pam. We all need to be aware of the beauty of imperfection as we move through life!
I have been wanting to do something like this with my shells FOREVER. I could never get a clear picture in my head of how it should be. My biggest obstacle was deciding what to hang the shells from. That piece of driftwood is absolutely perfect!!! Thanks for the inspiration!
I cannot get those snail shells out of my head. I never knew land shells would get so big or be so beautiful. I have gone back and looked at them so many times since you’ve posted. Amazing! :)
It’s 24 degrees this morning here in the Willamette Valley, Oregon. Your mobile is the perfect inside project! I’m using my Sanibel shells and driftwood from the Oregon coast.
Beautiful Pam! Now I know what to do with the sea glass and limpets I collected in Kinsale Ireland! We were exploring Charles Fort in Kinsale and took a walk down to the water’s edge. Of course I had to look and to my surprise found a few shells! I think they are some kind of limpet. We found lots of sea glass there too – mostly green and white. They’ll make a nice little mobile!
Loved this Pam! Please post more craft ideas! Thank you!
Love this!! I just collected drift wood here in NY on the shores of Lake Champlain. There’s tons of wonderful pieces! ( I am a collector after all ) Now I have a wonderful project for my awesome shells I brought home from my Sanibel trip. Off to the store for some twine! Thanks Pam. Oh, and I need some waxed linen to make my olive bracelet. :-)
Fantastic! What a fun project!
I have a weakness for perfectly smooth shell pieces, they’re fun to rub as I make a wish to find that elusive Junonia. I also like to pick up drilled shells that might become jewelry some day.
Thanks for the classy class, and Happy Turkey Wing Day!
Pam, this project is adorable. I have a box of imperfect shells already because I had an idea for a project too. Instead of making a shell mirror with beautiful shells that are perfect to look at I want to use broken pieces and ones that may not be so bright in color. The idea behind this project is that you don’t have to be perfect to make something of yourself. L-O-R-E-E
Loree, I love the idea behind your “imperfect” mirror. It’s so true and I appreciate the reminder. I hope you are doing well. ;-)
I collect broken shells to add to my pebble path that is along side of my patio. I live in New Orleans so I don’t have many shelling opportunities. When I get the urge to shell, I just poke around in my path. I’m heading to orange beach after thanksgiving. Looking forward to some real shelling even if some are broken.
Happy Thanksgiving all of you shellers!
I really like the piece of driftwood you chose because it makes the mobile look twice as interesting.
Seaglass is coming to town tomorrow……………hang on to your shells !!!!!
Family ritual in San/Cap………….Kids and grandtwins !!!!!
We find “sea glass” on the beaches on Lake Michigan and Lake Superior too! Not as much as we used to with plastic bottles being used more. Like the shells with the natural holes in them. Nieces brought me some from spring break in Florida to make jewelry with. It is fun challenge to use the holes when wire wrapping them as pendants or bracelet dangles. They are hard to find online to get some more.