ark shells from Sanibel island

Seashells are wonderful souvenirs reminding us of the best vacations of our lives after getting the healing dose of beach therapy.

butterfly coquinas florida

Most shellers keep shells in bowls in the family room, near the computer and decorate in every room like friends Dick and Mary.

Alphabet cone display decor

Lots of us collect shells for plans of shell crafting to make frames, ornaments or to decorate the house like Jane…

decorate seashell coasters

Yes… I get a little shelloony and create extreme spaces like my Shellaboratory.

Pam Rambo's Shellaboratory

But more times than I can count, I’ve been asked the question “What can I do with all of the seashells I’ve collected while visiting Southwest Florida that are now packed away in boxes in my closet and garage never to be seen again?”

mom shell collection boxes

I completely understand how that happens. I had hundreds of unfinished projects that I collected supplies to complete but all got put on the back burner for years (ahem… my shell projects took over!). Last summer I cleaned out those old projects I really wasn’t passionate about any more then donated them to good homes that could use the supplies. Whew. I feel so much better to have the space for projects I’m more passionate about and I feel like I helped someone else along the way.

So this brings us to the biggest seashell project of my life….  Shell Love Bug! The biggest mobile Sailors Valentine on earth. Now THIS is what I call passion. haha

Shell Love Bug front fender seashells

This was a wonderfully huge shell project but I had to complete in a very short time. I could have never finished shelldazzled this car if I had to glue all of these shells myself in 34 days so I had to recruit lots of friends to help. I never would have had thousands of ARK shells and COQUINAS in our personal collection of shells either. Most of the various shell species were from us- (the Rambo shellaboratory collection) but it wasn’t enough. Lots of friends generously donated shells to the project…  like Leroy (check out my blog post about this amazingly generous man CLICK HERE), shell jewelry artist and dear friend Wendy Miller, the sweet and giving Johnny Lorren and oodles of other long time shellers. I am also very grateful for some of the talented ladies at Sanibel Shell Crafters who brought shells to get the job finished in such a short period of time. The Shell Crafters make shell crafts all year long to sell at the annual Sanibel Shell Festival each year to raise money for the Sanibel Community House. So to get this car done in this short time, I promised them I would return their shells so it wouldn’t take away any funding for Sanibel Community House (which is under construction right now).

Pink, blue, purple, yellow, red and orange Coquinas

Sooooo….Wanna help? So here it is…  I’m sending out an S.O.S (Saving Our (unused) Seashells) !

We all save our seashells but some times they end up never being used for anything and put in the closet. Here’s a way to do something with those saved unused seashells. I’ve been able to replace most of the shells I “borrowed” … but…. we need to replace hundreds of color sorted COQUINAS – especially ones with purple insides which were used for the hearts on the car. Clark and I had oodles of them but it didn’t come close to replacing them and they will take too much time to find. So I have an idea…. if you are one of those folks who love COQUINAS and have collected them over the years but have them stored in the closet or they just don’t work in your space any more… Would you like to donate them? If so, could you send them to Shell Love Bug? She would be grateful but the really cool thing that would be happening is that you would be helping with the finishing of Shell Love Bug. You would be a part of the whole project like a patchwork quilt and repurposing beautiful shells!

coquinas sand dollar colors

If you would like to donate COQUINAS, please make sure the shells are clean and in plastic baggies sorted by color. It would be really awesome if they are separated by left and right valves too. Did you ever have any idea how much work went into shell crafting? haha Yep. We had to clean, dry and sort by color, size and shape for all of the shells that went on Shell Love Bug. Truly, there was a lot of love that went into making her come alive. If you can help, thank you!!!

Errrrrr…. I hate to ask but…. We need to replace the ROSE PETAL TELLINS as well. I know they are precious! But just in case you have the ROSE PETAL TELLINS in that closet too… could you send them as well? But hold on, I have one more request… if you have any of these shells and they make you happy as a clam, please don’t send them just to give back. Only send them if you are not using them, will never use them in the future and it would make your space happier knowing they went to a good home. I created Shell Love Bug to shellebrate the joy of seashells, shelling and to spread the shell love… not to ask you to give up your sweet seashells.

My friend John at Qwik Pack & Ship on Periwinkle Way on Sanibel is receiving the shell packages for Shell Love Bug. I’ve known John as long as we’ve lived on the island and he has handled all of our shipping for us throughout the years. He’s so happy to help finish this project with us too so remember any time you need to ship from Sanibel, John is the guy to call 239-472-0288.

Clean and sorted  COQUINAS, ROSE PETAL TELLINS. Also to be replaced… clean white one inch (ish) ARKS, SAILORS EARS (aka CHANNELED DUCK CLAM) and JEWELBOXES can be sent to or dropped off at…

Hold the shellphone….


UPDATE: July 16, 2016- Shell Love Bug and I have received enough ROSE PETAL TELLINS, SAILORS EARS and JEWELBOXES !!! Yippee! I’m so grateful, thank you!!!

But if you still have COQUINAS or white one inch (ish) ARKS, we’re still collecting them so you can send to…

UPDATE: Im so sad to hear that my friend John has temporarily closed Qwik Pack n Ship due to health reasons. My heart goes out to John and his family for a quick recovery. If you used his services for shipping please be patient at this time for his recovery. Our thoughts are with him.

Want more information about Shell Love Bug?  Visit 

Shell Love Bug seashells car scallop

Need help identifying any of these shells or others? Check out my Seashell Identification page

seashell identification website page


PS- Ive had many requests to show more photos and details of Shell Love Bug and I’m so sorry I haven’t gotten to that yet. I promise I will… I think I completely exhausted my being. I’m going to take it slowly for a few days to recover from non-stop rocket speed. No worries, I just need some beach therapy…. which reminds me. I LOVE our shelling cruises together and finally secured a few dates so I hope you can join me!

New dates!  Check it out CLICK HERE