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What to do With All Those Shells You Collect From the Beach Over Spring Break

We all collect things. Books. Coins, maybe to pay for school so you don’t collect… Debt. Stamps. (Do we though?) Precious stones. Or maybe even Postcards (me!). You name it and somebody has a thing for it. And as the winter turns to spring and temperatures become more tolerable, people are heading to the beach. Seashells, sand, and sun become the focus of collection, especially by those of us who come from the Midwest and get a high from saltwater sea breezes. I’ve personally collected tons of shells in my life, and to clear up a possible misconception: lakes totally have shells and fun stuff, just not as cool as from the ocean.

So, I have all these shells, do you, too? When I’m collecting them, I can be a bit obsessive. Think Ariel from The Little Mermaid or Jack from The Nightmare Before Christmas.


I’m at the beach for ten minutes with a T-shirt full of shells and mysterious rocks and suddenly I’m packing to go home, wrapping shells in socks and bras or bubble wrapping them to carry them in my pack onto the plane. Once I’m home, I unpack and wonder at all that I’ve collected, then I put them into a container and shelve them.

The madness.

One day I had had enough and decided to make use of the precious used-to-be homes of the poor, unknown, evicted sea creatures. But, I can’t live in them, I haven’t been lucky enough to find one large enough to eat from, so really, the best thing to do is some DIY home decorating! There are tons of fun projects you can do with shells, and not only can you point out that you made it, but you can also point out that they’re from xyz beach in xyz city, country, etc… An everyday reminder of all of the cool sh** you’ve done.

1. Box em’

All you have to do: remove the back, insert the shells, attach the back. Voilà! 

2. Tube em’

Easy peasy, and you can pick a vase up from Target, TJ Maxx, or even the Dollar Tree! <- Check this first!!

3. Bowl em’

Must I explain?

4. Hang em’

This is a bit more complicated, but I found some great tutorials to check out!

This one’s for a wind chime and this one’s for mobile. You can also find some cute netting at Walmart.

Need more ideas?

Lay them on your windowsill, make jewelry, put tea candles in them, put succulents in them, really people there’s only so much you can do.

Really lost and just don’t want them? Return them to the beach! Some little creature might make a home out of them.

Amanda R

Emerson '19

Amanda is a Senior at Emerson College pursuing a degree in Journalism. When she's not busy with school or her part-time job, she enjoys reading dystopian novels and trying new vegan brands. She requires a constant intake of caffeine and carbs to survive. She's traveled to 19 countries in two years and her future will (hopefully) include more world travel and writing about what she loves.
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