I’m sure I’m not the only one out there who has gone to the beach, collected seashells, glass, rocks, etc, gotten home, and then wondered what to do with it all, right? I mean what’s the best way to make a seashell display for all of those lovely mementos? Everything looks vibrant and beautiful at the beach, but a little lackluster when dry and sitting on a shelf at home. Plus all those ‘treasures’ are kind of a pain to dust. That’s probably why everything ends up in a box, or even a jar, but certainly not looking as great as it did on the beach.
I finally decided to see if I could find a way to make a seashell display that would restore my beach finds to all of their original brilliance. Something that might even justify me keeping them in the first place. After a little research and a few experiments (always my favorite part), I found two different solutions that really make the seashells shine like they did when I found them.
Solution One: Mod Podge, a fantastic non-toxic substance
This sounds really easy, and it is, but it works great. All you need to do is paint a thin (very thin) layer of Mod Podge on the shells, glass, or even rocks, that you want to display, let it dry, and voila! Your beach collectibles look as vibrant as they did when you got them out of the water. In this resplendent state they can be glued or grouted onto other projects, like a mosaic tray, or a picture frame, or even a wind chime. No more boxes or dust-gathering for these mementos!
Check out how much better the sea glass looks, too!
There are several Mod Podge formulas out there, including one for outdoor use, and a new one that is dishwasher safe, although that one has a 28 day curing time. In my own experiments I found that the regular, glossy formula is water-resistant once cured for several days, so would work fine for incidental contact with water. My head is spinning with project possibilities! I’m thinking maybe a backsplash or snack tray might be where I start, but now I also want to collect more sea glass for a wind chime,
What you will need:
- Small paintbrush
- Dish to hold a little bit of Mod Podge
- Mod Podge
If you want to learn more about what you can do with Mod Podge, this blog has everything you ever wanted to know about it: https://modpodgerocksblog.com/learn-how-to-mod-podge/
Option Two: Mason Jar Soap Dispenser
Making a mason jar soap dispenser used to be a lot more complicated, but now that they sell soap pump tops for mason jars, it’s incredibly simple.
All you need to do is put your beach treasures in the mason jar, fill it up with liquid soap, and attach the lid with the pump. It’s so easy it seems silly to write about, but everything looks so good in the soap-filled jar I really can’t believe I didn’t try this sooner. You can even change which shells are most visible by shaking the jar a bit or moving everything around with a spoon.
What you will need:
- Mason jar (regular mouth)
- Mason jar soap pump adapter kit
- Clear liquid hand soap or dish soap
Tip: To help keep the glass jar from slipping into the sink, try putting it on a rubber coaster or a piece of no-slip drawer lining.
Enjoy your seashell display soap dispenser and finally being able to see your beach treasures in all their glory! Feel free to leave a comment or ask a question and send photos of any projects you’re inspired to make with your Mod Podged collection. Don’t forget to follow Creatorvox on Facebook and Twitter for more tips and tricks between posts. Thanks for reading, and happy making!
7 Replies to “Clever And Easy Seashell Display Ideas”
How long will the shells last in soap? Indefinitely or did you have to change them out occasionally?
Hi Diane, So far it’s been years, but that may depend upon the soap. I use eco-friendly soap without any bleaching or whitening agents.
Where can you find the soap pump top for mason jars?
Hi Debby, I found mine at the local hardware store, but have seen them in some of the larger craft supply stores as well. Just make sure the pump lid and jar size are the same (I think the pumps are only for regular (not wide-mouth) mason jars.
Do you put the mod podge on your shells if you are using them in a soap jar or do you just clean them well. thanks Cathy
Hi Cathy, For a soap jar you do not need to put Mod Podge on the shells. The soap will give them the brighter color they have when wet. For true color rendition it’s also best to use clear soap.
These are great and simple ideas! My box of seashells will have a second life and purpose now…Thank you!