Thursday, June 16, 2011

The Art Of Seashell Hunting

Seashell collecting is a popular pastime for all ages. I have wonderful childhood memories of collecting shells with my grandparents every summer. It was always an adventure when I was on the hunt for the most interesting shells I could find. Now that I'm older I want to share that experience with my family.  But what many people don't realize is there is much more to seashells that just simply collecting. Here are a few tips when starting out with seashell collecting.

First and foremost check out the rules concerning shell collecting in the areas that you are interested in. Some places don't allow collecting or allow it only during certain times of year. Some require permits. The last thing you want to do is start out your adventure with a sour note!

Beachcombing is the most common method of collecting seashells, look for bubbling holes in the wet sand. The best time to find them is low tide. One important tip when collecting seashells is to find a quiet beach with few crowds. Walking along the beach after a storm is a great time to collect seashells.

Depending on the location of your beach, you will most likely find some form of a scallop shell. They come in a variety of colors and sizes. Sand dollars are personal favorite of mine, however they aren't as common as the scallop. Conch shells are also popular. It is often said that if you put the shell to your ear you can hear the roar of the ocean. Some of the most beautiful conchs are found in the Bahamas. Pretty much at any beach you will find a clam shell of some sort. Like most shells they too come in a variety of sizes and colors. One thing is true: no two seashells are alike!

Once you've obtained a good size collection, you can use your new treasures for all sorts of things! Seashells can be the starting point for a great craft project for children. Make a sea shell wind chime, use a piece of driftwood as the base, string the seashells and cut them at different lengths while hanging them on the driftwood. Afterwards hang on your porch or somewhere outside where everyone can see. It will be a great reminder of the summer you had at the beach.

There are other ways to use your seashells are great beach decor. Glue shells onto a old picture frame, and bring it back to life. Use the shells to make a wooden sign, suck as "Tiki Hut"? or "On Beach Time" or even your child's name and have them hang it on their bedroom door. You can also decorate candles or make a collage. Get into the holiday spirit and make ornaments. You can make a different one for each family member. The possibilities are endless for what you can do with your newly found treasures!

Share some of your findings with us. Send pictures or comment on other craft ideas as well.

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