DIY Sea Inspired Shell Frames

I love days when I can create frames for the watercolors I paint of the beach, fish, crabs, well you get the idea. My first fun task is to stop by the three thrift shops in Galveston that carry used frames. Goodwill on the island is a great place to find any size and shape you desire, but choices are different in somebody else’s home town.

Find amazing frames at your local thrift store.

Find amazing frames at your local thrift store.

I usually pick up multiple and hopefully matching sets of 5 x 7, 8 x 10, 11 x 14 and higher. A big score is when I find 3 or 4 of the exact same frame to create sets. When I get home it’s time to clean the glass with cleaner and prepare each frame for painting. Separate all the pieces and with a erasable marker put “A” on the first group of parts, “B” on the next, etc. You don’t want to get the pieces mixed up because one piece of glass doesn’t always fit the same sized frame.

I put newspaper on a table outside with tape when there is wind or not. Place the frames that will receive the same color on the newspaper and spray paint your color on. Do 2 coats with 1/2 hour dry time. Remember to flip them over and get the sides. Now spray on a sealer like polyurethane or whatever is cheapest in the store.

I have no problem buying new frames at deep discounts, like 50% to 75%. You can get matching sets this way.

Get your supplies together.

Get your supplies together.

Once your frames are ready and dry you need to gather some supplies. Glue gun or plastic glue bottle is fine with brush, seashells, sand, pearls, scissors, rope, colored glass beads and anything nautical or beachy is great.

Now you’re going to add your precious beach finds onto the frames. I like to keep things balanced, so I try to create a pattern. One of these, one of these, and three of these, repeat.

Kids love these projects and I suggest giving them one frame each, sand, small shells and glue. Don’t forget to take pictures because you’ll be laughing and want to remember this day.

So here are some finished projects, some are mine and some are friends who blog about wedding décor and art projects for home.

Rope is very nautical and can be feminine with seashells with a touch of pearlescent glitter.

Rope is very nautical and can be feminine with seashells with a touch of pearlescent glitter.

Get your beach framed art noticed with seashells.

Get your beach framed art noticed with seashells.

beachart7Now starfish like this white finger starfish mirror can be pricey to purchase and laborious to find on the beach. So I found a great solution or should I say recipe for creating salt-dough finger starfish. The greatest part of this budget conscious idea is the food dye you can add to the recipe. Can you say blue finger starfish?

With a little paint or dye, this salt dough starfish is a budget friendly project.

With a little paint or dye, this salt dough starfish is a budget friendly project.

How about this pic of treasures from the sea? Not a frame, but a nice addition to framed art walls to get some ocean themed shells and blues into the room.

An easy way to add beach décor with shells in a framed grouping.

An easy way to add beach décor with shells in a framed grouping.

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