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7 Simple Shell Crafts

Use these decorating ideas to surround yourself with memories of a beach vacation.

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Have some nice shells and a glue gun? That's all you need to make a variety of simple beach-themed crafts like these.

1. Give a simple hair barrette a beachy face-lift with the addition of a few carefully placed shells. Glue one good-size shell onto the barrette with hot glue, and fill in with progressively smaller shells until the barrette is completely covered. Then use very small or intricate shells as accents here and there.

2. Turn a shadow-box frame into a unique work of art by displaying prized beach treasures in it. Cut a decorative mat or a piece of card stock to fit in the frame, place shells randomly on it or in rows until you have them arranged the way you want them and then glue them in place.

3. Use a large platter, tray or other wide, flat vessel to create a tabletop beach that you can keep on a coffee table or a desk to serve as a little Zen sand garden.

4. Glue small round magnets (or pieces from larger magnets) onto the backs of pretty shells to make a multitude of simple yet unique refrigerator magnets.

5. Make shell drawer pulls and pulls for fans, lamps and shades by adding a dab of hot glue to the underside or inside of a specimen shell and attaching a drawer-pull screw or a ball chain.

6. Fill a vase, a wide-mouthed glass bowl or a flat plate or platter with a layer of sand and some small shells. Nestle a small tea-light candle in the sand for a beachy centerpiece or party decoration.

7. Decorate a hat with shells joined in arrangements that look like flowers or butterflies. A small piece of hemp cord folded in half makes simple butterfly antennae, and a few inches of hemp knotted a couple of times makes a good flower center. Plan your design and glue the flowers or butterflies to the hat with a hot-glue gun. Use natural ribbon to further embellish the hat if you like.

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