Seashell Art

When you stop to think about it, seashells are the ultimate DIY project. They're designed, created, and decorated by tiny sea creatures working alone all hours of the day.  There is tremendous incentive for these creatures to complete their homes on time and under budget.  Otherwise, in their homeless, shell-less state, they risk being devoured by a pesky predator.  Fortunately for us, the consequences of overdue or over budget home improvement projects are [usually] less dire.

I've been intrigued by seashells ever since I learned how to put on a bathing suit by myself.  I like to display shells, but I don't want my home to look like a beach house, especially since it's not a beach house. And especially since it's 50 degrees or below outside nearly half the days of the year. 

The pieces shown here are by artist Peggy Green.  They have an old-world look reminiscent of Sailor's Valentines (above) and Victorian pincushions (below).  I'd feel under dressed in flip-flops and a T-shirt around these.      

The variety of soft colors and repetitive, carefully arranged patterns keep the frames and boxes from looking weekend-at-the-beach crafty.

I have a large framed mirror from a consignment store that could use some tasteful razzle-dazzle.  The shells are inexpensive to buy online.  The only problem is that beach season is almost here and the thought of me at home, alone with nothing but a bottle of Aleene's Tacky Glue and hundreds of shells while everyone else is outdoors is not appealing.  Although shells are synonymous with summer days and sandy beaches, this may be a better project for the cold nights of winter 2012.

All photos from Antique Shops and Designers Magazine, Volume 5. Photographer unknown.


  1. * Oh, I absolutely ADOOOOORE that first piece! (I was born n' raised in SO CAL so that's "understandable", but I live in the desert of AZ now, and really MISS having access to pretties like this!!!)...

    Thanks for the visual treat and best wishes,
    Linda in AZ *

  2. I'm reading commit issues to her project I have a bowl full of sand dollars I picked up in CA on the beach one summer, love them but that's as far as I go with shells since they don't go with my home.

  3. I love the look of huge Venetian mirrors encrusted in shells. I have been meaning to try that!

  4. how absolutely charming .the hearts are so pretty and the box covered in shells next to them !! ahhh I made one like that for my mother when i was 12 years old thankyou Deborah

    fay xx

  5. I want to run out and make a mirror for myself right now...where's that glue gun???


  6. I am not good at DIY projects but I do love shells. Where we go to the beach in the summer there is a store/gallery that carries the most amazing antique Sailor's Valelntine's - they are absolutely beautiful!!

  7. So cute...perfect for my imaginary beach house!!

  8. I love the shell mirrors - It makes me wish summer was closer!

  9. I too love sea shells..those are some really unique accents. I'm going to check out your links.
    Have a great week!

  10. Deborah you could of course start a whole new design trend - Boston Beach House style! Although you'd have to use your imagination & pretend the Charles is the beach. My beloved Grannie had a shell jewel box complete with mirror on the lid on her dressing table. As a little girl I loved to delve into it & pull all her beautiful necklaces out & adorn myself with them. I loved it, but haven't thought about it for years. Thanks for reviving such lovely memories.
    Millie x

  11. Peggy Green's work is a designers dream. Every client loves them and every interior has a place for something this collectable.
    I am anxious to see her new designs at Marburger/Round Top next week in Texas.
    Yahoo Buckaroo!


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