Why you should always clean your seashells

Whether you’re planning on making crafts from shells you picked up at the beach or are simply buying wholesale seashells in bulk – you’ll always want to make sure that you clean your shells. Why? Not so much because there’s any real danger or hygiene issues associated with dirty shells – but rather that shells have an underlying, brilliant beauty that given some care and attentiveness – can make your crafts really pop. 

Today, we’re going to talk about some of the ways you can clean shells, eliminate any prospective odors and really bring a next level shine to your next craft project. Let’s jump right in!

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Bleach
  • Water
  • A glass or plastic bowl
  • A disposable/extra toothbrush
  • A little dish soap
  • Paper towels for drying
  • Mineral oil (For food only. Avoid olive oil and/or vegetable oil)

We generally recommend mixing both equal parts bleach and water in a container. Toss in your seashells and let them stand for one hour. Once you’ve given it some time, remove a few of the shells and take a look at whether or not they’re still dirty. If they are, put them back in for another 10-15 minutes. It not, it’s ok to proceed to the next step. 

What you’ll want to do is fish out your seashells and lay them on a towel. Toss the water/bleach mix and fill up a separate container with warm soapy water using the dish soap we mentioned earlier. Wash your shells off – and make sure you get all of the remaining dirt and crud removed from their surface. In between dunks, use your toothbrush to get into all the small, hard-to-get-to crevices. 

Rinse them one last time and then leave them to air dry on a paper towel. Give it an hour or two. When your shells are dry, it’s then time to add the mineral oil. Again – avoid cooking oils like Vegetable or Olive oil. Put a tiny bowl of mineral oil off to the side and lightly buff your shells with said oil. 
And there you go – some shells that will really bring a ton of shine to any room! From there, it’s really up to you. Use the shells as crafting items – whether it’s frames, mirrors or set pieces. Some even like using them as a centerpiece decoration all in a bowl together. Whichever you choose we promise – they’ll look great!

So whether you pluck your shells straight off the shore or purchase wholesale seashells in bulk – we always recommend that you clean them in this way and manner. You’ll help to uncover  beauty that few things can compare to. Good luck!

November: Prime Shelling Season

If you’re in the shelling mood then November is a great time of year to get back on the shelling path. Beaches are a little less packed and the lack of traffic means there’ll be plenty of shells for you to go find. Today, we’re going to discuss a few of the kinds of shells you should be on the lookout for during your next big shelling excursion. 

Let’s jump right in!

Atlantic Moon Snail Shell

Some folks call this one the ‘shark eye’ and they’re among some of the most common shells out there. But while they’re out there in abundance, finding a nice one can be a little difficult. They’re spherical and similar to your garden variety snail shell – but they vary wildly in color. Find the right one, and they can make for a remarkable centerpiece for your next big craft project. 

Banded tulip shells

Banded tulips are another fairly common shell – but you can find them all up and down the Gulf coast. They’re typically a little smaller – only growing to about 2.25-4 inches in length. You’ll find most to be cream-colored with the odd flashes of pink running in long lines, the length of its body. Look for these guys near low tide natural inlets. 

Heart cockle shells

These shells are gorgeous. They’ll grow to about 5 inches in length and come in a beautiful variety of colors. Be warned though – these guys are difficult to find. The issue is most separate when they wash ashore within the surf and unlike other shells that tend to get bunched together – these are widely spread out all over the beach, so you’ll have to do some discovery of your own. The best time to go looking for them is low tide in the morning. 

Lettered Olive shells

Lettered Olive Shells are among the most treasured among hardcore shellers. They’re usually cream colored with reddish and brown zig zag markings, but they have a beautiful sheen to them. They’re so stunning that the state of South Carolina even voted to make them the official shell of the state back in the 80’s. These guys are medium-hard finds, but look for them around high tide near shallow sand flats – particularly near inlets. 

Hopefully these get you excited and ready to go shell hunting! Like we said – if you’re looking for the best possible shells for your crafts projects or to simply correct – pro shellers know that this is the time of year to get out there. Good luck!

How you can find the best seashells on the beach

Ask any of your obsessive/compulsive shellers what their secrets to success are, and you’re likely to get some answers that are totally all over the place. 

Some folks like to think it’s a matter of skill. They know when to go, where to look and most importantly – what time of year to go out and find specific kinds of shells. Others attribute their success mostly to luck – that they’re more often than not in the right place at the right time. 

We tend to think it’s a little bit of both. You need to have some skill to find the best shells – but even when you know what you’re doing – as is the case with anything in life – you need a little luck to help you out.

Today, we’re going to talk about a few things you can do in order to find some great looking seashells – the kinds of shells that you’ll be able to use in your next art project, proudly store at home – or simply just create a great memory. Let’s jump right in.

Go early in the morning.

Low tide is unquestionably the best time to go find sea shells – and low tide almost always happens early in the morning. It’s even better when you go early in the morning on the heels of a storm. Perhaps most important of all though – is you’ll be beating the crowds. Most people peruse the beach during the day – which means by the time the afternoon rolls around, most of the good shells have been looted from the beach. Remember – the early bird always gets the worm!

Stay where the sand is wet

The best shells are usually found below the wrack line (where debris can be found from high tide from the previous night). Don’t get us wrong – you can find some beautiful shells in the dry sand as well – but most of those will likely have been damaged or their colors worn down from sitting in the sun too long. If you’re looking for bright, bold, colorful ‘like new’ shells however – below the wrack line is going to be your best bet. 

Go where others don’t

Now let’s be crystal clear here – don’t put your physical health at risk for seashells. Ever. But also don’t be afraid to look in some nooks and crannies that others might be avoiding. Stray off the beaten path a bit. Check inside stumps and driftwood. Check out the large boulders by the jetty. Rifle through a thick clump of mangrove. Explore. Roll your sleeves up. Even get a little dirty! Sometimes the right shells are in the places everyone else has passed on.

Packing hacks for your next beach front vacation

Going on vacation to the beach is the best, but the whole thing around coordinating what to pack and what to bring/not bring can stress some people out. Fear not! Today, we’re going to be sharing some beach vacation packing tips with you that’ll hopefully take the edge off of the ‘before’ part of your next beachfront vacation. 

Here are a few tips to help you step up your packing game and make your traveling experience a little bit easier. Let’s jump right in!

Packing cubes

People go nuts for these things because they save so much space. They can keep all of your items organized during your trip and make it so that everything just fits right. On top of it, it almost turns your suitcase into a clothing drawer, so everything will be exactly where it needs to be to the point where you really don’t have to unpack. And even better, no annoying devices that suck the air out of something. Just simple, streamlined packing.

The straw trick

For all you ladies that wear necklaces and a lot of them – here’s a killer tip for you. Buy yourself a bag of plastic straws and run your necklaces through them. This helps to ensure that they don’t get tangled, mangled or mixed up with anything else in your luggage. And when you’re in a rush to get ready, they’ll be there ready to go instead of you having to worry about grappling with tangles. 

Pack what they don’t provide

Make sure you bring anything a public beach might not provide themselves. These things include beach chairs, umbrellas, tents and 100% bring your own towels. Don’t count that any of these places will provide them – especially if you’re planning on traveling during peak tourist season. 

Use your shoes

You can save a lot of space in your backpack by packing your shoes more efficiently. Stuff socks or rolled underwear up inside them. Lay them at the bottom of the bag and stack clothes on top so you can more efficiently use the space. Yes, you’ll be at the beach a lot, but you’ll need your sneakers for something. Best make best use of the space as you can. 

The versatility of your sunglasses case

Move your glasses case for more than just storing glasses. YOu can use it to store chargers, cables, headphones, and even smaller makeup items. It also does a good job of keeping all of these items in one place so that you’re not at a higher risk of losing them. Nothing’s worse than being away and losing something like your cell phone charger. 

Hopefully these tips help you pack for your next beach vacation a little bit more efficiently. Enjoy your time off, you’ve earned it!

Vacationing at the beach in the fall? You bet!

Most people don’t usually associate the fall with beach vacations, but alas – there’s a lot of opportunity out there to not only have a great vacation – but to save a ton of money and avoid the hordes of tourists as well. 

Today, we’re going to talk about some reasons why you should think about taking your beach vacation this fall as well as some tips to make it a little bit more enjoyable. Let’s jump right in!

Accommodations

Especially if you’re planning on vacationing a little further north – hotels and resorts offer some absolutely astonishing rates for off-season vacation rentals. Air BNBs will be cheaper, hotels will be cheaper – all of it. And what’s going to be your biggest expense on vacation? You got it – it’s where you stay. In many cases, you can chop your expenses almost in half by taking a vacation in September instead of August. 

Avoiding the throngs

Look, we all love the beach and there’s no doubt that there’s something to the buzz of being around a lot of people. But in an era where we’re battling a global pandemic and people are a little TOO EXCITED to be back outside and around each other – giving yourself a little distance and space to enjoy yourself and relax is a good thing – and perhaps even the safer route to go. While fall vacations are increasing in popularity, you’ll deal with significantly fewer humans than you would at peak season. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing. 

Sites and sounds

The beach isn’t the only great thing about a coastal vacation. It’s all the tourist traps to get ensnared in, the adventures off the beaten path and the side shows off the sandy shores. And you know what? They’re still going on, but they’ll also be more accessible and more affordable. Ticket prices will be down, desirable time slots will be easier to get and you won’t have to deal with the crowds.

Hidden experiences
Anyone who’s spent any time in high-traffic tourist destinations like beaches knows that there’s an area during tourist season and the area after tourist season. And many of these experiences in the off-season won’t be offered during the season; giving you a chance to get a more authentic, local experience than you would otherwise.

Beach vacations are great in the fall. You’ll save a lot of money, be able to enjoy the activities you want to at your own pace and best of all – perhaps have some experiences you wouldn’t have been able to have had you gone during peak season. Hopefully these tips inspired you to give a fall beach vacation a chance. Good luck and have fun!

Making beach vacations more affordable

The great news about beach vacations is that they don’t have to be expensive. Fun in the sun can be had on a budget. Today, we’re going to talk about some of the things you can do to get the most out of a limited budget during your next beach vacation. Here are some things you can do to get maximum enjoyment out of your next beachfront vacation without blowing your bank account to pieces this summer. Let’s jump right in!

Plan in advance

Create a budget. Take into account what your vacation will cost in terms of transportation, food, shopping and the like. And if you’re an active person, you’ll want to think about things like bikes, surfboards and the like as well. There’s also entertainment and a lot of the hidden things such as beach passes, tolls, permits and the like. If you’re looking to save some money, it’s best to get all your expenses out on the table in front of you. Then, you’ll be able to start trimming. 

Go off the beaten path

Just because location is important doesn’t mean you need to choose a beach with a national reputation. While Miami Beach is nice, you might want to choose one closer to home or more off the beaten path. Neighboring beaches that are less known can give you a similar experience while saving you significant money. 

Consider your stay

Could you pull off a stay-cation? Are you close enough to travel to the beach every day? If not – remember that hotels aren’t the only option and in many situations – they’re a terrible option. Why? Because they cost an arm and a leg. You might be better off hitting up Air BNB and renting a home or a condo for a fraction of the cost. Accommodations are a colossal expense in any vacation, so be sure to find an alternative way to stay wherever it is you’re going. And remember, you don’t have to be on the beach to have a great beach vacation!

Plan your activities 

One of the best and worst things about a beach vacation is the spontaneity of them. See something you like? Go and do it! On the other hand ‘go and do it’ adds up quickly! Do your homework and choose less expensive activities. Ask for discounts on lessons and other experiences. Grab travel guides and browse onlines for deals, coupons and the like. Especially post-COVID, these businesses are looking to attract customers as quickly as possible so you can bet there’s probably some excellent deals out there. 

Also – bring your own good and don’t eat out every night. Restaurants near beaches are deliberately expensive. Treat yourself as you can, but if you’re going somewhere for a week – try cooking in a few nights and pack picnics to go to the beach.

Beating the heat doesn’t need to cost you your entire savings account! With a little planning and a little due diligence before your departure, you can enjoy a comfortable beach vacation without having to spend needless amounts of money. Just be sure to do your due diligence before going on vacation.

How to clean your seashells

OK, so you’ve taken our advice, gone shelling and scooped up some sensational keeper shells. Shells that can be centerpieces, shells that can be used for crafts and shells that you’ll most certainly remember for years to come. But now what?

Well, now’s the time to help those shells really come back to life by cleaning them and getting as much shine as possible. Today, we’re going to share a few tips as to how you can clean your shells and make them look as radiant and beautiful as possible. Let’s jump right in!

Vinegar

Using vinegar is easy, it’s simple and it’s cheap. Use a small amount of vinegar into a bowl or cup and use a toothbrush to gently scrub the shell. You might have to do this a few times to get the desired effect. Once you’re done, simply wash the shell with soap and water. That being said – be sure to NOT soak your shell in vinegar as it’ll have a corrosive effect. Simply using the acidic nature of the substance to clean out the dirt and then cleaning it out should do the trick. 

Hydrogen peroxide

HP is always a winner. Simply place the shells in a small bowl and use just enough HP to cover the shells. Let it soak for a few hours until you notice a small film at the top. HP has invasive properties that make quick work of bacteria. Then simply rinse your shells and set them aside. 

Bleach/Water combo

While this isn’t the most natural way to clean your shells, it’s most definitely effective. That being said, don’t leave them soaking in this solution for long as the bleach can fade the color and also leave that not-so-pleasant odor behind. That being said – if you’re looking for a quick solution that will work – this one might be for you. 

One to avoid

There are a lot of blogs out there that will recommend Muriatic acid as a method to clean shells. We recommend that you stay away. Does it work? Absolutely. Does it produce spectacular results? You bet. Is it totally and unnecessarily dangerous? You bet. Acid can burn your skin and if you get any on you, you have to neutralize it with other chemicals and well, you get the picture. Don’t do it. Shelling is fun but that’s a little too hardcore for our tastes. While it’s not a solution like these other mentions, it’s certainly a tip that we hope you abide by. Just stay away. 

There are millions of ways to clean seashells and these are just a few. Some folks boil shells, some bury them, freeze them, put them in the dishwasher – it can get wild! But stick to these three primary methods and we can guarantee gorgeous, radiant shells. Good luck!

How to find the best shells on the beach

Summer means a lot to many, but for us shellers – it’s time for the prime shelling season to begin! Shelling is a relaxing, fulfilling hobby for many, but that doesn’t mean we don’t enjoy a little competition now and then and that’s what today’s blog is going to be all about. 

Today, we’re going to be talking about some of the things you can do to find the very BEST shells out on the beach. Not nice ones, not shells in abundance – but the best possible shells. Here’s what you can do to beat the rush and add a shell to your collection that you’ll never forget. Let’s jump right in!

Jump into ‘the wrack’

Sounds dangerous, right? Well, it’s not! The ‘wrack’ is shell hunting lingo for the area just above the high tideline. That’s the place that you’re most likely to find the best shells. Depending on what kind of beach you’re on, you’ll find just about everything there – from seaweed and a foot of sponges to fans, boat parts and even jellyfish (ok, so it’s a little dangerous). But you’ll also find the very best possible shells that so happen to be in the very best possible condition. 

Take a little adventure

The summer is the best time for shell hunting, but talk to the hardcore shelling community and they’ll insist that the best time to find shells is actually in the winter right after storms. The churn of the ocean usually dishes out all sorts of goodies onto the beach and once the storm has subsided – it might be your best bet to score something special. 

Others recommend keeping an eye on the moon cycle. Why? Because it’s the time where you’ll see the greatest variance between high and low tides. And while we all get superstitious about things like a full moon, there’s nothing left to chance, here. Full moons and higher tides mean you’ll find the best shells. 

Mixing it up

Most of us like to more or less mix in our shelling patterns with a day at the beach – but ‘the day’ really isn’t the best time to go shelling. If you want to find the best shells – head out early in the morning, while it’s still a little cool out and the beach hasn’t been picked dry by casual beach goers. There, alone in your solitude – you’ll find the very best shells and even some exotic items that can become memorable staples of your collection. Don’t be afraid to go out during off-peak hours!

Hopefully these tips make it a little bit easier for you to find the best shells. Shelling is a wonderful activity that will provide you with lots to do and bring plenty of fulfillment. Most important, it’s a great activity to be shared in the company of others. Good luck out on the beach this summer!

How to get the most out of your next shelling expedition

Springtime is the prime shelling season! Not only are they washing up on beaches everywhere, but right about now is peak Spring vacation season as well, which means it’s a great opportunity to take your family on a little shelling expedition. 

In order to set you and yours up for the most shelling success possible, there are a few things you’ll want to keep in mind as you prowl the beach. Today, we’re going to share out a few tips to help you find the best possible shells. Let’s jump right in!

Go early in the morning

If you can, try to get to the beach nice and early. For one, the beaches will be untouched by the tourists, meaning you’ll have the proverbial pick of the litter when it comes to shells. Second, the sun isn’t too hot, which means you can take your time and not have to worry about missing out on any treasures. Third, the tides are usually low and lots of shells will be washed up on the shore. Get there early and you’ll find plenty of amazing shells. 

Look in the places you wouldn’t

Always take a look in the nooks and crannies of your beach. Check behind boulders, look in logs and comb in places where you see lots of shells. You never know where a great shell might be hiding that hundreds of other people might have overlooked. 

Go where the sand is wet

In order to find the best shells, look along or below the wrack line. This is going to be the place where shells will wash up during high tide overnight. In addition – those shells are likely to be in better condition, too. Most shells that get trapped above the wrack line tend to be bleached and sun bleached. The ones below will be fresh out of the water. 

Clean your shells when you’re done

When you get home, soak your shells in water for up to a week. After that, take a paper towel or brush (a shell-exclusive tooth brush works best) to scrub out all the excess sand and debris. Lastly, use some shine and buff your shells with a food safe mineral oil. This will give your shells an extreme shine and sparkle and make them ripe for display or for use in crafts. 

Shelling is one of the best activities you can enjoy with your family. Hopefully these tips will lead to an even better experience for all involved. Good luck and enjoy the beach!

Ways you can save money on your next beach vacation

While there are certainly package deals that might save you a buck or two, the reality is that big beach vacations aren’t cheap! If you are looking to escape to the beach with your family and not melt your budget, there are ways that you can enjoy a beach front vacation without burning a hole in your pocket. 

Here are some tips that will help you have fun while not overspending yourself into a problem place during your next beach vacation. Let’s jump right in.

Get off the beach

Well, we don’t mean that literally, but then again we kind of do! Yes, you can spend lots of time on the beach but you don’t need to stay in a home or hotel directly ON it. Instead, choose a home or AirBNB a little farther away or a little further inland. 

One of your most significant expenses will be accommodations, so adding a little to your walk or staying in a slightly quieter area of town will help trim some of that expense. Do that, and you’ll save a significant amount of money. 

Tourist traps – avoid ‘em

Are you thinking of heading to Miami or Key West this winter? Choose Tampa instead. The beaches are just as nice but the hotels and, well… everything else – will cost you about ⅔’s of what you’d pay at the other two. We’re not telling you that you MUST vacation in Tampa, but take the principal of this and apply it to your trip. 

Stay away from the areas that are a little bit TOO popular. There are always comparables and things to do that are just as fun, if not altogether more authentic – in other areas of town that won’t melt a hole in your pocket. Sometimes alternatives can be just as good. 

Go off calendar

When we say ‘off calendar’ we don’t necessarily mean ‘offseason.’ We mean off Calendar. Baseball fans like going to the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown during induction – but if you go right at the beginning of the season in April? You’ll spend ⅓ of the money and not have to deal with the crowds. While you won’t have super warm weather, it won’t be non-baseball weather and while you won’t get the buzz of induction weekend – all the usual vendors and shops are fully open and functional. Minus some bells and whistles – you’ll get the whole package for the most part.

Beaches – especially down here in Florida – are the same thing. There’s peak times, there’s dead times – but then there’s those transition periods in-between. Choose that and you’ll save a solid 30% on your next vacation tab. 

Bring your own food

People always make the mistake of eating out constantly when they’re on vacation. Bring a little food with you – even if you just plan on eating a small breakfast and making a sandwich for yourself for lunch. Want to go out for dinner? Go for it. But you don’t need to eat out every, single meal. You’ll be surprised at what $50-$75 in groceries can do for you in terms of saving a lot of money on a vacation. Try to eat on your own tab when you can.

Budget

Budget your money! Determine what you want to spend on lodgings and stick to it. Set a budget for the spontaneous and fun things you know will pop up. Set a budget for eating out. By simply budgeting, you’ll have a clearer idea of what you want to do, can afford to do and what you probably should do. And when you know what you should do and your goal is saving money, then, well – you’ll likely save yourself some coin.

Going to the beach doesn’t have to be expensive. Stick to the tips above and you’ll have a great time without the guilt afterwards that you went a little overboard. Get organized, stay disciplined and good luck!

Shell Shopping