Shelling tips to get back into the swing of things

It’s January now, but soon it’ll be February and you’ll be thinking about your vacation. Or you live down in the Florida area like we do and will be taking great relief in the fact that the weather is warming back up again. Either way – it’ll be time to hit the beach again – and for our inner shell nut – it’ll be time to let loose!

But like anyone who’s good at anything in this world, it’s always important to slowly work our way back into things – and that’s what we’re here to do today! Here are some shelling tips that’ll help you get the new season started on the right foot!

Where should I go shelling when I’m on vacation?

Well honestly, it depends a lot on where you’re shelling. If we knew where the best shells would be all the time, I know a select few would probably have all of them! And honestly, even if I did and was unselfish about it – it’s kind of taking the fun out of things. Shelling is like a treasure hunt and finding that missing piece or that long sought after shell; that’s the best part about it!


Look at the tides for the days you’ll be on vacation. Usually your best times to go are about an hour before and an hour after low tide. If you need to find local tide charts, you can find them easily online.


Why is the moon so important? Because the moon often has a dramatic impact on the breadth of the tides. Full moons generally have the greatest impact, while crescent moons have the least. But when the Moon is at it’s moodiest is when you can find some of the most exotic shells.

Knowing what you’re looking for 

If you’re after a certain type of shell – there are a ton of helpful resources online that’ll not only help you identify the shell, but also provide you with charts and maps as to where those can be found. Hopefully the shell you’re looking for is close to where you’re vacationing.

Don’t forget to clean those shells!

Cleaning is a major part of a shelling experience that’ll bring the highest degree of satisfaction. It’ll help shells maintain the color and from there – it’s really up to you how you display them or use them in crafts. Just be sure to get the salt and sand off and dry them properly.

Good luck! Peak shelling time is right around the corner!

Why the beach is best in the winter

People often associate the summer with being the best time to go to the beach, but we’re here to tell you that the winter offers just as much, if not more opportunity on the coast – especially down here in Florida.

In fact, many of your favorite activities are still available to you and at less cost and with a whole lot less hassle. Here are some of our favorite things to do in the winter at the beach and why in many ways – we prefer it.

It’s peak shelling time – Believe it or not – the winter time is often considered to be the best time to go shelling at the beach. It sounds, a little counter-intuitive, right? But alas, it’s not. There’s a lot less traffic on the beach in the winter months, which means a dramatically increased selection.

It’s actually not all that cold – Here in Florida, it’s never really ‘cold’ in a meaningful sense, with average temperature steadily lingering in the mid 69’s to mid 70’s, making it the perfect time to get some much needed rest and relaxation.

Gorgeous sunsets – Sometimes it’s overstated, but there simply isn’t a better time to take in the sites and sounds of the Florida coasts than the winter. While the summer heat can add in the haze of humidity, the atmosphere in the winter is crisp and clear in the winter months and around every corner is a picture perfect moment just waiting to happen.

The holidays – From celebrations, shopping deals and bonfires – it’s all there. While a beach Christmas isn’t for everyone – it’s certainly something that should experienced in life at least once.

Smaller crowds – Summer time is always beach time for most people, but the winter is so full of opportunity to avoid the throngs of people. You don’t have to make reservations at popular restaurants, wait in long lines, jockey for towel space on the beach, nothing.

So there you have it – don’t underestimate what places like Florida can offer you in the winter! Do you have any winter time activities you like to take part in at the beach? Leave a comment below!

Crafting Christmas Ornaments out of seashells

The holiday season is upon us and if you’re anything like us, it’s one of your favorite times of the year! And not only is it fun to give gifts and do all those holiday related activities with your family and friends – it’s a great time to craft. In our specific case – it’s an awesome excuse to craft our own Christmas Tree Ornaments.

And what else would be using? Shells of course!

Now your options are really limitless in terms of how, where why when and how you make seashell ornaments. I’ve seen large, ornate, polished ornaments, I’ve seen them adorn trees strung together and I’ve seen stand alone, simple shells placed inside the tree. What style you use to make yours with is up to you – and that’s what makes it fun and worthwhile – especially if you value individuality and uniqueness in your family’s Christmas tree presentation.

All that being said, there are some basic tips that can get you off on the right foot – tips that we’re here to discuss today. Here are some things you can do to make a great Christmas Tree Ornament out of seashells.

Let’s jump right in!

Step-1 – Be sure to clean your shells and take any debris and dust that’s accumulated inside. It’s also not a bad idea to bleach your shells if you have a chance. This will help take off any grayed or off-colored appearance that your shell may have. Once you’ve soaked them, let them dry completely.

Step-2 – Once they’re dried off, use a small drill bit (you can get one at any crafting store or even hardware store) to drill a hole into the part of the shell that you’re looking to thread the ribbon through that you’ll use to hang your ornament.

Step-3 – From here – you can get as creative as you want! Some people like to put a bow on the back of the shell to give it some extra pop and others just prefer to thread the newly drilled hole and hang it like any other ornament – saving the bling-bling for the body of the shell itself. For those of you who choose to go the full-blown bow route – steal some fishing line from somewhere else in the house and you can quietly use that within your ornament to serve as the hanger. This way – all the focus will be on the flash, style and substance of the bow and shell – and not how it’s hung from the tree.

Step-4 – Here’s the fun part! Now you can decorate your shell. You can use fabric roses, lace, more strands of ribbon, glitter – literally anything you want. If you’re looking for some inspiration, we certainly recommend heading over to sites like Pinterest – which has lots of interesting patterns you can deploy. So long as you have a glue gun – you can make practically anything!

Our takeaway tip would be that if you want to give your ornament one, final more earthy touch – to spray it with polyurethane to help seal up the shell’s pours and go with a more natural look. Yes – it’ll take some of the ‘pop’ away from the ornament, but it’ll also ensure that the shell looks nice and balance – and will also last longer.

Enjoy your holiday season and we’ll see you back here next month!

Shells as accents

We make no bones about it – we’re in the seashell collecting and decorating business, so it’s our job to get you excited about all the great décor that shells can bring to your living space. This month, we’re going to tighten up that focus a bit and talk a little bit about the many ways shells can be used to take those under the radar accents and make them that much better. You’d be surprised at some of the ideas that might be right under your nose that can take your beach-themed space to the next level

Let’s jump right in!

Shell candles

One of the most under appreciated uses for certain conch species of seashells is using them as candleholders. And yes – you heard that right. You can pour wax into the shells themselves and create spectacular looking decorations that can compliment any table setting – but even better – can be used in windows. They’re simple, sturdy, safe and stand next to no chance of causing any kind of a hazard.

And oh yeah – they look great.

Plant pots

One great way to accent any display is to use plants and flowers. Now imagine instead of using simple pots and vases – that you used an actual shell. Now while we wouldn’t recommend this solution for bold centerpieces, they make incredible accents. And what makes them even more fun is the bold colors that plants have- and the bold colors that shells have. Put the two together and you can add an incredible amount of pomp to almost any setting.

Light covers 

We recommend this more for say – Christmas lights – but if you really want to bring the intricate shapeliness of a shell to life through light- there’s simply no better way. Shells can often be applied to Christmas lights via simple adhesives. And those shells can take even the most menial colors and patterns – and make them pop all the more ferociously in even the simplest of spaces.

Bottle covers

Everyone loves the classic concept of the message in a bottle. Imagine bringing that to life with a cork fashioned with a shell! Not only will it make those bottles seem more earthy and authentic – but they make the bottles actually, well – useful. It’s easier to get the tops on an off and depending on what you want to put in them you can organize them simply – either through the shape or color of the shell itself.

Do you have any cool ideas as to how to use shells to accent your space? Let us know in the comments below!

What makes shelling so great?

Like a lot of people who get into shelling, we can’t really hide our problem. We really, really love it to the point where we’ve turned a hobby into a business. But the business alone isn’t why we do it. We do it because we love it.

And we think you might love it too. It’s more than just something to watch your kids do at a beach; it can be a hobby that can serve as a shared experience to create memories that will last forever. There’s so much to do, explore and the open-endedness of it all is what makes it so much fun. It can simply be whatever you want it to be.

So why do we like shelling so much? Why should you? Well, that’s what we’re here to talk about this month. Let’s jump right in.

Treasure hunter syndrome

Sand, mud, rocks, seaweed – you can see seashells everywhere. You can go every day and the landscape you combed yesterday is completely different from the one you traversed the day before. Some days you see nothing. Other days, you find a mother-load of great shells effortlessly. It’s fun and always ever-changing. 

Each shell is its own unique piece of art

The great thing about shells is that they’re all different – every single one of them. They can be used as stand alone pieces, they can compliment things in your house, they can be centerpiece art all on their own – the possibilities, interpretation and story behind each one is unique, interesting and valuable.

All the things you can do

One of the best things about shelling is that it’s not just A THING you can do, but it’s HOW you can do it and all the things you can do WITH the shells once you’re done. It’s a romantic night combing the beach with a spouse. It’s great to shell in solitude and just be left with your thoughts. It’s enjoyable in a completely different way with children and grandchildren.

And it’s not just who you do it WITH, it’s what you can do afterwards. Shells can be great décor. They can be bookends, paper weights, they can hold pens and pencils, coins, plants… they can be used to adorn mirrors, lamps, coffee tables – or if you’d like you can even make jewelry out of them. Some people use them as unique utensils in some cases. So long story, short – the possibilities of the who, what, where, why when and how are virtually limitless.

Seashell crafts that will make your summer memories last

As summer winds down – so does our shelling season. But what’s just getting started is the time to craft with all those shells you collected! The fall and winter are great times to create crafts, goods and other nick knacks that can help you remember the fun times and memories you created over the summer months. Whether its with family, friends or even your spouse – it’s a great time to make something special to share with those who matter the most.

Seashell ornaments

Nothing warms you up or makes you look back at those summer memories quite like seashells – and nothing will do the trick quite as well as making an ornament out of your seashells. They can be great gifts as well for your loved ones or the people who have shared in those memories with you.


With kids headed back to school, key chains are a nice add-on to a backpack or (feel the dread) – as a keychain for a first car. Then again – you’re worth taking care of, too! They make a nice accessory for your bag or tote as well!

Garden pots

Nothing can make your gardens pop in the grayer weather quite like a seashell adorned pot. They look incredible in the summer and during peak beach weather – but they can serve a purpose in the offseason as well!

Seashell Jewelry

An especially fun project to do with young kids – making jewelry can be a great bonding opportunity with your children. But don’t be fooled – it’s not just for the kids. You can add beautiful chains, add good-sized shells like mussel shells and create some truly beautiful pieces.

Shell wreath

Look if you’re in Florida like we are – or in another coastal area where maybe you don’t get a lot of snow and not as much cold – you always have to get a little creative in how you celebrate the holidays. And one way is to create a wreath out of seashells. We usually recommend mussels and clam shells just because they’re the biggest, but this can be done with just about anything.

What kinds of creative ideas do you have? Share them below!

5 ways you can decorate using seashells

Part of the challenge for us shellers isn’t so much how we get and find our shells – but what you use them for once you get them. Today, we’ve got five decorative ideas as to how you can use your haul once you get it. From settling a room with a lot of pop to making busier places seem more relaxing, shells can fit a variety of needs – of which we’ll share with you today. Let’s jump right in!

Being a little more shelf aware

You can add a little coastal flavor to any room by decorating them with shells – discovered and otherwise. Especially when they’re added in baskets, as book ends or even as stand alone decorations, shells can add a pretty finish to almost any room.

Beautiful borders

Seashells tend to come in earthy tones – so especially when it comes to lighter, friendlier accents, shells can help keep a picture frame, mirror or border grounded by adorning them with shells. They can certainly add flair to any wall accent you have.

Desk sets

Nothing can take the edge off the workplace or home office like shells can. Whether it’s adorning your lamp with them, filling decorative jars or even using them as catch-all bins and baskets for the clutter our busier clients are bound to accumulate – they can take your productive spaces and give them a more relaxing or even a more edgy feel.

Toping it off

A new trend among more creative shellers has been to adorn bottle tops with shells. And they’re surprisingly practical as well – especially when you’re looking to give some added pop to your liquor cabinet or pry that pesky cork out of the top of a wine bottle. Attaching them is easy and it can add either a more modern, dynamic look or give some classical gravitas to your setting 

Bedside cameos

Shells can be used in all sorts of ways – from practical bowls for things like earrings, bracelets, cellphones, hair ties and the like – to just plain, old making your otherwise boring bedside décor pop a little more. Especially popular in beach side homes, shells can help bring your sleeping space to life!

Good luck and happy creating!

The best shelling beaches in the United States

One of the most enjoyable aspects of shelling is the treasure hunt itself. Long story, short – you just never know what you’ll find. This month we elected to stray off the beaten path a bit (literally) and discuss some of the world’s most popular beaches for shelling in the US.

Calvert Cliffs State Park, Maryland

Located along the Chesapeake Bay, this beach was formed almost 20 million years ago. It’s gorgeous largely because it’s covered in cliffs that once upon a time, were submerged in water. Occasionally, its rocky slopes will drop fossils, shark teeth and other interesting tidbits. Also – if you’re into scallops, clams and oysters – the meat and their shells – you’ll love Calvert Cliffs.

Sanibel Island, Florida

Located a bit south of us off the coast of For Myers – natives of Sanibel Island often joke that you can tell who visitors are because they’re always bent over picking up shells. And whew – the shells you will find! Coquinas, scallops, olives, tulips, conchs and lightning whelks can be found in abundance. Simply put – it’s one of the premier spots for shell collectors.

Oracoke Island, North Carolina

As the tip of North Carolina’s outer banks, Oracoke is home to abundance of natural wild life and of course – seashells! It also happens to be a beachcomber’s paradise. You’ll find a little of everything here, from Scotch Bonnets, clams, periwinkles and over 20 other species and subspecies of shells. Also – this beach tends to be a little weedy, but don’t let that scare you away! Weed through those weeds and you’re sure to find some interesting shells hiding underneath.

Galveston Island, Texas

The western end of this 32-mile long island is an incredible spot for shelling. There, you’ll find over 60 species of shells, including murex, marsh shells, shark’s eyes, clams and more. The Sea Shell Beach Pocket Park is usually where all the real action is. Especially after a storm or at some point during the winter, you’ll be able to find virtually any kind of Gulf Coast shell you can imagine.

In closing, remember that no matter your setting, treat the beach with respect and be a steward of the seashore. If you find a shell with a live animal in it, put it back where you found it. Also be sure to ask about local restrictions on shelling when you reach your destination. And finally – if you’re traveling abroad, be sure your country allows you to export the shells you’ve found.

Shelling for beginners part-2

So last month we discussed some tips to get you started on your shelling adventure; things like where to shell, when to shell and what time to look for them. Well this week, instead of going over ‘best practices’ so to speak – we’ll give you a quick run down of some of the common types of shells you’ll run across so you have some sort of idea of what you’re looking at.

We’ll keep it to the basic well-known four, so you can commit it to memory. Let’s jump right in!

Cone Shells

Cone shells are exactly how they sound: cone-shaped. Now, we could almost write an entire blog on cone shells on their own – largely because there’s over 600 species throughout the world and all of them have a similar, distinct design: shaped just like a cone, flat top, slit like lip that runs the length of the shell. That’s literally all of them. In fact, there are some shellers who collect just cone shells and that’s it. Simply put, they’re some of the most common shells you’ll find on the beach.

Moon shells

Moon shells look almost exactly like a snail’s shell – or like a giant, over sugared cinnamon bun. You’ll find tons of these in Florida and up and down the east coast if that’s your desired stomping grounds. They tend to vary widely in shape – from one inch in length to as long as five inches. To the touch however, they feel almost completely round even though they’re not. They’re extremely smooth and are characterized by their smooth striped appearance and short spires.


Hot and cold, tropical to arctic – the extremes are what characterize the whelk shell. If you’re in a place where it’s super cold – you’ll find whelks. If you’re in a tropical setting – you’ll see plenty of them, too! It’s the in-between where you won’t find them. In a way, whelks look like trees – or one of those old Olympic cauldrons that hold the flame. What’s interesting though – is that you can tell whether you’re dealing with cold weather whelk or a tropical whelk by how thick the shells are and wouldn’t you know – the thicker the shell – the hotter the climate that whelk comes from. You’d think it’d be the opposite, but alas – it’s not.


Conch shells are probably the most popular or well known sea shell there is. Moanna wears one around her neck. Ursula stole Ariel’s voice and hid it in one. They’re in movies, they’re symbolic… and they’re probably in everyone’s beach house. They can be small, but they also can be quite large. Everyone’s probably picked one up, held it to their ear and ‘listened’ to the ocean. You’ll find these cool kids in Florida and other tropical areas. They’re pretty common, but that’s a good thing – because they look great in your home.

Next month, we’ll discuss some great ideas for home décor with some of your big finds. Until then, happy shelling!

Shelling for beginners part-1

Collecting, selling, buying and decorating with seashells is just flat-out fun and easy to get into no matter your age. For those looking to get the best out of their presumably new experience, we’ve got a fun two-part blog for you based on some tips we’re willing to share out to folks new to the hobby. Let’s jump right in!

Tip #1 – The best time to go shelling

Beaches can change every day, but as such – tide charts are usually your best bet when attempting to identify the best time to go shelling. Generally speaking, however – an hour before or after low tide is almost always the best time to search for shells 

Tip #2 – If you can, stay closer to the beach

Shelling is fun, but more shelling is more fun. The more time you have to quite literally pound the sand, the more likely you are to find the kinds of shells you want to. But from a purely logistical standpoint, you’ll also have early access to beach front in the morning and won’t have to participate in the daily parking battle.

Tip #3 – The Moon is your friend

Always try to keep an eye on the different phases of the moon. Full moons mean more extreme tides. The more extreme the tide – the better time it is for you to go shelling.

Tip #4 – Be careful how you clean your shells

There are all sorts of ways you can clean a sea shell. You can use water, water/bleach solutions… even muriatic acid solution. But be sure to do your homework on your shells because not all shells are compatible with those solutions and you may end up actually damaging some shells by doing that. Cleaning is a big part of this hobby – so make sure to do your studying

Tip #5 – Learn your shells

One of the most enjoyable aspects of shelling is the sheer volume and diversity of the shells that are out there. Hunting them down and trying to find the ones you want to add to your collection is well worth the time and energy. It’s also worth noting that it’s easier to find certain shells in certain locations; so knowing where to go and when can mean the difference between finding that last piece to a spectacular spread or not finding it at all. If you’re new to the game, easy to follow guides like this one can be invaluable.


Next week, we’ll come back with a few more tips n’ tricks that you can use to get off to a fun start shelling!