Sea Shell Collage

My mother was always trying creative ways to keep us kids busy. macollageThere were four of us with varying interests, so it was a constant challenge. One of the things I always liked doing, was making shell collages. We would go down to the beach, and search among the beach wrack for the perfect shell and piece of driftwood on which to mount our treasures. In the more than 40 years that I have been making collages, the one my mother did, over three decades ago, still serves as my inspiration.

Sea lavender / lichen
Board or driftwood
Spray paint – silver
Spray shellac/varnish


  1. Collect treasures from the sea, shells, glass, rocks … even sea lavender, lichen, small hemlock or spruce cones.
  2. Find a board on which to mount them. I have used old cedar shingles, but the best is a piece of drift wood.
  3. Spray paint wood a color of your choosing, or just leave plain. Let the spray paint dry.
  4. Arrange shells on board. Once you have a design you like, carefully take away the board, and re-glue shells. You don’t want to glue shells initially, because you want some flexibility to try the design out, and move things around.

Once everything is glued down, and you are happy with your collage, finish with a spray coating of varnish or shellac.


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