Shabby beach cottage framed seashells

Boring old plain brown frames . . .

Painted them my fav color of beachy blue.

Then distressed them.

And usually I just sell them like this.  Which is fine, and they ALWAYS sell quickly.  But I’m readying product for a special trunk show at a friend’s shop and I wanted something NEW and exciting to offer.

I was trying to think of something that could be hung in the center of the frame.  Oh!  OH !!!  OH!!  I have a few BIG shells that I got at a rummage sale a while back!  I wonder if they’d fit?!?!?


To say that I LOVE how these turned out (especially THIS one with the starfish, my ONLY starfish!) is a total understatement.  This is in the ‘top ten’ of my most favorite things I’ve ever created.  Maybe even at the TOP of the top ten!

I just used some e6000 adhesive to attach the shell to the frame.

I have a few more of thee scallop shells, but that starfish was my ‘one and only’.  I’m hunting for more, if anyone has a good source for buying them they’d care to share with me.  I’ve been searching the net for weeks for starfish.  I want some BIG ones to frame and some little ones to add to my little ‘candy’ boxes of shells and sea glass.

I’m on the hunt for some more frames like this too; thick sided with small openings.

Definitely at the TOP of my top ten favs!

More treasures from the sea . . .

Little thrifted wood card box with hinged lid.

Even still had some cards in it!  I’ll figure out something to do with the cards, but I bought it MOSTLY for the box; to fill with shells.

First I applied a piece of neutral colors scrapbook paper.  Then the front of a note card from this set.   And a bit of pretty copper-colored glitter on the shell.

A little more of the paper on the inside of the lid to dress it up a bit.  And a ‘treasures from the sea’ torn edge strip of paper that I had printed from my computer.  This box was big enough to hold nine of the little (bon-bon size) fluted paper cups.  I glue them into place and let the glue dry before I fill them, to help prevent things from spilling everywhere when the box is handled.

I was running out of kinds of shells to fill all the cups, so I did the center one with sand.  And I’ve since found some different sands  (colors & textures) at the dollar store to use in the future.

This one, along with the two shown in previous posts, have gone to my space at Stars Antique Mall; which is where I have most of the ‘beachy stuff’ for now.  Will be adding beachy things to Camas in the near future.

I’m thinking maybe next time I have a box with a ‘hard top’ like this one, that I’ll glue shells to the top!

Now I just need to find some of those tiny white starfish to use.  Looked at about a dozen links on-line and they’re all too expensive.  Any ideas where to find them CHEAP!  I want to also do a ‘seaglass and starfish wreath’!


New in the store: Saturday, June 7, 2008

Lots and LOTS of new things to show you this week.  I painted lots of birdhouses, frames and BIG candle pedestals . . . played with seashells . . . . got in some new scrapbook embellishments . . .

DON’T FORGET!!!  We are now open Saturdays only; 9 am – 4pm.  Nearly all the new items are ‘one of a kinds’.

Weathered beachy blue birdhouses.

LOVE the way these turquoise birdhouses stand out on this green chair!

There are also some WHITE spindle birdhouses like there.  I just forgot to take a picture of them!

Sugar cookie scent panrty jar candles.

One of a kind primitive red candle holder comes with the grubby candle.

Loooooong black primitive tray with cinnamon dusted votives.

Turquoise pedestal candle.

These next three candle pedestals were made from ONE vintage table leg cut into three pieces:

One of a kind framed grubby flag.

A few more little birdhouses on posts:

Little silicone dipped replacements bulbs have arrived!

LOVE this estate sale find clear ginger jar lamp filled with shells!

Lots of little jars of pretty shells too.

Primitive ‘carved’ black frame.

LOTS more black frames just in!

I ‘tried’ to get up close to show the detail on these . . .

And some shabby white frames:

And of course some turquoise frames!


More cottage beach decor ideas


These simple jars of shells were created with blank jars and shells purchased at the craft supply store.  I just glued a shell to the lid (with tacky glue) and tied on some jute and attached a tea stained tag.

Vintage cabinet just needed a little sanding to give it the ‘beach cottage feel’. 

Assorted signs using old painted fence boards.  I just hand sanded a little to remove the loose paint, then stenciled and stamped the letters on with acrylic paints.

Some of those signs worked into a display.

Another jar of shells and a shell candle which consists of a glass cylinder vase with the candle in it, set in the middle of the bell shaped glass container.  The shells are then placed between the two glass pieces.  This is a great way to create candle displays when you want to burn the candle, but not get wax all over your decorative components.

Framed shell saying on the left was created using a matted frame like the one shown on the right.  Tea stain your paper and mat.  Print saying on tea stained paper then tear out.  Glue onto another piece of tea stained paper.  Glue shells to mat.  And you’re done!

Blank frame arrangement on a shelf.  Frames with back and glass missing are easy to find (and very inexpensive!) at garage sales.  These were oak frames I painted assorted shades of aqua then lightly hand sanded to distress.

Shadow bos frame filled with shells.  Glass cylinder vase filled with sand, then shells and a candle.

The two glass bottles were ‘dressed up’ by adding inexpensive beaded bracelets to them.