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Seashell Art

Introduction Paragraph:

Using just a few simple materials, marbled seashell art is a fun and exciting summer craft to showcase your creativity! This activity is perfect for preschool and school aged children as it includes easy-to-use materials and allows you to practice your fine motor skills with mixing and painting. Display your seashells in your home or bring them in for Show and Tell!


  • Seashells (white clam shells; at least 5)

  • Liquid food coloring (any colors)

  • Shaving cream

  • Plastic tray

  • Chopsticks or plastic straws

  • Paper towels

Activity Steps:

Step 1: First, gather all of your materials. Most of these items you probably already have at home, but you may need to buy one or two items. You might need to get your own seashells. A fun way to gather your own seashells is to take a trip to the beach and search for your own, but if you don’t live near a beach you can always take a trip to the craft store and pick some out! Did you know that the best time to look for shells is after a storm? Make sure they are white clam shells. They don’t need to be all the same size. Also, make sure you have at least 5 seashells to decorate; you can decorate more if you’d like! After you gather all of your materials, lay them out on a flat, clean workspace. It’s helpful to lay a newspaper down on your surface because this activity may get a little messy.

Step 2: Now it’s time to get started! First, grab your seashells and make sure they are clean and dry. If your seashells are from the beach, you will probably have to wipe them down to make sure they are completely clean. You can use a toothbrush with soap and water to scrub the shells. Your shells don’t need to be completely whole either. You can use broken shells or pieces of shells if you’d like, too!

Step 3: Next, take your tray and fill it with shaving cream. There’s no specific amount that you need. I am adding 3 squirts of shaving cream. You can always add more later if you need.

Step 4: After your tray is filled with shaving cream, squeeze your food coloring onto the shaving cream. Make sure you are using liquid food coloring. The gel food coloring won’t work as well. I am using blue, orange, pink, and purple for my colors. You can use whatever colors you’d like! Maybe you want to use your favorite colors. You can choose to squeeze all of your colors right on top of each other so that you create a rainbow, or you can spread the colors out on the shaving cream so that when you decorate your seashell, each shell is a different color. It’s your choice!

Step 5: Next, take your chopsticks or plastic straws and make a marbled pattern in the shaving cream. To make a marbled pattern, use the bamboo skewers to swirl the food coloring into the shaving cream by making circles or the number 8 pattern. Again, you can mix all the colors together or do one color at a time.

Step 6: Now take one of your shells and dip it into the shaving cream. You are going to dip the side of the shell that has the ridges or bumps. As you are dipping the shell, scoop up some of the shaving cream onto the side of the shell that has the ridges or bumps. After, take a paper towel and wipe the shaving cream off of the shell. Do you see the marble pattern on the shell? Isn’t that cool?! Once you wipe off the shaving cream, place the shell on another paper towel to dry.

Step 7: Repeat Step 6 for each of your shells. You can experiment with different patterns and color combinations. You can make multi-colored shells or shells that are each different colors! You can also try dipping one side of the shell in one color and then the other side of the shell in a different color. Be creative!

Now you have your marbled seashells! Pretty cool right?! After they are all dried, you can display them in your room or your house. This activity is one you can do over and over again with friends and family. Each time your shells will look different! Maybe you want to experiment with shells that are different shapes and sizes! There are over 1,000 types of shells so there’s so many possibilities!

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