Yesterday, I shared how to clean sea shells. And today, I’m going to show you what I’ve been doing with those clean shells. I’ve been making DIY painted sea shells!
This whole project started because I really love the look of Hawaii Sunrise Shells, but a good quality sunrise shell can be quite pricey. Hmmm…I had an entire basket of scallop shells leftover from my Giant DIY Seashell Seahorse project, so I decided to try and paint a sunrise shell. And you know what? The shells came out pretty darn good! The DIY painted sea shells look similar (not exact) to a sunrise shell and look fabulous wire wrapped or displayed in a bowl/vase.
DIY Painted Sea Shells – How to Paint Imitation Hawaii Sunrise Shells
Keep in mind, that sunrise shells vary in color quite a bit. The bright yellow/orange colored shells are referred to sunrise shells and the dark green/blue/purple shells are called moonrise, but are all the same native Hawaiian scallop shells.
DIY Painted Sea Shells Supplies:
- Clean scallop shells
- Acrylic paint – dark green, dark yellow, white, coral, orange, magenta, light pink, violet, blue
- Small paint brushes (have one thin enough to fit into the scallop grooves)
- Two bowls (for water)
- Paint tray
- Paper towels
- Gel acrylic nail polish top coat
DIY Painted Sea Shells Directions:
- Fill two bowls with water. One is for rinsing dirty brushes and the other for clean water.
- Add a drop of paint of each color you want to use in the paint tray.
- Brush water onto the entire front surface of the shell.
- Dip a paint brush into water and into a paint color. Dab the color onto the area of the shell you want colored and let the water ‘bleed’ the paint into the crevices of the shell.
- Continue to add paint in the color combination and pattern that you like, using an image of a sunrise shell for reference.
- You may need to let the paint slightly dry between coats and layer to get the look you want.
- If you feel you have added too much color, remove it with a clean wet brush before it dries.
The left shows the shell I was painting above with the first layer of paint. The right shows a shell that I completed with several layers of paint.
Once you’re happy with the way your shell looks, seal it with a coat of gel top coat. I tried using clear acrylic spray coat, but it didn’t give the same shine and ate away some of the acrylic paint.
When the shells are dry, you can display them in a vase or use them to create fun jewelry 🙂
I hope you enjoyed the tutorial and give DIY painted sea shells a try!