This seashell craft is a fairly easy project. It takes a bit of patience since there are 2 sides to lay the design on.

First Side of Seashell Craft Project

Compact Disc Seashell Craft - Project 1Credit: Angelo Rodriguez PhotosCredit: Angelo Rodriguez Photos


  • Compact Disk
  • Seashells
  • Faux Pearls
  • Rhinestones
  • Fishing Line
  • Elmer's Glue-All or equivalent
  • Polyurethane - gloss or semi-gloss
  • Hobby brushes
  • Newspaper
  • Drill and Drill Bit

Prepare the Compact Disk:

The compact disc for this seashell craft project can be one you have laying around that you no longer want, a CD received through the mail, or one that no longer works. You can also use DVD discs. You can also buy blank compact discs from office supply and discount stores.

 The first thing to do is clean any fingerprints, oils, and dust off the surface of the Compact Disk. Use dish soap and water, rinse very well, and use a clean towel to dry it completely. Clean both sides of the CD as this arts and crafts project uses both sides.

Use a small drill bit, maybe 1/8” or so to make a small hole near the edge. Make the hole on the CD about ¼” from the edge. You will be tying fish string to this hole, so it becomes your “top of the CD” marker. Brush off any plastic pieces and dust.

Now you are going to sand your compact disk. No you’re not going to use sand paper on the surfaces you are actually going to cover the surfaces with sand. Place your newspaper or something similar under the CD to catch the leftover sand.

First apply some Elmer’s glue to the disk surface. Use a brush to spread or paint the glue all over the surface. Try to spread the glue out evenly. Now pour sand over the glue. Make sure you cover all of it. Lightly pat the sand down with your fingers. This will help more of the sand stick to the glue.

Set the whole mess aside to dry. A couple of hours should do, depending on the humidity of the air. When you think it’s dry, lightly shake off the loose sand. Gather it up and return it to your container. You’ll need it again soon enough.

Check the hole you drilled into the CD and clean it out if it’s clogged up with sand.

Guess what you get to do to the seashell craft now? Yep, do the same thing on the other side of the CD. Apply glue to the surface, spread it out, apply your sand, let it dry, and shake off the loose sand. You should now have a CD that is covered in sand on both sides. Collect the loose sand and return it to your container. Clear out the drilled hole if you need to.

Now that both sides of the CD are covered in sand you need to seal the sand. Apply a coat of polyurethane. Pick a side and cover the sand with the polyurethane. Wait for it to dry, then flip it over, and cover the sand on the other side. This seal will protect the sand, bring out some shine, and help seal it better on the CD. Wait for it all to dry and then go on to applying the design.

Apply the design:

Take another look at the photo. See how the seashells, pearls, and rhinestones are laid. You may want to print the photo out so you can have it nearby as a reference.  Place your sand covered CD on your workspace. You should have a sheet or two of newspaper under the CD to catch any loose sand.

If you can’t find the seashells while beachcombing you can buy them from seashell stores, craft stores, and sometimes discount stores. Take a look on the web for craft seashells. You can find the rhinestones and pearls the same way.

First let’s lay out your seashells, pearls, and rhinestones on the CD surface.  Don’t glue them yet, just put them in place so you can see how they fit in the design. Remember to use the hole you drilled into the CD as your top center point, since that hole is how you will hang the finished craft item.

Try to get your seashell craft design layout as close as you can to the design shown on the photos. This will give you a good idea of how the seashells and other items will lay on the CD. Now that you have done your practice run, get out your glue and start your craft project.

Start the cd project by placing the bigger shells in the center of the design. Apply glue to the edges of the seashells and put them in place. Then do the same for the seashells that go up toward the drilled hole. The center seashell needs to be big enough to cover the center hole in the CD.

Next place the pearls on the seashell craft. In this case, it is easier to apply a drop of glue directly on the CD and then place the pearls on the glue.

Place the two outer edge seashells on the disc. Use the same method as for the pearls if you use rounded type seashells, or apply directly to the seashell edges if using flats.

Now place a rhinestone, one above each side seashell and one below each of them. Apply the glue to the CD and place the rhinestone on the glue.

At this time take a pause, look over the placement of the shells and compare it to the photo. Make any adjustments you feel you want to the seashell craft.

Take out your sand and pour some sand around each seashell, pearl, and rhinestone. This will cover the glue that has seeped out from under your placements and help blend the edges into the sand on the CD. Set aside to dry. This can take a couple of hours or more depending on the glue you used and the humidity in the air.

Once it’s dry lightly shake off the loose sand and collect it up for later use.

OK? The final phase of the design is now in hand. You’ll need 12 to 14 small seashells. You can either apply the glue to the shells and then place them on the CD, or put drops of glue on the CD and then place the shells on the glue. Wind the shells between the seashells, pearls, and rhinestones you already have placed on the disk. They should wind around and in-between, similar to the photo. Place all your shells then check them out.

Now pour sand around each of these shells and the set the whole craft aside to dry.  Once dry, shake off the loose sand and take a look. Apply a coat of polyurethane paint to the seashells and the new sand. Try not to get any on the pearls or the rhinestones.  Yeah! You have successfully completed half the seashell craft project.

Second Side of CD Seashell Craft Project

Second Side of Seashell Craft ProjectCredit: Angelo Rodriguez PhotosCredit: Angelo Rodriguez Photos

Finishing the project:

Now that the first half of the CD has been crafted, turn it over and do the same thing to the other side. Just follow the steps above. When you are done set the craft aside to let it dry.

If the project is dry you can finish it off by getting some fishing string and making a hanger for the disk from it. Fishing line makes a great hanger for this cd craft because it is strong yet barely visible. For this seashell project 8lb fishing line was used but 10 or 12 lb will work just as well. You can get fishing line just about anywhere. Look in the sporting goods department of your local discount store.

Cut about a foot and a half of string. Thread it through the hole you drilled out, which should be at the top of the design. Tie it off.  About a foot up from the CD, make a loop and tie that off. You should now have a beautifully hand crafted seashells CD with a hanger.

CD Seashell Craft Hanging from the Ceiling

CD Seasehll Craft Project 1Credit: Angelo Rodriguez PhotosCredit: Angelo Rodriguez Photos

Using Your Handcrafted Decorative CD Hanger

Hang your CD hanger from a ceiling, overhead beam, or other such place. Use a decorative ceiling hook or a cup hook. You can get these at just about any discount store or your local hardware store.

Enjoy your project. If you have any tips, suggestions, or comments you wish to share, please do so.


This project is not recommended for children or folks who like to place items in their mouths. The small pieces can become a choking hazard. Adult supervision is highly recommended.


Change the length of the string if you are not sure how the cd craft will hang in your chosen spot. A longer string can always be shortened as needed to allow the seashell craft to hang well. 

Paper or a flexible place mat should be used under the project. It will not only protect your work surface but make it easier to recycle loose sand.