You will need some materials so here is a list for you:
- a magnet
- 6 seashells
- 2 rhinestones (choose colors you like)
- sand, beach sand if possible
- glue, white all purpose
- a hobby paint brush or two
- polyurethane clear high gloss or semi-gloss liquid
Take a look at the magnet you are going to use. The one for this project 2" x 3 ½", which is the size of a business card. If you don't have any spare free magnets, you can usually find them at office supply stores in packets of 25 or 50. That's what I used here. They have a paper backing over a glued surface (for attaching business cards). Remove the paper backing and use the glued surface for the design.
Go through your seashell collection and look for seashells that will give you the pattern shown or a close copy of it. I used cardita seashells for the upper wings (look them up on the net). The center shells are a clam and a limpit. The lower wings are dove seashells. Pick out a couple of rhinestones to add the false eyes to your butterfly wings. They will also add color. As you can see, I chose light purple rhinestones for this shellcraft magnet.
Apply glue to the magnet. Spread it around with the paint brush until the whole surface of the magnet is covered. The glue needs to stay wet for a few minutes while you place the shellcraft design on the magnet surface.
Place the seashells for the butterfly's body first. That would be the middle ones. Next place the upper wings, one to each side of the "body". Then place the lower wings on the glue, again one to each side of the butterfly body. Take a look at the photo. Your seashells should more or less give you the same shape/design. Once you have them where you want them, add the rhinestones between the seashells.
Sprinkle sand over the whole seashell magnet project. You want to completely cover all the glue that is still showing.
Now comes the hard part: let the seashell butterfly magnet sit until the glue completely dries.
Once dry, pour off the excess sand.
To protect the shellcraft design, paint the project with the polyurethane. Paint the seashells and the sand but not the rhinestones. The poly will make the rhinestones dull. Let dry.
The final step is to enjoy your small seashell treasure. Put the seashell magnet on your refrigerator as decoration. They can also be used on file cabinets, or any other magnetic surface. Make a few and give them to friends, co-workers, and family.
- If your magnet is bigger or smaller than the one described in this article you can adjust the size of the seashells you use.
- Keep your sand in a container that is easy to pour from. It should also be fairly easy to return sand to. That way you can use the leftover sand for future projects.
- This project is not recommended for small children, especially if they like to put stuff into their mouths. The smallness of the seashells and the rhinestones could cause a choking hazard. Direct adult supervision is recommended.
- Do not place on surfaces that can get hot. Stoves and ovens come to mind.