Dolphin and Shark Seashell CraftCredit: Shellcrafter PhotosCredit: Shellcrafter Photos

Seashell Craft Materials

  • Shark figure
  • Dolphin figure
  • Fish
  • Wood base
  • Seashells
  • Coral
  • Sand
  • Hot glue and glue gun
  • White glue
  • Blue paint
  • White paint
  • Wood stain (optional)
  • Polyurethane paint
  • Sandpaper
  • Paint brush
  • Paper

Preparing the Seashell Art Project

Let us start with the wood base for the seashell craft. The
base I used is an oval base that was bought at the local craft store. Remove
any stickers that have been applied to the wood and use fine grade sandpaper to
lightly sand it all over.

If there are any rough spots (since these small wood bases
are inexpensive they usually have a rough spot or two) use a medium or course
sandpaper to smooth the area out and then finish the sanding with the fine
sandpaper. Wipe the base to remove the wood dust and particles.

If you want to apply a stain to the wood you should probably
do it now. You can apply the stain over all the wood or leave the flat part on
top bare since it will be covered in sand shortly.

Pick out a coral piece that fits nicely on the base. The one
used for this seashell project was found during a beachcombing expedition along
the Pompano Beach (Florida) shore. Some seashell stores will sell inexpensive
pieces of coral for crafting. You can also pick up various craft seashells and
inexpensive seashell bundles for your seashell craft at these stores.

To hold the water that the dolphin leaps out of, use a clam
seashell that’s about 2 inches around. Fill the “scoop” side of the clam
seashell with hot glue and stick the dolphin’s tail in the glue. If the clam
seashell is deep, layer the glue by applying some inside the clam – wait for it
to set – then add more glue.

Once the glue sets, and the dolphin’s in the position you
want, rough up the glue by using the glue gun tip to make shallow ridges and
troughs in the glue. Then paint the glue with the blue paint and use the white
paint to high light the ridges. This should make it seem as though the “water”
for this seashell craft has been agitated by the leaping dolphin.

By the way, finding figures of dolphins, sharks and other
sea critters is not easy. You can search on-line for stores that sell miniature
figures or try a gel candle supply store. Sometimes folks sell them on E-bay
and other auction type sites. They sometimes can be found at gift stores,
especially near the beaches and at flea markets.

The shark may or may not come on a base. If not, you can
make a simple base for the shark by gluing the shark on the top of a small
piece of coral or a seashell. Dry fit the two pieces first and the bottom part
which is going on the base should be somewhat flat.

Go back to the base you will use for this seashell craft.
Add white glue to the flat top of the base and spread it around with a paint
brush. There should be a nice thin layer of glue over the whole of the flat
part of the base.

Sprinkle sand over the wet glue until it is all covered. Set
the base aside to allow the glue to dry. Use a piece of paper, newspaper will
do, under the seashell project base and you can move the whole thing over to
one side.

Once the glue has dried remove any loose sand by tilting the
base over the paper. You can now collect the loose sand and return it to your

Assembling the Seashell Art Project

Position the coral piece, without glue, on the base. Check
that there is some space in front of it for the shark. You may also want to try
out the clam seashell with the dolphin to see how it fits on your coral. If you
do not like the way they fit and look try a different piece of coral until you
are happy.

Apply white glue to the bottom of the coral piece and place
it on the base of your seashell craft. Make sure the coral is in the right
position as you determined in the previous step. Consider letting the glue dry
before continuing.

Apply white glue to the bottom of the clam with the dolphin.
Position it on top of the coral and let it sit until the glue dries.

Place the fish on the coral underneath the clam holding the
dolphin. The head should face outward. If possible stick the fish’s tail into a
crevice. Glue the fish to the coral.

Set the shark on its holder in front of the “reef” you
just created. Glue the shark base to the wood base right on the sand.

You should now have all the major pieces of this seashell
craft in position and glued to the base.


Finishing the Seashell Art Project

Find smaller seashells you like, I used dove seashells in
various sizes and colors, and glue them here and there over the coral. Place
them on all sides of the coral.

If there is enough space in front of the coral where the
shark should be, consider adding seashells there also. You can add more snail
type of seashells or a different type altogether.

Use clear gloss or high gloss polyurethane paint to protect
the seashell craft. Apply it on the coral and seashells and the sand. If you
used a resin dolphin or shark you can paint them also. A coat over the wood
stain won’t hurt either. Just don’t paint any glass, porcelain, or ceramic

Once the seashell project is dry you can place it on any
flat surface, same as any other knick knack you may have around. It will look
especially good near any other nautical or beach themed items you may have such
as a boat, lighthouse, netting, or another seashell craft.


To enhance the look of this seashell arts and crafts try
adding a pearl or a small starfish. A little crab would also look nice.

Let the glue dry between additions. If the glue is still wet
the items you have already placed on the seashell craft could move and you may
have to start over.

You can also use the glue to add patterns of sand on areas
of the coral. Apply small amounts of glue and paint the areas you want to add
sand to then sprinkle sand on the glue. Let dry and remove the loose sand.


This seashell craft is not recommended for children or
adults who like to stick small items in their mouths. They could choke.

Glue guns get hot. Please be careful when using a glue gun
not to burn yourself or someone near you.


Seashell craft Dolphin and Shark Top ViewCredit: Shellcrafter PhotosCredit: Shellcrafter Photos