I love dreaming up ocean themed crafts that the whole family can do together and found some inexpensive ceramic tiles at Home Depot for the base of these two Nautilus shell plaques.
I can’t decide which is my favorite! The Nautilus mosaic or the dyed sand art shell:
Both are easy to make because you make an outline of hot glue so it is easy to “stay in the lines.”
The 6″ x 6″ tiles are really inexpensive and make a great plaque to set in an easel.
The pdf print out will be located at the end of this post. If you want to make your own shell plaque print it out and use some graphite paper to transfer the design to your tile. After I got the outline on the tile, I squirted a thin stream of hot glue over all the lines. It is hard to get a photo of the hot glue, but it is there!
Take felt pens and try out your design to see if the pattern will look good. If you have colored sand, you are ready to start. I only had one color of sand so I had to use some food color to dye the sand and make other colors.
I liked the blue sand I got at the Dollar Tree and put some of the blue sand in two different zip lock bags. Then I added some drops of green food dye in one bag and drops of blue the other. You keep “squishing” the sand in the bag until the dye is evenly distributed. I actually tried dying some of the sand from our beach but our sand has too much black in it (basalt!) It would be really fun to use sand you brought home from vacation and dye it different colors!
To fill each section with sand, use a nice layer of white glue (I like Aleene’s) and then fill with the sand patting it down into the glue. The hot glue makes a nice wall to separate the colors. I could have left the hot glue showing because there is nice contrast between the colors, but I like to add more elements. So I added lines of Lumiere in minty green.
Add magazine font for a touch of whimsy. I made my saying generic but you could personalize it with magazine font.
I made the mosaic themed Nautilus shell with the same process of hot glue outline and white glue in the sections, but used tweezers to put small pieces of abalone shell to make a mosaic. As I filled each section I sprinkled a different shade of extra fine glitter on the freshly glued section for a little contrast between sections.
I added some chip board glitter letters to spell “SEA” and went over all the lines with silver Stickles.
These tiles are an easy project to make with the kids or grand kids or are a relaxing craft to make in an hour. The tiles would make pretty gifts too!
Print out the pdf to make your own shell: