diy sea shell framesSo Lisa has a craft idea to make a sea shell picture frame craft for James's birthday party. We'll have five or six kids at the party, and we don't want to send them home with their fingers glued together. However, we DO want to send them home with as many of the sea shells as we can get rid of, even if Helena was diligent in collecting them when we were in Florida.




Difficulty: Easy

Time Needed: 10-30 minutes

Power Tools: None

Measuring: Eyeball it

Materials: $1 picture frame, all purpose Dap 18152 10.1-Ounce Acrylic Latex Caulk with Silicone, White , sea shells


Lisa went to the local craft store and the dollar store in search of advice and cheapo frames. I went online because I knew someone else must have done this before. The problem was that nobody seemed to have good ideas for the glue to use. The craft store said to use regular Elmer's Glue All. Lisa had thought tacky glue would be the best. I imagined using rubber cement, and I saw a site online that suggested Gorilla Glue. Both of us wanted to avoid the glue gun with little kids. Lisa bought the Elmer's glue, but when she tried it, it was runny and got all up inside the sea shells, wasting glue and making a mess. Then I saw a site that talked about using caulk for some other sea shell craft. I happened to have bought ten thingies of caulk when they were on sale dirt cheap with rebate, so I figured I'd give it a try. 

You need to find a nice flat frame. Lisa found some with a flat 1" border. White would be best, but we got black. No biggie.

Set the frame on a newspaper or place mat just in case. Our kids are three and five, and they made NO mess, so that was a bonus, but your kids might get interested in the gooey substance. Don't let them eat it like they eat the school glue. 

An adult should use the caulk doohickey and lay down a thick bead of caulk. 

Then let the kids go to town with the sea shells. Remind them to not play with the caulk or ingest it. Use the word ingest so that they can learn something new. 

An adult should push down on the shells once the kid is done. I found quite a few that were pretty loose, and the caulk needs to be able to dry around the shells.

The caulk was dry when I checked it after an hour. Glues may dry faster, but I think the caulk worked really well, and you don't have to worry about getting out the nail polish remover to remove your kid's hand from the neighbor kid's face. Just wash up with soapy water like after you read a chapter of Fifty Shades of Grey

Written by Brian Jaeger, owner of Satisfamily, McNewsy, PassivNinja, Educabana, RealWisconsinNews, ManCrushFanClub, WildWestAllis, SitcomLifeLessons, and VoucherSchool.