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DIY Shell Trinket Dishes

Turn some of those beach treasures into a lovely trinket dish! These make great personalized gifts too!

What you need:

  • Clean shells – larger, smoother shells are easiest to start with!
  • Mod Podge – I used gloss
  • Paint brushes
  • Decorative tissue papers, or thin papers (like origami paper).
  • Scissors
  • Acrylic paints in desired colors
  • Metallic paints – I used Lumiere by Jacquard

Step one: Gather and clean your shells – ones that have larger, flat/smooth insides will be easiest to start with!

Step two: Find printed tissue papers, pieces of maps, origami papers, or any other thin paper to decoupage your shells with

Step three: If using tissue papers to decoupage your shell with, first paint the inside surface of your shell with acrylic paint. I used white, as my tissue paper was white with printed blue designs – this way the white parts of the tissue looks like it disappears in the back ground of my shell. You may need to apply more than one layer of paint to cover your shell with – if this is the case, let your paint dry between layers.

Step four: Cut your papers for your shells – if using tissue papers that match with the background of your shell, you don’t have to be too careful in cutting out the design precisely. If using papers that will completely cover the inside of your shell, cut it quite a bit larger than your shell!

Step five: If using tissue paper – Add Mod Podge to the inside of your shell and place your tissue paper on top

Step six: If using other papers – brush a layer of mod podge in your shell and on the back of your paper, then place in your shell

Step seven: Gently brush a layer of mod podge on top of your tissue paper or if you’re using paper follow the steps below!

Step eight: If using paper, vs. tissue paper, use your fingers to firmly press your paper into your shell…..start from the center of your shell and work out

Step nine: Use a firm brush to add a layer of mod podge on top of your paper – use the brush to help push and smooth out the paper on the shell surface! Just be careful not to tear your paper as it can become fragile!

Step ten: Let your mod podge dry and trim off any extra paper – you may also need to add in extra mod podge around the cut edges if you have some areas that are not quite stuck! Don’t worry if your cut edge is not perfect – as long as it’s glued down well, the cut edge will get covered with the metallic paints!

Step eleven: Use your metallic paints to create a painted outline on your shells!

Have fun creating these simple trinket dishes! You could also drill a hole and make them an ornament or add other elements in them like other shells, personal photos, sea glass, etc.!