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Create decorative magnets from seashells

Imaginative arts and craft ideas with seashells
Author: M. Müller, Dübendorf, Switzerland
Online since: 21/10/2022, Number of visits: 3778
When I was a child, beachcombing was a favourite summer holiday activity, and every beautiful seashell had to be brought home. Unfortunately, the shells often ended up hidden away in the basement. It was here where I recently found a few nice specimens while tidying up. My solution: Arts and crafts projects with seashells! Crafting with seashells is also a great idea for children. I made decorative magnets from the shells I had collected. As an alternative, you could also use decorative shells or craft shells purchased from a retail business.
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Important information: Please find out ahead of time for your holiday destination which marine molluscs are protected and whether you are allowed to remove seashells. In some countries, collecting shells and taking sand is prohibited.

Craft idea with seashells: Butterfly magnets

The two halves of a seashell placed side by side resemble the wings of a butterfly. That gave me the idea of turning my shells into butterflies.
  1. First, I painted the inside of the shells and decorated them with glitter.
  2. Next, I took a neodymium disc magnet type S-130-01-N and added a little bit of Sugru, the mouldable glue. Press the Sugru firmly onto and around the magnet but avoid covering the contact surface.
  3. I pushed the two halves of the shell into the Sugru. Now the Sugru forms the body of the butterfly.
  4. The antennae are pieces of pipe cleaner that I cut to size and stuck into the adhesive putty as well.
  5. Then the finished decorative magnets were left to dry overnight.

Create fish magnets from seashells

What fits the topic of sea and shell magnets better than magnets in the shape of cute, colourful fish? Fish can also be easily crafted from seashells. For the fish magnets, you will need nice ribbed shells, Sugru, thin cardboard, acrylic paint, googly eyes and disc magnets.
This is how I made the seashell fish magnets:
  1. I painted the seashells with colourful acrylic paint.
  2. So that I could attach a magnet to the back of the fish, I cut out a cover for the seashell from cardboard. I glued the piece of cardboard to the rim of the seashell.
  3. I formed the fins of the fish out of Sugru and pressed them onto the shells. My tip: Use the leftover Sugru from the butterfly magnets.
  4. For the eyes, I chose plastic googly eyes which I attached with Sugru. But you could also paint the eyes on.
After the Sugru had dried overnight, I attached a disc magnet to the cardboard. For the fish magnets, I used disc magnets type S-20-01-STIC or S-12-01-N.

Make flower magnets from seashells

Clams are perfect for flower petals. Common mussels also look great as petals. They are elongated in shape and taper on one side.
To turn the shells into flower magnets, I painted the inside of the seashells and, forming a circle, pressed them into the Sugru on top of a disc magnet. For the pistil, I attached rolled-up pipe cleaner to the centre. You could also glue on a rhinestone or a smaller seashell.


Note from the supermagnete team: Please keep in mind that the disc magnets used here are not suitable for magnetic glass boards. The adhesive force of these magnets is also not sufficient for use on magnetic paint.

You can find further inspiration for homemade decorative magnets in these customer applications:

If you are looking for a suitable surface for your decorative magnets, the projects Design your own magnetic notice board, Photo wall with magnetic paint or Low-Cost photo wall will be of interest to you. You can also find a selection of magnetic boards under the product category Surfaces for magnets.