We are still on a shell craft kick over here at Hygloss. We just can’t get enough of shells. Summertime leads to so much creativity. Just heading to the beach or a park can spark the imagination. Recently we showed you how to make sweet animals and wall art using shells. Today we are going to show you a few ways to make a summer time classic, Shell Dolls.
For over a century Shell Dolls have graced the shelves of seaside stores from the Virgin Islands to the Jersey Shore. These handmade whimsies have been adored and treasured by so many. A token of their summer adventures. We have recreated this iconic craft using Hygloss shells, glitter and foil, along with other simple supplies. All you need is some imagination and you are on your way to making one of your own. So let’s get started… Oh and don’t forget the kids, they will love this project.
-Craft Doll Head (or make your own, like we did with a shell)
-Shell Glue or Kid Friendly Glue – For working with Kids always use Kid Friendly Glues. (Note if being made by an adult you can use an industrial glue of choice)
-Craft Paints; Pale Pink, Beige, White, Black, Red, Blue (or colors of choice)
-Other; paint brushes, cup of water for paint, craft scissors, pencil, trim, tiny flowers
A. Begin Assembling your doll. Start with the doll base. Find 5 large scallop or plain shells to use as your doll base and skirt. Glue 4 of the large shells to the base of the additional large shell using glue. (Note: Parents you could assemble this part of the doll and use hot glue to attach the shells. Keep hot glue away from tiny fingers as it is hot)
B. Start layering a variety of small and medium shells on top of the skirt base using more glue. Try experiementing with various types of shells for arms, shoulders, face and hat. See pictures below.
C. Once you are happy with your shell doll, begin painting it with craft paint in the colors of choice. We painted this shell doll with a summer blue color. We used a rounded snail type shell and a sharpie pen for the face. To draw the face just make 2 eye dots, draw a line over the eye dots and another line for the eye brows. Then draw a small u shape for the nose and a red dot for the mouth.
D. Decorate your shell doll with trim, tiny flowers (we made our w/felt from Hygloss Products-That project coming soon), and glitter. Have fun with your shell doll. Below are additional styles and examples.
The bottom doll was made with 5 large shells and medium shells for the bodice. We used a ready made clay head from Lisa Kettell Designs and the crown was made with Hygloss Products; Self Adhesive Silver Metallic Paper, Just cut a strip of paper with a decorative silver, and adhere to the doll head.
The arms are made from tinsel pipe cleaners and the neck is coated in Hygloss silver metallic glitter. So much fun to make.
Stay tuned for more shell craft projects like our painted pumpkin shells and butterfly shells, for year round crafting. See You Soon and Stay Creative!