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She Sees Seashells & I See Jewelry!

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This is just one of the many beaches I visited on my trip. These beaches were covered with thousands of seashells!

Hello, this is Corene Painter, your Simply Beads update editor, with the latest trends to update your beading and jewelry-making style with some quick ideas and tips to turn beach finds into great jewelry to keep warm memories alive this winter!

When vacationing in a beach town, you might go into tourist shops and see seashell or coral jewelry selling for a lot more than you're willing to spend. It's tempting because that beachy look is so fun, and it is the perfect size souvenir to pack in your luggage for the way home. But is it really worth the $20 to $100 you could pay? (Yes, I did see a $100 pair of seashell earrings!) Well, while spending a week on Sanibel Island in Florida with my family, I discovered that you don't have to spend the money at the gift shop for seashells or for jewelry made with them. Simply take a few strolls on the beach and find your own seashells to make jewelry from!

Now Sanibel Island is known for its seashell-covered beaches. So I must start by saying that I had it pretty easy. You might even say that I had a bit of a seashell problem when it came to picking which shells to keep and which shells to leave. I will be giving you some tips in the technique section of this update on how to decide which shells to keep and which to leave on the beach.

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These are just some of the many shells I found while on the beach. Narrowing down the collection of shells you are taking home is a good idea. It cuts down on the space the shells take up in your bags and leaves some shells for others to find!

One thing I noticed on the beach was that finding shells can be a really fun family activity! It is great for kids and adults. For kids, you can just give them a bucket and a strainer (for scooping into the water) and let them run. They will have fun for hours. For the adults you are with, tell them that you plan to make jewelry or even charms to hang from rearview mirrors for souvenirs of the trip. That will give people a fun treasure hunt to find the perfect shell to give you for a project. Or don't tell anyone what you plan to do with them and pick shells yourself with certain people in mind and make surprise gifts to give others on the trip at a later date with a photo to remember the fun you had at the beach! No matter what plans you have, looking for seashells is a fun activity that will lead you to a fun way to apply your jewelry-making skills once you get home!