I never knew sea shells could be so colorful and inspiring. Look at these beauties. This past summer my family took a trip to Newburyport Massachusetts. We stayed on the most spectacular island, Plumb Island. Really folks, this Island is beautiful beyond compare. The view of the ocean was like nothing I had ever seen. It was like stepping into a post card. All the homes in (Newburyport and Plumb Island), the cottages, the sand, the people riding their bikes along the shore, the people fishing on a rocky pier. I mean everything was like stepping back in time into a slower, gentler time, where people enjoyed the simple pleasures of life. I was truly inspired by how this town kept the feelings of the 1800’s but still lived in today.
Part of Plumb Island is a Federal bird refuge, which we drove through looking at the birds. On the south end of this island is a beach full of rocks and sea shells. Our girls had the most splendid time climbing over the rocks, and to their delight there were so many wonderful sea shells to collect. We came home with SO MANY SEA SHELL. I thought to myself, “What am I going to do with all these shells?” After several months of thinking and researching about it, I thought that at least we should clean them. But what I didn’t know at the time is that I could polish them and let them shine. I saw pictures on Pinterest of polished sea shells and I thought to my self, “I’m sure these shells wont look different then they do now,” because when we collected the shells they were all dull and mostly white or grey. All the pictures I saw of polished shells were glowing with color and I assumed their shells started a little prettier then ours. But I was very wrong!
As I said, when I started with our shells they weren’t that pretty and I really wasn’t inspired to make a cute craft with them.
All except for the big shell in the middle the shells were white and grey, not very attractive, but dull and lifeless. The one shinny one in the middle was broken by the time we got off the airplane, and my Little Engineer was so sad, so we Mod Podged it back together, that is why it is shinny. As for the rest, yes they were nice, but I was uninspired by them.
I found this site to help me learn how to clean and polish them properly. Interiordesigninfo.com. This site has the most comprehensive and easy to follow cleaning and polishing steps. And it was a bonus that the instruction used stuff I already had.
First I scrubbed them with a baby toothbrush inside and out. This helped remove the sand.
Second I soaked them in water and Clorox
Third I rinsed and let them dry. On this step I had to keep changing the paper towels because the inside of the shells kept dripping. I would also use extra paper towels to hand dry them. I let them sit for a day to fully dry. I am usually not this patient, but I wanted my girls to participate in the next step, so I waited until they had a day off of school.
Last step – we used mineral oil (you can also use baby oil) to polish them. I put a few tablespoons in paper cups for my girls to use, then got them different sized paint brushed. My girls thought it was really weird to use stool softener and paint brushes, but they did it anyway. After they were polished we let them sit for a few minutes, then we wiped the excess oil off.
It was like magic paintbrushes. The colors changed right before our eyes!!!! We were in amazement! What once was nice, but ruff around the edges, was now sparkling in beautiful eye popping colors. They shined so brightly. I took this opportunity to teach my children a little about how our Savior Jesus Christ sees the beauty in all of us. It is through our trial and our difficult times that He polishes us into who He needs us to be. When we accept the polish, we draw closer to him and become a beautiful shell inside and out. One thing that we noticed was that the inside of the shell, when polished, was smooth and sparkly, in a different way then the outside. Again, when refined by the Lord, our souls is purified and our inner-self is beautiful, more beautiful then the outside appearance. To be beautiful on the outside we must also be beautiful on the inside. And we took a minute talk about what being beautiful on the inside means. We all have hidden colors and talents and beauty within us, just like these shells. Part of life is bringing these colors to light. This was such a lovely conversation and I am glad we could talk about true beauty and how it comes from our life experiences. To know the good, we must experience the bad. To become refined, we must overcome the difficult experiences we have. We are always beautiful to the Lord, but to grow into who God wants us to be we must allow Him to help our brilliance shine.
Once the shells were polished I finally had inspiration for the final craft. Off to Hobby Lobby I went. I bought a wooden anchor and some super glue. I thought, I don’t want my girls to ever forget to anchor themselves to the Lord, He can polish us and cleanse us to become like Him. So when I got home I let the girls choose how to position the shells on the anchor and I glued them on.
I hope whenever they look upon this anchor they can come to understand the refining ways of the Lord. I hung it in the bathroom where they will look at it every day. I hope through their life experiences they can become brilliant and refined, just as we call can be through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Thank you interirodesigninfo, for this tutorial. 5 Stars. Simple and easy and inspiring.