Saturday, March 7, 2015

Collecting Sea Shells For Suncatchers

Collecting sea shells for your suncatcher projects is an enjoyable way to get some fresh air, exercise,  and stock up on supplies without spending any of your hard earned cash.

Among other uses, sea shells are often used to enhance the look of stained glass suncatchers and give them a unique look.

Although they can be purchased online from a variety of sources, collecting sea shells is simply a matter of walking the beach at low tide and picking up as many as you can carry.  An hour before and an hour after a low tide is a great way to start a shell collecting trip.

If you are a Florida resident or reside in a State that boarders the Gulf, Atlantic, or Pacific Ocean,  collecting sea shells is not a problem.

Hit the beach as the tide is going out and you can usually pick up more sea shells than you could use in a lifetime.  Some areas of the beach will hold literally tons of shells, while other areas of the same beach can be totally barren.

This is due to a variety of factors such as moon phase, wind direction, bad weather, currents, etc.   All play a part in which areas of the beach will hold shells and which beaches are best for collecting them.

Some areas of Florida are noted for collecting sea shells and are identified by the stars in the map listed below.

Other areas are not as well known but may hold as many, if not more varieties of sea shells.

When you have collected all the shells you want, you need to clean them and restore them to their original color.

The video below demonstrates how this can be accomplished using a diluted Muriatic Acid solution.

 

Once the acid solution cleans the calcium deposits from the shells, they can be sprayed with clear lacquer or polyurethane to seal in the color.

After drying, the shells can be used in your suncatcher project or for whatever other project you can dream up.

Collecting sea shells is a lot of fun and even if you don't live on the coast, you can always set aside a day or so during your vacation time for collecting sea shells for your suncatchers, wall hangings, or wind chimes.  

Give it a try, it doesn't cost you a dime.


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