Painting Shells with Watercolors Activity & Frame

2023 Crafts featured Summer

If you are looking for a fun and easy activity with your littles that is perfect for summer, you’ve got to try this one! Next time you’re at the beach gather some shells and watercolors and get painting. 

We recently went to the Florida Keys and after a morning spent at the beach we came back to the house and decided this was the perfect project to escape the heat for a bit. What I love most about this activity is that it doesn’t require much, little mess, there is no right or wrong way to do it, keeps littles entertained and you end up with beautiful and colorful shells to add to your collection of future art projects. 

For the activity, all you need are shells collected from beach trips or purchased  watercolors, dish/cup of water and paint brushes. 


We decided to use our painted seashells to make a picture frame for a summer 2023 keepsake. We printed a photo of each kid taken during our vacation to place inside. The picture frame was made using our painted shells (in a variety of sizes, shapes, and colors), a wooden craft picture frame, light blue paint, and glue. Start by painting the picture frame in the choice of color your little one would like and allow it to dry completely. Our frames took about 20 minutes to dry completely. 

After the kids placed their shells where they wanted on their frame, I glued them on since the project required a strong glue.  We love to see the excitement and smile of our little ones' faces when they finish their projects. 

Painting Shells with Watercolors Activity and Frame - What You’ll Need 


  1. Paint your shells using watercolors. Use as many colors as you’d like. Be sure to wait until your shells dry well. 
  2. Paint your picture frame. We used a shade of light blue to remind us of the ocean water. We also added water to make the paint a little less thick and easier to paint with. 
  3. Decorate your frame using a variety of color and size shells of choice. You can place them anyway you would like. 
  4. Lay picture frame flat to dry. 
  5. Add a photo of your little one and place somewhere you can see.

Have fun and share with us! #LOCreativeCircle #mylittleowly
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