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Shell Creatures


Sea creatures are notoriously shy, but the ones you see here came out of their shells (so to speak) to tell you their stories. These koalas find the climate in the northern hemisphere too clammy for their taste. A eucalyptus tree of two long razor clams decorated with ring-topped cowries helps them feel at home. The baby rabbit's mini-mussel ears perked right up when his mom served him this shell-carrot dinner on a sea-biscuit plate. To make these and other shell creatures, follow our how-to below.


  • Shells of many colors and sizes
  • Seed beads
  • Polymer clay
  • Craft glue
  • Paint brush


  1. Step 1


    Collect shells -- ordinary or unusual -- at the seashore or from gift shops.

  2. Step 2


    Experiment with different combinations to come up with a shape before gluing everything in place. Use small cushions of polymer clay to test out various arrangements.

  3. Step 3


    Build heads and bodies separately, gluing on small features such as noses, eyes, ears, or paws before joining larger parts. Bivalve shells, such as clams or scallops, are hinged; glue the edges together to form stout bodies. Seed beads make bright eyes.

  4. Step 4

    For small parts, apply glue with a brush. Use polymer clay to support the creatures while the glue is drying.

Martha Stewart Kids, Volume 8 2003

Reviews (22)

  • LyndaDean 6 Sep, 2008

    Bravo for not calling those little critters "bears"....very cute, my kids will love making these!

  • CMF 29 Jul, 2008

    Ladies, Martha is well rounded - she caters to weddings, Body and Soul, Gardening KIDS and more. Those many things are shared here on the "Today's craft" If your not interested in dust catchers don't make them and wait for tomorrow's craft maybe it will appeal to you. Keep the craft or not, it's the creation of the craft that's fun, children included. There is a whole catalogue of crafts on the Martha site - perhaps something will appeal to you there.

  • sora 28 Jul, 2008

    Thanks dear martha... now i know what to do when kids coming over to my place, i was always collecting sea shells.. this would be way to use them .

  • shalau 28 Jul, 2008

    THANK YOU! WELL PUT! I was starting to think there weren't any positive people left! Why can't we remember what it was like to be a kid too? Oh and Dottikins you can come join me and my daughter to make this project anytime lol

  • michellewash 28 Jul, 2008

    Too Cute for the kids. I am glad to see MS having child oriented ideas. I don't understand why people take so much time out of their day to be critical. Instead of being negative search other sites. MS sites are typically family oriented sites filled with lots of helpful information. I wonder if the negative people are without children? Use your imagination and build on it to create your own multi million dollare empire. Martha Stewart did, and I for one enjoy her ideas. Thanks Martha!

  • dottikins 28 Jul, 2008

    Ijust had another thought---glue dots might work very well on this project!

  • dottikins 28 Jul, 2008

    Bravo CyndyB3! I wish my grandkids were still small enough to do this project with them! They grow up so fast, and the only thing we can do when they are small is cram in all the time with them we can---and this would certainly spark their imagination! What fun! Thanks MSL!!

  • CyndyB3 28 Jul, 2008

    The project is entitled "Kids' Crafts" and is very appropriate for children. Why is so much negatvity being generated. Is it too much to simply allow children to be children, instead of "classy"?

  • bellamusica 28 Jul, 2008

    What a fun kids craft, my son loved it! We have TONS of seashells and I never know what to do with them! A hint to keep the clutter down with all the crafts your children make... take a photo of your child holding the craft they made and then throw it away or give to a grandparent. That way you cherish the photo without all the clutter.

  • mamushka_graciela 28 Jul, 2008

    how cute they are!

  • shalau 28 Jul, 2008

    (part 2) I have lots of "landfill stuff" from lots of kids, I haven't kept all of it, I kept what the child thought most into and was most proud of, it's the time that counts. It almost seems the only ones who appreciate that time are the ones who ARE going to be making this with their children and grandchildren. Normally I don't write comments but I was inspired by those who found the TIME to write in to COMPLAIN, maybe you shouldn't rely on someone else's art, and try inventing your own pieces

  • shalau 28 Jul, 2008

    Maybe it isn't classy (THAT depends on YOUR creation), that Koala tree attached to soap dish, in a bathroom might look nice. The important part is it promotes parent/child bonding...which as a Nanny and Mother I don't see often enough in Parents anymore. ie yesterday at the park a father sat, working, smoking, drinking coffee with headphones on, while his child played by himself in a sandbox..when he could have spent the WHOLE 15 minutes PLAYING with his son....cont'd

  • momdig 28 Jul, 2008

    C'mon! This might not be something I'd want to decorate my home with but it is certainly something worthwhile for kids to do! Since when does everything on this site have to be "classy"? And if you throw away everything tacky your kids make, you'll regret it when you get to be my age!

  • Grandypink 28 Jul, 2008

    Sorry src, I cannot agree that shells on picture frames, napkin rings or whatever is in any way sophisticated. It's all "corny". It's just fun kids' stuff.

  • cookiedreams 28 Jul, 2008

    We have shells. We have seed beads. We have polymer clay. My granddaughter and I will have great fun making shell animal today!! No going to the store to buy supplies.

  • lbuser 28 Jul, 2008

    I think some of you need to try another website, or search for old projects. Classic and timeless is fine but there is always room for new, fresh ideas. These types of ideas spark the imagination for creating new wonderful projects.

  • lbuser 28 Jul, 2008

    I suspect any maleable clay would work to hold project pieces, even left over styrofoam. This is a great idea. Thanks MSL.

  • winterbeach 28 Jul, 2008

    I agree with src. MSL can do better than these cheesy, dust collectors. We all know where these little trinlkets end up after they are presented to mom and dad or granma and grandpa by the kids who made them;. In the garbage = landfill.

    C'mon MSL - where are the classic, timeless, useful and beautiful craft ideas. you used to be known for.

  • lbuser 28 Jul, 2008

    Well, this website drops off anything after an ampersand.

  • lbuser 28 Jul, 2008

    This looks like something my little grandkids can do - 3

  • src 28 Jul, 2008

    Somehow this seems "cute" but not really appropriate for Martha Stewart Living, more like grade school projects! I love shells and crafts, but this just seems about something more "sophisticated" like shells on picture frames, napkin rings, whatever. Sorry.

  • missvero 6 Mar, 2008

    Congratulations this is a great projet I will teach them at my school.