No Thanks
Keep In Touch With

Sign up and we'll send inspiration straight to you.

Martha Stewart takes your privacy seriously. To learn more, please read our Privacy Policy.


Seashell Lights

A string of beach treasures casts a dreamy glow on a patio or porch.




  • String of white lights
  • Seashells (various colors)
  • Epoxy


  1. Step 1


    Tape a 2-foot section of lights to your work surface with bulbs lying flat.

  2. Step 2

    Apply a thin layer of epoxy along the hinge edge of a shell, and press into place at the base of a light. Repeat for each bulb.

  3. Step 3

    Let dry about five minutes before continuing with the next section.

Martha Stewart Living, August 2002



Reviews (27)

  • Ginger B 24 Jul, 2012

    A perfect glue to use for this project and many more, (I use it for everything) is E600, it takes it a while to dry, but worth the wait. If I have something I need to move around a bit, I just put a bit of scotch tape to hold the item in place. It will hold up in all kinds of weather. You can find it at Wal-mart, in the craft section, or at Michael's. Good luck.

  • Brenda143 26 Jul, 2011

    That person thought she'd try two shells per light which she found didn't give off enough light!

  • cocoisa 6 Aug, 2010

    Super linda la idea. Muchas gracias.

  • NEWTONIAN 3 Aug, 2010

    One shell; if you encased the bulb in 2 shells you wouldn't get much light.

  • ojolie 28 Jul, 2010

    There was something wrong with the transmission of the last question I had below, as only some words would show up on the screen and I would repeat them. Sorry again. I am still lost on the one or two shells to be glued to the one particular light. Am I the only one who didn't get this? I.m still foggy, but then again, I do live at the beach.

  • ojolie 28 Jul, 2010

    I have a question and I guess that I'm the only the one who is not missing the point. Are two like shells glued together over the light itself, or is one shell glued to the light strand? If it is two shells, Are the two shells too opaque to give off any light? I love so many of her other crafts, but I am lost here. Call me foggy headed, sorry.

  • eschah 24 Mar, 2009

    ALL4ANMLS- I think you could leave them out year round if you put them somewhere they won't banged up in the wind. But a hot glue gun bond will not last. Is it possible to drill a tiny [filtered word] into a seashell and thread it on with a bit of wire? Or experiment with a heavy duty glue from the hardware store.

  • ALL4ANMLS 16 Sep, 2008

    Is it possible to use a hot glue gun and be able to leave them out all year round?

  • missviridiana 3 Aug, 2008

    wow! this is wonderful! I'm totally doing this for my wedding..beach themed of course! how beautiful and creative... just awesome..I've got only one question though, will it hold with clear tape? cuz i'll want to take them down for christmas you know.

  • RhondaRitt 2 Aug, 2008

    I did this same thing last year after I went scalloping on the Gulf Coast of Florida where I live, except I encased each light bulb with a whole scallop shell. I alternated the white side and the brown side as I went down the string. I found it easiest to use blue painters tape to wrap the widest part of the shell together to hold them until the hot glue set. The light that they emit is beautiful and perfect for a romantic dinner on the patio.

  • Spankyzmom 1 Aug, 2008

    These lights are so cheap now, you may as well buy another box, especially if the whole strand blew out.
    I get them on clearance after x-mas! Reglue shells on new strand.

  • TriciaJay 1 Aug, 2008

    pretty idea!!

  • laffgirls 1 Aug, 2008

    i have an aunt who collects scallop shells every fall, then gets greenery (artificial) garlands w/ lights, and hot glues the shells to encase the lights. she gives them away, often to older folks who can't handle the stress of putting up a tree by themselves. it's such a beautiful way for us to decorate our beach house at christmastime, and is still a treasured gift we have used 10 years.
    i like the pictured white lights with white wire, for a summer feel.

  • fredalee 1 Aug, 2008

    I was thinking that this would be great, except how would you change a bulb if it burned out?

  • javadiva 1 Aug, 2008

    Thank you erikwithak! I will try that this weekend.

  • erikwithak 1 Aug, 2008

    You might be able to use silcone glue (from the harware store) to glue 2 shells together to encase the light. The glue will form a hinge like the one from the original shell that you should be able to open enough to change the bulb. If the hinge would come apart, the glue will easily peel off of the shell, and you can re-glue it. I hope this helps. What a beautiful idea!

  • erikwithak 1 Aug, 2008

    I have seen these lights already in the craft stores for Christmas. I also saw them in the wedding aisle! Epoxy should be easy to find--sometimes it is marketed as a "2-part" glue. Check on a manufacture's website if you have any questions

  • javadiva 1 Aug, 2008

    Does anyone have an idea of how these coud be made to have shells on the front and back? When a garland is hung like it is the the picture, both sides can be seen. The problem I would guess would be changing the bulbs. Any ideas? Thanks!

  • katherineorces 1 Aug, 2008

    I agree with the mom from S.Florida. I too am a mom from S.Florida and am always looking for ways to decorate at Christmastime that are more Florida inspired. I also dried orange slices last Christmas and hung those on my tree. Thanks for all the great tips!

  • hAndimom 1 Aug, 2008

    This is the site of awesomeness!! I live in So. Florida and one of my Christmas trees is all beach/ocean themed, and this is the one thing it needed to make it complete! Thanks to the creator of this clever idea - keep 'em comin' =]

  • thequirkygirl 1 Aug, 2008

    LARGER PHOTOS of all of your daily projects please??? and more information on 'buying resources' for particular items needed for all of the projects. some are common sense, but other projects you show require specific items to replicate the project (ie. (fabric names

  • curlyqtpietosh 1 Aug, 2008

    Very cute! Martha is amazing! I am never surprised wit hthe cleverness.

  • petenkimsmom 1 Aug, 2008

    What a fantastic idea! So simple too. If you are going to use these out of doors you could even use a green cord string of lights. One should be able to find all materials at a craft store. Going to make several today for a BBQ tonight.

  • prittychik 1 Jul, 2008

    Such a cute and inexpensive idea!!

  • nashstar 1 Jul, 2008

    this is an amazing idea!! specially because i want to put some mood lighting for our patio. I have the perfect shells at home but the other materials are pretty hard to find...

  • deniseslee 20 Jun, 2008

    I cannot wait to try this; shells are no problem, the other supplies will take a good part of my day to find, (I live on an island in Belize; no craft stores here, but a few decent hardware stores). I will be opening a restaurant in the next year and we want to use as many local objects as possible to decorate! Thank you so much!

  • MrsPease 5 Jun, 2008

    I love this idea and can't wait to try it! I have been trying to find some mood lighting for our back porch. I think this will be perfect.