New This Month


Seashell Bookends

Source: Martha Stewart Living, January 2004


Use large shells, such as conch, tun, or whelk, brought home from your vacation or bought at a flea market or shell shop. Filled with plaster, the shells are heavy enough to provide support while adding a decorative element to any shelf. As you dive into your next book this winter, these treasures will remind you of warm days on the beach.

Shells should be cleaned with warm water and mild dishwashing soap before beginning this project.


  • Seashells (conch, tun, or whelk)

  • Dishwashing soap

  • Tub

  • Sand

  • Casting plaster

  • Disposable cup and spoon

  • Pencil

  • Velvet

  • Fabric scissors

  • Spray adhesive

  • Rubber surface protectors


  1. Fill a tub halfway with sand. Nestle a shell in the sand with the opening face up. In a disposable cup, mix the casting plaster, following package instructions. Carefully spoon the plaster into the opening of the shell until it is completely filled; let shell dry in this position.

  2. With a pencil, trace the opening of the shell onto the back of a piece of velvet (use a color that complements the shell). Cut out the shape, and use spray mount to affix the velvet to the plaster-filled opening. Attach rubber surface protectors to any parts of the shell that might touch your shelf; this will prevent it from sliding or scratching the surface.

Reviews Add a comment