DIY Travel Souvenirs: Seashell Trinket Dish

On the beach last month in Bora Bora I kept finding huge, beautiful clam shells! Since I love souvenirs that aren't bought in a gift shop, and my heart is ever lusting after a craft project, making them into trinket dishes immediately came to mind! 

I had never done this before, so maybe it was beginners luck but it was SO simple and they turned out beautifully. All the materials cost about $15 and I was done with the whole project in 3 hours! So here's a step-by-step guide to do this to your favorite finds on the beach. 


What You Need

  • shells - clam or oyster will work best for a trinket dish 
  • bleach 
  • plastic bucket/pail
  • scrubbing brush
  • craft knife (or any sharp, small knife) 
  • luminescent paint
  • paint brush 


1. With your brush, scrub the shells in with some soapy water until clean. Rinse throughly. 

2. Fill up a plastic pail with a mix of bleach and water. Drop in your shell(s) and let soak for at least 1 hour to brighten them.  You can keep checking the shells until they are the color you desire. When finished, rinse and pat let fully dry. 

3. Once dry, carefully use a craft knife to remove any unwanted matter. (My shells had some brown stuff where the two clam shells were once joined. The bleaching process hardened it so it was easy to scrape off with a knife.)

4. Using your paint brush, apply a coat of paint to one side. Let it dry fully before flipping and painting the other side. Repeat until the shell is the color you desire. (I did two coats of paint.) Voila! 

I did this to a few shells, which I gave to my family as Christmas presents and of course, kept one for myself to remind me of magical Bora Bora! 



Anna Kloots