Crafting Corner

The Pull of the Tide

by Alice Haithcock, Contributing Crafter

It’s nearly time for us to head to the beach! By this time of the year our family is absolutely beyond ready for our annual vacation trek to the Outer Banks.

Memaw and Pop pack up what seems like the whole house and lead the wagon train with the grandsons in tow. The sons and their wives bring up the rear of the train at their own pace. Other family members and friends meander in and out throughout the week as their respective jobs allow.

We’ve taught our sons and are now enjoying teaching our grandsons the joy and magnificence of the ocean and its sandy shores. The profound beauty of a sunrise across the ocean is something, in my opinion, that shouldn’t be missed!

For me, I can’t imagine a walk on the beach during any season of the year that wouldn’t include picking up at least a few shells. Polished by months of rolling seas or recently evacuated by their dwellers, these pieces of nature’s artwork come in all sizes and shapes. Small or large, they are truly jewels of the sea.

Whether we bring home shells we find on the beach or shells we’ve purchased in a shop doesn’t matter. If we simply allow them just a small place in our home they can often remind us — on even the coldest winter day — of incredible sunrises, sunburned smiles, and deliciously warm ocean breezes.

A bowlful of shells can make a great centerpiece for a table or a beautiful addition to any side table. A single shell with a hanger also makes a great gift item. For the true beach lover, nothing beats a gift from the sea!



Shells — Suggested: conch, clamshells, sand dollars, scrolled shells


Wax metallic finishing product — brass color (“Rub ’n Buff” type product, available at most craft stores)


Gold cord or 1⁄8-inch-wide ribbon


Glue gun and glue stick or glue of choice


Paper towel


Latex gloves

 Directions: Apply a small amount of the wax metallic finishing product to each shell using either a gloved fingertip or a small piece of the paper towel. Apply as much or as little as you like to the shells to achieve the desired look. Buff lightly with a small piece of paper towel. Arrange in a bowl.

If you want to be able to hang the shells, cut an 8-inch piece of cord or ribbon. Glue the two cut ends of the cord or ribbon at the back inside of the shell. Let dry and they’re ready for hanging.


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