By: Carolyn Hanson
Sadly, summer vacation is over. Back to school. Back to work. Now, what to do with all the shells, pebbles, drift wood and sea glass? Here are some ideas to extend summer and make some memories.
When on the beach I cannot resist beachcombing. All that shore detritus is irresistible. Size does not matter. Shape, color, texture are the characteristics that peak my interest and get the creative juices flowing. I’m always carrying a bag for my treasures.
Shells and Pebbles: My latest endeavor is creating a labyrinth using small shells and pebbles. It requires a shadow box type frame, a collection of small shells and pebbles in your color choices, glue, and a labyrinth drawing. Using pencil, hand draw the layout on the paper. [On www.YouTube, search how to draw a labyrinth.] Make sure your drawing fits within the frame and any matting. Then place the shells and pebbles onto the line drawing following the penciled line. Make any adjustments so that the path between the lines is even. Then glue the pieces in place and place in the frame.
Sand Casts: Great fun for kids. Gather: paper or plastic cups, plaster of paris, shells, pebbles, sand and a few paper clips. If you have a bucket of sand, sand box, or on the beach, just make a shape in the sand; no container needed. If using a container, add sand ¾ of the way up. Now add shells or make a design. Remember that the design should be facing the bottom of the cup. Mix the plaster of paris according to the directions. Pour about a half inch or more of the mixture into the cup making sure not to disturb your design. If you want your design to hang, open the paper clip so it can be used as a hook and add it to plaster. Let harden, and then remove the container. You now have an ornament to remind you of your summer vacation.
Driftwood: Found this on Pinterest. Gather: drift wood in various sizes, small mounting board (I purchased a ¼” x 3” x 4’ board at Home Depot), yarn scraps in various colors, craft paint in color to match wood, hot glue gun and glue sticks, small nails (¾”), hammer and picture hangers. Arrange the wood in the desired pattern trying to nestle the mid sections as tightly as possible, minimizing spaces. [Note: Place on a towel to keep the driftwood from shifting.] Mark the start and end point for wrapping the yarn by laying a ruler across all the sticks and mark a high point and a low point. Without disturbing the other sticks, lift one stick, mark the back and tie the yarn to the stick and begin wrapping the yarn tightly around the stick in a single layer completely covering the stick. Secure the end and return to the towel. Repeat for each stick. When wrapping is complete, cut the board so it is slightly shorter than the width of all the sticks. Paint the board to match the wood color. When dry, starting at one end, add hot glue to the back of one wrapped stick and glue it to the board. [Note: It’s important to keep the spacing and snugness exactly as it was when on the towel so all sticks will fit on the pre-cut board.] When all sticks are in place, turn over the project and gently secure each stick with one or two nails. Finally add the picture hanging hooks to the board. [Note: Mounting the wrapped driftwood on a few Popsicle sticks can make a child’s version.]
Driftwood and Shells: Collect: 20-40 small sticks of driftwood 2”-5” in length, 10-20 shells with natural holes, 3 yards cotton cord, small bell or finial, and hand drill with ¼” bit. Drill hole through the center of each stick. Fold cord in half and tie a loop at the top for hanging. Thread both ends of cord through each stick, adding in the shells as desired. Continue to desired length. Turn upside down to remove any spacing. When good and tight, tie a knot. Add the bell or any other interesting bauble. Can also make into a garland.
Ah summer! We meet again next year.
Carolyn Hanson is a local knitting and crochet designer, teacher and fiber artist. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.