Shell Hurricane Lamp

Shell Hurricane Lamp diy

 Way back in 2001, we loaded up the kayak and drove up to Maine to spend a beautiful week hiking and exploring. We chowed down on fresh caught lobsters, we hiked around Acadia, we paddled around the many islands and inlets and visited a couple of lighthouses.

Maine Lighthouse- Pemaquid Point

To give you an idea of how long ago that was, the littlest one here, Nathan, is 16 and learning to drive.

Why bring up a vacation that occurred 14 years ago? Because, that is where the shells  for my hurricane lamp came from.

High and Low Tides in Lowells Cove, Maine

Maine has some spectacular tides.  When high tide comes, all the coves are full of water and the boats are actually sitting in water.  Low tide comes…no water! All the boats are left high and dry.

We do have tides in Maryland, usually a 30ft difference (more or less), but Maine knows how to do tides. The difference between low and high tide can be 100’s of feet. In those low tides are tons of tidal pools to explore, and somewhere around those pools were piles and piles of washed up shells.  Thinking that they would make a great craft for the kids, we filled a pail full.

Shell Hurricane Lamp diy

So now 14 years later, what do I find in a cabinet in the basement…a great pile of shells.

Heck with the kids craft, now it’s my project.

Shell Hurricane Lamp diy

A few weeks ago I shared with you my hurricane lamp made from driftwood. Since I bought 3 of these hurricane lamps at the local Goodwill, I thought I would decorate them 3 different ways, just to give you a few different diy ideas.  This shell lamp is #2.

For decorating purposes I personally like when I have a set of three matching/or similar items to make a centerpiece. Think about the terracotta pipes and junk candle holders I had displayed around Christmas. So if you’re going to make a hurricane lamp, you may want to consider making a few.

Shell Hurricane Lamp diy

I think it goes without saying that you can’t attempt this project without a nice supply of shells, some plain fabric, hot glue sticks and a hurricane lamp.

I originally tried to hot glue the shells directly to the glass but they didn’t hold very well.

 Next idea was to cut a piece of fabric the same height as the hurricane lamp and a inch and a half longer than the circumference of the  lamp. The bottom edge of the fabric was cut on the finished edge of the fabric (selvage). This piece was cut from a drop cloth.

Pin the fabric in place around your hurricane with the selvage at the bottom.

Shell Hurricane Lamp diy

Sew along the line you just pinned and slide the fabric back down around the hurricane lamp with the seam facing outwards.  The seam will be nicely concealed by shells and you won’t have any seam showing on the inside of the glass.

Shell Hurricane Lamp diy

Start gluing.  I used hot glue which held really nicely to the fabric and the shells. Each row fit fairly well inside the previous row.

Shell Hurricane Lamp diy

As you go along, it’s easy to glue the seam open with the hot glue.

Shell Hurricane Lamp diy

When you get to the top, fold over the fabric, glue in place and cover with more shells.

Shell Hurricane Lamp diy



Shell Hurricane Lamp diy

Shell Hurricane Lamp diy

Shell Hurricane Lamp diy

Finally finished our Maine souvenir, only 14 years later. That has to be some sort of record. 🙂

Happy Memorial Day everyone.  Hope you are all enjoying your long weekend.

Shared at Metamorphosis Monday, Show and Share, Inspire me Tuesday, Trash 2 Treasure ,

Wow us Wednesdays, Vintage Inspiration Party, Treasure Hunt Thursday, Think and Make Thursday,

Handmade Hangout Party, Friday Favorites, Link Party Palooza, Funky Junk Party Junk,

DIY Sunday Showcase, Silver Pennies Sundays, Amaze me Monday

and I was featured at



  • Susan says:

    I just had to comment about a project taking a long, long time…my daughter’s first birthday stocking (needlepoint-it is done, just has to be sewn into a stocking shape) is STILL not finished and she just turned thirty years old. Procrastinate? Me? Why, yes, thanks.
    Maine is a very special place, I live within about 15 minutes of the coast, wish I lived on the coast. Love your work, you inspire me. Hopefully, when school is out the creative juices will flow for me. Who knows, perhaps I should finish that stocking!

    • Joan says:

      Your story is a better story than my story. I think I was in my needlepoint stage 30 years ago. Wait long enough and it will come back.
      As for Maine, we loved it. We stayed on Lowells Cove (don’t know if you know where that is) and drove up to Acadia. Would love to go back and explore Acadia more without a 2 year old. Your coves are a scavengers dream.

  • cookie says:

    Ok you have me collecting driftwood and going to make the candle holder plus an orb for the garden. Now I guess I HAVE to make this as well but I am no place where I can collect shells.

  • Pamela Smith says:

    I love anything beachy and I have a whole box of shells. I think I know what my next project will be!

  • Fran says:

    I just love to pick sea shells and picked for years whenever we were on a beach somewhere. I haven’t been traveling for many years now but still holding on to my shells of all sizes. If you have any more projects on this subject I would surely like to hear from you. I think your hurricane lamp is beautiful.

    • Joan says:

      Did you check out my oyster shell mirror. You could probably make a mirror with your entire collection. I too, have a whole bag of shells. One of these days I’m going to head to the beach and leave them for all the kids. I think it would be fun to see the joy of discovery in their faces.

  • Jane says:

    This is such a nice way to display shells. I’m sure it looks gorgeous lit up at night! Thank you for sharing at the Handmade Hangout!

  • How pretty! I love the way it looks when illuminated. Please come share your blog posts over at the Home Matters Linky Party! We’d love to have you for a visit. The Door is OPEN. 🙂

    Life With Lorelai

  • Love how you glued the shells to a fabric sleeve for a glass cylinder.. What a clever idea! Looks great! I love using shells to decorate this time of year. I recently saw a faux pelican about 4 feet tall covered with shells like the ones you collected. Looked amazing!

  • This is a wonderful idea to show off some vacation memories! I can definitely see myself making this project. If only I had your luck in great looking sea shells. Thanks for sharing on Friday Favorites. Can’t wait to see what you have been up to this week!

  • Ohhh Joan, you never cease to amaze me. You turned a memory into a useful, beautiful project. LOVE this idea! Featuring you this weekend in Party Junk, thanks for linking up! 🙂

  • […] These are BEAUTIFUL! And how cool is it that they have long term meaning?  Shell hurricane lamp, by Scavenger Chic […]

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