The inspiration for this activity was, originally, a donated bag of seashells. So, I thought creating shell creatures would be a good idea, and it is a good idea, but making a shell creature doesn’t take very long (unless you sew a top hat for it). I asked Addie what she thought we should do, and she came up with this fantastic shell collage idea. For her sample, she stenciled a large letter “A” onto a book page, which was then cut out and used as a design element. Since I was not entirely sure the teens would have the patience for tracing and cutting out stencils, I printed out (Times New Roman font size 550) the letters on colorful paper and cut them out before the activity. I didn’t make a whole alphabet, I just created letters for the folks who usually come to the activities. There was a little bit of printing going on during the activity, but not that much.
Here’s a list of materials we had out: printed letters, shells, rocks (some are covered in glitter), glass pebbles (also called “dragon tears”), hot glue, glue sticks, book boards, sand, black felt, and string. We used book boards from discarded books for the support. If you want to hang the project on the wall, you can poke holes through the top of the book board using and nail or screw and a hammer. I whacked the screw a few times for every hole and used a large needle to poke the string through the hole. Make sure you have something like a cutting mat under the book board in case the screw goes all the way through the book board.
One of the most interesting questions I had during the activity: “Are those real shells?” Answer: “Yes.” I was not aware that there were so many unreal shells out there 😉