Seashell Shapes

Nature provides us with an almost endless variety of shapes, colors, and sizes of seashells. And, they are just waiting there on the beach for us to put them to good use. I haven’t used every type of shell, but I have used quite a few different types in my artwork and shell crafts. Let me give you a few examples and suggested uses to get you inspired.


Shapes of Seashells


I will start with some of the different shapes of shells that I have used in my work. One shape of shell I use most often is the gastropods, or snail shaped shells.  Mostly, I use the snail shaped shells for accents on my shell art, borders on frames, and crosses. Some are used to make jewelry, windchimes and in Sailor’s Valentines. Here is a list of common gastropods used in shell crafts.

  • litorinas
  • umboniums
  • nassa persica
  • chulas
  • strawberry shells
  • melissas
  • cowries
  • tree snails
  • columbella
  • turritellas
  • murex
  • conch
  • whelks




Another shape is the bivalve, or clam shaped shells. These are the shapes I use for making windchimes, shell mobiles, mirrors and frames. Some of them make beautiful shell flowers. And, the smaller ones make wonderful backgrounds for shell art. Here is a list of common bivalve shells.

  • scallops
  • pectins
  • cup shells
  • cockles
  • clams
  • coquinas
  • arks
  • angel wings
  • turkey wings



Nautilus,via Wikipedia

Then there are the cephalopods which are beautifully shaped. Some examples are listed below.

  • Nautilus
  • Ram’s Horn
  • Cuttlefish



Tusk Shell

One more shell shape all its own is the scaphopods, which is the tusk shell. I use these for some flowers and accents on some of my shell art pictures.

  • tusk shell

Other Shapes

Sea Life

Sea Life

These are some other forms of sea life or beach finds that are not actually seashells, but I think they are worth mentioning. I have used these for shell art projects, as well as alone as room decor. Some examples are listed below.

  • coral
  • sea urchins
  • sea urchin spines
  • sand dollars
  • starfish
  • sea fans
  • sea glass

I hope with all the different types of seashell shapes and suggested uses that you will be inspired to create your own beautiful piece of shell art. Leave me a note or post a pic of your finished shell art or craft. I would really enjoy seeing how you have been inspired.

Next blog post will be on the different colors of seashells. See you then!



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