The Many Colors of Seashells

colors of shells

Colors of Shells

In my last post I started the topic of the endless variety of seashells. I covered the different shapes of shells that I have used in my shell art and shell crafts. Today, I will cover the vast array of colors of seashells that are available, as well as, suggested uses for those seashells. There is a seashell available for every spectrum of the rainbow. They range in color from a light red tint to deep violet clam. There are also white, black, brown, tan, and gray colors. I have some suggested ones listed below.

  • Red–red coral, abalone, strawberry shells
  • Pink–melissas, coquinas, white cup shells, pink tellins, rose cups
  • Orange–cup shells, pectins, coquinas
  • Yellow–litorinas, tiny white cups, coquinas, pectins
  • Green–limpets, green litorinas, sea glass, abalone
  • Blue–cockles, periwinkles,abalone, coral, sea glass
  • Indigo–coquinas, purple clams
  • Violet–coquinas, purple clams, sea glass
  • Black–zebras, clams, scallops, pectins, columbella
  • White–coquinas, litorinas, arks, scallops, pectins, coral
  • Brown–Nassa persica, chulas, columbella, arks, pectins, scallops
  • Tan–umboniums, nassa persica, chulas, cowries, pectins, clams coquinas, arks
  • Gray–umboniums, litorinas, columbella, scallops, pectins, cup shells
Dolphin Sunset

Dolphin Sunset

I use the color of the seashells to work for me in the background of my seascapes. I use the lighter coquinas and gradually build up to the darker hues of the same color for the sunset. I do the same thing for the water area of the picture. Using the lighter, almost white with some lavender and build up to the deep violet color, using some white in between rows to represent the waves of the water. Check out the dolphin sunset picture above.

Shell Flower Picture

Shell Flower Picture

I have also used colored shells for my Shell flowers. Using shells with a light hue as one flower, and then using darker hues of the same color for other flowers, makes a nice flower picture. Check out the picture above, and the one below.

Sailors Valentine

Sailors Valentine

With all the colors available to us it is hard not to be creative. I hope you have been inspired. Leave your comment or post your project below. I would love to see what you have created.

Next blog post will be about all the sizes of seashells.

Related Posts:

Shapes of Seashells

Shapes of Seashells


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!