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How to Make a Hanging Shell Mobile

Hanging shell decorations are an inexpensive way to capture memories of a beach holiday.
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Hanging shell mobiles capture the memory of your beach holiday in a winsome ornamental decoration. Add a tropical feel to your home decor and bring back memories of a relaxing day at the beach with this simple, low-cost craft. Kids love searching for shells on the beach, and a hanging beach mobile is an excellent activity for creating a tropical keepsake from their shell collection. Hanging shell mobiles use natural materials and can be made in a variety of sizes.

Things You'll Need:

  • Shells
  • Fishing Line
  • Rotary Tool (Optional)

Collect shells on the beach. If you don't want to use a rotary tool to make holes in the shells for threading, choose only shells that have a natural hole going through them. You also can purchase shells at craft stores.

Rinse your shells to remove sand.

Arrange the shells on your workspace in a line to create a plan for your hanging shell mobile. Try different combinations until you have a composition with which you are happy.

Use a rotary tool to make a small hole in any shells that don't have a natural hole going through them. Rotary tools are handy for many crafts and can be purchased at craft or hobby stores. Rotary tools should have instructions included, which will advise you on the right tip to use for materials such as shells.

Thread fishing line through the hole of the bottom shell of your mobile design. Your piece of fishing line should be approximately twice the length of your entire mobile composition. Cutting the fishing line too long is better than too short, as excess can be trimmed off later.

Tie the fishing line in a knot around the bottom shell of your composition.

Thread the next shell of your design onto the fishing line so it rests on top of the bottom shell. Continue threading the rest of your shells onto the fishing line.

Tie a loop at the top of the fishing line for hanging your mobile. Trim off excess fishing line.


Incorporate other organic elements into your hanging shell mobiles, such as small pieces of driftwood or coral. If you want to have an area of negative space included in your mobile, tie a knot above one shell, leave a few inches of empty fishing line, and tie another knot underneath the next shell, keeping it from sliding down the area of empty fishing line.

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