Before heading off to the beach, make yourself a seashell bag so as you collect the little treasures, you’ll have a place to put them. They’re really easy and fun to make, so get the kids in on this project. Some good choices of cloth for the bag would be tightly knitted fishnet, canvas, or vinyl. The canvas type of fabric is very easy to work with and will allow the water to seep out the bottom of the bag. Vinyl bags are good for protecting the shells, but holes will need to be poked in the bottom of vinyl bags for water drainage.
Lay the chosen fabric flat on a table, with right sides together. You can decide the size of bag you want. Draw the measurements onto the fabric or use a piece of paper to first make a pattern. Be sure and mark a spot on the pattern for 2 handles, one on each side of the bag. Each handle will have to attach to 2 different spots on one side of the bag. Cut around the main shell bag piece, and then cut two strips for the handles. The strips should be cut about 2 inches wide and as long as you want the handles to be.
After cutting out all the pieces, sew the straps together. Fold one strap piece in half, lengthways. Sew down the side of the strap, and then turn the strap right side out. Press. For the bag, keep the fabric with right sides together and sew down one side of the bag. Open the 2 pieces of the bag, and attach one end of the strap to one of the marks on the bag and the other end of the strap on the other mark, on the same side of the bag.
Then attach the second handle by also placing one end on one mark and the other end on the other mark, on the same side of the bag. Fold the edge of the bag down and hem, tucking strap ends under the hem. After hemming across the top, smooth the straps down flat and sew across the top folded edge, catching the straps as you sew.
Turn the bag back again, with right sides together and sew across the bottom and up the other side. Attach a piece of Velcro just inside the edge of each side of the bag for keeping the bag closed. You can also use a large button on one side of the outside part of the bag, then a strip of elastic on the other side. After the bag is completely sewn, decorate it in any number of ways, like using fabric glue to attach small starfish or shells.
You can also decorate with fish stickers or seahorse stickers. Foam shapes are a cute way to decorate the bag, and you can use them to spell Shells Out to Sea or your name. Use tiny fake pearls to decorate the handle, or use the pearls on a string for outlining the bag on the sides and across the bottom. You can also paint the bag on the front side and decorate it with other paints. Paint two-thirds of the bag, from the top down.
Mix sand and glitter together, then spread glue across the bottom and sprinkle the sand on. Allow drying well. Now attach shells, foam seagulls, or whatever you wish. Make a slightly smaller version for kids and allow them to decorate them the way they see fit. To launder the bag, turn inside out, rinse in cold water, squeeze out excess water, and hang to dry.Mix sand and glitter