Sea Life and Shell Art Displays Inspired by the Natural History Museum

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I can't remember the last time I visited a Natural History Museum, and it looks like I'm missing out on some excellent sea life and shell displays.

museum like sea shell display stands made from wood
That's what Paul of Findermaker created in his home; Sea Life and Shell Displays inspired by Chicago's Field Museum of Natural History. In fact, the museum displays were the inspiration for his pursuing the hobby of collecting, and decorating with shells and sea life. Paul made the little sea shell stands by cutting a 1" diameter dowel into 3/8" thick disks, then drilling holes in the center and inserting brass rods.

Sea Life Display
The cabinet is a thrift store find. The glass front and side panels were originally wood, he explains. He popped out the wood panels and replaced them with glass, then installed two glass shelves and a nice nickel knob, and gave it a few coats of paint: white outside, sea blue inside.

Framed Coauina Shells
Many of his shells are from Sanibel Island and one of his favorites is the tiny "coquina" shell, also called "butterfly shell". The framed Shell Art look gorgeous, don't you think! Paul simply drew a pencil grid onto a piece of black mat board, then glued a matched pair of coquina shells into the center of each square of the grid, using a white Ribba frame from Ikea.

Sea Life Cards
His next project, a beautiful display of educational seashell cards, which remind me of the Cavallini Vintage Stickers. I tried to source the edu cards, but did not find them.

Natural History Museum Inspired
The shell cards are mounted on a 3 x 4 foot board with protective plexiglas and you can find out how to make it on Paul's site. The displays in this corner definitely have Natural History Museum quality!
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Juju at Tales of said...

Super fun!

Beach House Living said...

I like Paul's cabinet idea...not just nice looking functional by keeping dust the off those prized beauties.

Karena said...

Beautiful displays of sea life artifacts!!

Art by Karena

Charlotte's Color Specialist said...

This post brought back memories of when my son was little. He loved shells and collected them all!

Like the blues seen in these posts?
Try Sherwin Williams "Quietude" and "Tradewind" for a "beachglass" feel
(from a former Port Jefferson, Long Island)

Erin @ I Heart New England said...

Hi, Maya! What a beautiful blog you have here! Thanks for visiting mine :)

I adore the ocean as well; simply cannot be apart from it!

These displays are wonderful... wow!♥

DesignTies said...

The little display cabinet is great -- love that he painted the inside of it turquoise :-) It's a great piece to display his amazing collection of shells.

The coquina shell display is beautiful too :-)


Renee Finberg said...

YOU would love sanibel and captiva island.

they call it a 'sanibel tan' when your back is all sun-burned.
you get it from picking ups shells.

aroundmytable said...

Hi Maya, there is something for you on my blog today!
Anna @ Around My Table

Nikki said...

Why can't I find cabinets like that at the thrift store??

thelennoxx said...

OMG thank you for posting this! I am in the process of decorating my walls with "natural objects", and I love the butterfly shells! And the shells on the tiny stands? HOT!

Josh Urso Design said...

We love that the last photo shows the scale of the coquina shell piece: it is so tiny! Some would call all this attention to detail sure signs of OCD but we say what a way to collect! Wouldn't it be nice to spend a few hours examining all of Paul's handiwork up close?

Really Rainey said...

What a great post... reminds me of the shell collection I had when I was younger... I actually don't know what ever happened to it tho! It might even be in storage! Now you have got me thinking... and on a mission to find it!


Fearless Nester said...

Love that cabinet with the turquoise and those tiny shell stands that he made. How amazing is his collection! Gorgeous! ~Lili

Lia said...

Those are really really lovely ways to display collection.
I really love the little cabinet and the way the shells are on the little poles and stands.
Very clever way of displaying a collection, I have seen it done like that in museums, but never thought to do it with my own collections.

Much love, have a lovely weekend

simpledaisy said...

Love those displays! Why can't I ever get lucky enough to find stuff like that?!?!?

Laura Trevey said...

We were just at the Natural History Museum two days ago! It is truly amazing ~~

xoxo Laura

Elizabeth said...

Ooo I love the little shells on stands!

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