Guest Blog: Silver Bells and Cockle Shells by Ellen Luckett Baker of The Long Thread

Ellen Luckett Baker of The Long Thread is here with a really simple and really pretty tutorial that utilizes all those seashells you’ve been collecting (and I’m collecting on my vacation at the beach). – jen


By guest contributor Ellen Luckett Baker

Like many of you, I’ve been thinking about the Gulf a lot lately. Witnessing the largest environmental disaster of my lifetime has been difficult. While I’m bummed that it’s ruining two weeks of our family vacation, I realize that many people’s entire lives are ruined. The damaging effects on the precious coastline, ocean and marshes will be felt for many years to come. As a parent, I’m trying to use this as a teachable moment. A lesson to our children about respect for the earth and conservation of natural resources.


Over the years, we have spent many vacations on St. George Island in Florida where we collected seashells. So we got our box of shells and worked on this fabric printing project. All you need is fabric,
acrylic or fabric paint and a cockle shell. We simply stamped the fabric with the shells. This is a fun project to do with the kids and working with a pattern can produce nice results. We made ours into
pillows, but you could make your fabric into swimsuit cover-ups, beach totes, or hand towels.

If you’d like to help the birds of the Gulf region, consider making a donation to the National Audubon Society.


About the contributor:  Ellen Luckett Baker spends her time making crafty messes in Atlanta, where she lives with her husband and two young daughters. She is author of The Long Thread, a blog about handmade goods, where she features sewing tutorials and craft ideas. She is also a monthly contributor to the parenting website Alpha Mom. Ellen is currently working on a sewing book to be published by Chronicle Books in Spring 2011.


  1. What a fun project! I agree, this would be great to do with kids.

    If you were planning to come to the Gulf region on vacation, I would highly encourage you not to cancel. The businesses all along the Gulf coast rely on tourism for income and many people need the support from out-of-towners to get by. There are lots of things to do in these towns that don’t revolve around the beach (and many beaches along the coast are still oil-free at this point). If you are able, I’d encourage you to consider still coming down for a visit.

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