Holes in Rocks & Shells, Beautiful Mobiles

July 13, 2012 in Creative Adventures, Uncategorized

Bringing the Outside In, Shell & Rock Mobiles

What do you bring home from your summer beach vacation? A local t-shirts can be fun and colorful but they will soon be outgrown and passed on. Shells and Rocks with holes can be interesting and fun and last a whole lot longer. Help your recipient to create something with them or assemble the items and give as a the gift with instruction so they can make it later. Shells and Rocks also bring the element of the outdoors in for your friend or child who does not get to participate in the sun and sand. Shells and Rocks are very affordable. A little string or shoelace, some beads and a stroll along the beach with a bucket is all it takes.

Below are 5 simple steps to make a handsome shell and rock mobile.

Collect your items:

Shells and Rocks with holes

Fishing line or Shoestring

Beads and a Hook

1. Collect your Shells and Rocks with holes. People will be amazed when they see your creation as they often ask me, “wow, how did you get those holes, did you drill them?” First determine what size string you will use as the holes can be smaller if you plan on using fishing line. This project is most appropriate for older children and adults as fishing line and small beads are difficult for little hands to manipulate. See Shoelace project below.

 Gather fishing line and beads. We had fishing line from my husband’s fishing days and the beads were picked up at a second hand store very cheaply.

2. Tie a string around your last or bottom rock or shell. I was able to tie two shells next to each other. I like using the largest item for the bottom. Determine how long you want your creation to be and add a few more inches for miscalculations.

3. Alternate back and forth from Rock and Shells while adding a tied off bead after each one. Tying off the bead prevents the Rock or Shell from sliding as it rests on it. Space out your objects. Natural color beads help create an elegant look.

 4. Make a nice loop at the end called an overhand bend knot so it does not slip and untie. I had to do a little homework to determine the name of this knot, so this is a nice freebee knot lesson for you. See pictures below


5. Add a hook near your window by screwing it into the wood. If you apply your hardware where the two pieces of wood meet you will avoid window ceil damage.

Hang your creation and enjoy it’s natural beauty.


The next Shell and Rock mobile is more appropriate for young children and easier for little hands, while we use a shoelace and larger beads.

Collect your shells and rocks, shoestring, beads and optional hook. If you are giving this project as a gift place it in a nice plastic container with a tight lid. I worked on this project with my patient hand over hand. I allowed him to feel the different textures of our outdoor items. He felt the smooth, the bumpy, and the rough and sometimes the holes were large enough to put his finger right through it. He watched carefully, about half way through I had him watch me complete it.

 *Tie off the largest rock or shell.   *Add two beads (one if they are bigger)


*Alternate back and forth until you get close to the end of your shoestring, about 4-6 inches. Allow enough space to tie off another one of those strong overhand bend knots.

*We added another shoestring to our project so we had more versatility to where we could hang it. My patient has a wooden sling apparatus over his bed so we can easily move the mobile to a place that is in his line of vision.

 *Below is a shell guide. It is amazing the number of different shells there are. Check it out and see which ones you have seen on your beach trip.

Below is a little rock art. I found rocks close enough in shape to the first letters in my niece and nephew’s names and left a little note.

What creative fun have you been having lately? What have you been doing to avoid the lazy hazy days of summer? We’d love to hear from you, please leave us a comment.

Ms. Dawn, The Singing Nurse

Take a look around to check out posts about recycling, more outdoor projects and ways to educate your kids for healthy living.