Introduction: Custom Epoxy Resin Seashell Sign

About: Graduated from Eastern Michigan University with a bachelors in biology and chemistry and a minor in accounting. Licensed dentist in the state of Michigan. I enjoy rock music and playing the guitar, crafting, a…

This instructable will show you how to make a custom marine seashell sign using wood and epoxy resin. Seashells can be used to spell out a saying or the name of someone special and other objects can be added as well for extra design and detail. I hope you enjoy and if you have any questions, please feel free to reach out.


Main Supplies:

  • Wood
  • Seashells
  • Sand
  • Epoxy Resin
  • Wood screws or nails
  • Wood filler

Optional Supplies:

  • Polyurethane (satin or gloss)
  • Wood stain
  • Metal screw eyes for hanging
  • Materials for adding the other "marine-themed" objects embedded in this sign:
    • Small pieces of softwood (such as pine) for carving the anchors and buoys
      • Colored paint for the design and color of these objects:
        • White, blue, yellow, red - buoys
        • Metallic silver - anchor
    • Potpourri and green paint - for seaweed
    • Metal chain and a small rock - for anchor
    • Rope for the buoys
    • Smaller rope/string for the fishnet

Step 1: Gather Your Materials and Plan Out the Design and Size of Your Sign

Gather your materials including your seashells and wood. I traced the outline of the piece of wood I used on a piece of cardboard and then used this outline to help design my layout. I placed my seashells to spell out the name "CAROL" and then (after making the buoys, seaweed, anchor, and fishing net) placed everything in the outline to see how it would fit as you can see in the above images.

To make the other "Marine Objects":


  • Carved and shaped small pieces of scrap pine I had. I mainly used the sanding bit of a Dremel Multi-Tool to shape them since the wood is very soft. I then painted each buoy white and then added a color stripe. Also, a small hole (about 3/16" in diameter) was drilled through each buoy to allow a piece of rope to pass through and connect them together. The rope used was found at JOANN Fabrics.


  • Carved a small piece of thin pinewood using a razor blade and a small metal file and placed a small hole at the top to connect the metal chain. I then spray painted it a metallic silver color. The chain I used was from a costume, but something like this found at a craft store will work just fine. I also included a small black rock I found to "hide" the other end of the anchor chain.

Fishing net:

  • I took some brown jute twine and separated the strands. I then used these smaller strands to tie a small patch of netting resemble a fishing net. I followed the above image (image credit: as a guide for tying the strands to make the net.


  • I took small strands from a potpourri bowl in my house, laid these on a piece of cardboard, and spray painted them with green spray paint. I am not sure where the potpourri was from. You could also take some tissue paper or even regular paper, crumble it up, and then paint it. You want something that is thin with creases and waves to resemble strands of seaweed.

For the wood, the "center" is a 3/4" thick pine board surrounded by a "border" which is pieces of wood that are 1.25" x 1.5".

Step 2: Cut the "border" Pieces to Fit Around Your "center" Piece of Wood

Add wood that is thicker or taller than your center piece of wood to act as a border for your sign. This will allow your seashells and other objects to be completely covered by the epoxy resin giving the appearance that they are "submerged" under water.

After the wood is cut, use wood glue to attach the pieces and then screw or nail them together. I placed two wood screws into each "border" piece to secure them to the "center" piece (see the included diagram). I recessed the screws and then placed wood filler to cover up and hide the screw heads. Make sure to use sand paper to remove any excess wood filler so that it is flush with the wood.


Step 3: Add Sand

Coat the center piece of wood with a thin layer of glue such as regular Elmer's glue or wood glue. Then sprinkle a layer of sand onto the glue and let the glue dry.

Step 4: Add Seashells and Other Objects and Pour the Epoxy Resin

Use painter's tape to cover the sides of the sign. This will facilitate removing excess cured epoxy resin since it will drip down the sides after pouring the final layer.

Epoxy resin can be found at most hardware stores. Some recommendations are

FAMOWOOD 1 qt. Glaze Coat Clear Epoxy Kit

Rust-Oleum Parks 1 qt. Gloss Super Glaze Finish and Preservative

For pouring the epoxy resin, follow the instructions included in the box for the kit you purchase. There are also many videos and tips online. I would have a propane torch on hand, if you have one, to help remove surface bubbles after initially pouring the epoxy resin. Also, it may help to pour the epoxy resin in 2-3 pours.

NOTE: If you do not coat your wood with varnish or polyurethane before this step, it is recommended to brush on a thin coat of epoxy resin to "seal" your wood since wood is porous and will release air bubbles as the epoxy resin cures.

Step 5: Remove the Painters Tape and Add the Eye Holes and Rope

After the epoxy resin is completely cured, remove the painter's tape.

If you would like to hang your sign, simply add two metal screw eyes and use some rope.

I hope you enjoyed viewing this instructable. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out.

Thank you!

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