Little Brother: Beach Treasures

Kate Midda beach

We have recently returned from a much-needed break to the beautiful Bahamian Island of Harbour Island. Some 60 miles south of Nassau, slightly off the beaten track but well worth the effort, it is home to the prettiest, candy-coloured timber cottages and has three miles of beautiful pink sand beach. The last time we visited (on our honeymoon) we fell head over heels with the Island’s quiet, laid back atmosphere and always vowed to return one day with the children.

Our days on the island were slow and simple and usually included long afternoons spent scouring the shoreline for treasures. We amassed such a lovely collection, too large to take home. So at the end of the holiday we each chose a handful of our favourites to bring back.

Little brother’s picks included a ‘helter-skelter shell’, a sand dollar and a black rock with red spots, which he was convinced was a Pterodactyl’s heart. Back home, after weeks of watching them accumulate dust on our hall table, I decided we should make something with our beach treasures. I found an image online of colourful pencil holder so we had a go at making our own.

Kate Midda shells Kate Midda Shells kate midda shells Kate Midda Shells


Air drying clay (we used white Fimo)

An empty baked bean tin


Paint (we used water colours)

PVA Glue


Firstly remove the label on the tin, make sure it is thoroughly clean inside and does not have any sharp edges.

Paint your shells in a variety of bright colors and set aside to dry.

Roll out a large rectangle of craft clay, it should be wide enough to wrap around the tin and at least 1cm thick.

Roll the clay around the outside of the tin and squash together where the two pieces meet. Smooth the edges over the top and bottom rims of the tin and smooth over any joins or cracks. You can dip your finger in water to work away imperfections but we quite liked the lumps and bumps and the fact that you can see Little Brother’s fingerprint marks.

Whilst the clay is still moist, press the shells in firmly all over. Leave to dry.

We made the mistake of leaving it to dry near a radiator, resulting in some cracks and a few shell casualties. For this reason we used glue to reattach any shells that had fallen off.

Kate Midda is an interior designer. She has two children – a girl aged 5 and a boy aged 3. To escape the chaos Kate packs the rest of the family off to the heath, puts on a Stevie Wonder album and grabs a paint brush. Artist’s or decorator’s, either will do. Follow Kate on Instagram @soloskates