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Most Important, how do I get the shells home

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iowa
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97 posts
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Most Important, how do I get the shells home

We are flying, so how do I get the shells home. I am worried about weight, the shells, not mine (though I should worry about that also). I also want to make sure they do not get broken. Should I ship them

What has your experiences been?

Should I clean them there, and how hard is it going to be to clean them? i think that will be our "evening entertainment"

Naples, Fl
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641 posts
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1. Re: Most Important, how do I get the shells home

How much do you really want shells to take home?

How many pounds do you want to take?

It has been my experience to just take a few 5 or six that really are special to you take pictures and leave the rest. If you want to fill a jar or lamp for decoration, then get them at the local (Iowa) craft store and get them.

For thos special ones surround them with paper towel then within a sock then within a shoe and you should be fine. starfish and sandollars almost always brake so don't cry.

Captiva Island...
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2. Re: Most Important, how do I get the shells home

Hi shellebear,

There are quite a few shell experts here, I am sure they will be along soon.

I got wise and started shipping my shells a few years ago, after having to buy a suitcase for our shells for the trip home!

We stay on Captiva and the post office there has all of the packing shipping supplies you will need. (as does the Sanibel P.O.) I bring my own bubble wrap from home and use paper towels for extra cushioning. I usually send the package the cheapest, slowest way the day before we leave and then anxiously await it's arrival a few days after we are home! It's like Christmas in July!!!

I would not send sandollars home, those are the only shells that don't make it in one piece!

I do know you will want to clean them before packing. I will let the experts fill you in on the best way!

The Bakery
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3. Re: Most Important, how do I get the shells home

Here's a step by step cleaning and packing guide. I ship mine UPS packed as per Step 7.

tripadvisor.com/GoListDetail-i3822-Cleaning_…

Fort Myers Beach...
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4. Re: Most Important, how do I get the shells home

Toilet paper rolls or paper towel rolls make great shipping material for precious shells.

Chester UK
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5. Re: Most Important, how do I get the shells home

I brought all my shells back home to the UK in a large tupperware box in my hand luggage, they were wrapped in lots of tissue and all got home in one piece. I cleaned them each time we returned from shelling and had them laid out on kitchen roll the whole holiday.

iowa
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97 posts
6 reviews
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6. Re: Most Important, how do I get the shells home

i just read the post about cleaning and trasporting shells. It is great. I could have used that when we went to Panama City. We got lots of shells for making picture frames for the photos we took. I thought I cleaned them, however after a week or two the smell made me take the frames down and put them "away" shhhh do not tell my son.

I am seeing a suitcase with empty plastic shoe boxes on the way down - won't that look funny to the security people in Iowa. HA HA, better not say that to loud, last time they pulled me out and searched me.

Lake St. Louis...
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7. Re: Most Important, how do I get the shells home

I use a gallon Zip lock bag, and I clean and sort while there be species, Yes, it is my evening entertainment. I keep a bleach bucket outside as to not give myself a headache, and when I get back from the beach I put the shells in a 5-10% solution.... if you bring 2 shoe boxes one for bleach the other for fresh water....make sure not to leave shiny shells like olives etc as it can ruin the natural shine. I then rinse in the fresh water and swish.....then I lay out on paper towels.... then I turn and tap to get any excess sand out or water. They then go into zip locks.... You may shine them up with mineral oil....get in pharmacy department really cheap a little goes a long way and apply with old rag...so bring an old washrag with me and throw away. Many times I end up needing to rebleach when I get home....I've learned that if I sniff each shell before putting in the ziplocks it saves me rebleaching because one shell having a little bit of it's body stuck up inside can really stink up things later. I have trouble with the orange horseconchs stinking later....

Don't throw out your paper towels they dry out and I reuse each day. But do put a couple rolls of paper towells on your grocery list to buy.....for the shells. Take pictures of your shells....I like to sort by species and take while wet for best color.

I make sure everything is snug in my ziplock bags and bring back in my carryon and wrap in my beach towel. I rarely ever lose a shell as long as my gallon sip bag is tightly filled so stuff socks or something. I use pringle cans to keep delicate things in wrapped up in paper towels and for sand dollars I wrap up in paper towels and put inside a sandwich ziplock hard plastic container, or anything hard plastic that isn't too big to shift around. it sounds funny but you could also bring bubble wrap the small bubbles and lay in your suitcase. If you go to She sells sea shells or Three crafty ladies they sell a hardner for sand dollars....or put a few thin layers of Elmers glue on it...so bring a small sponge paint brush. Having these things saves buying when on the island. I have a little bag of this sort of stuff I just keep packed in a ziplock bag.

I hope you followed all that.....

ENJOY!

Toronto, Canada
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8. Re: Most Important, how do I get the shells home

I am not a shell purist, so love to laquer my shells to a high gloss.

In addition to all that's been said about cleaning shells, I offer the following advice to get rid of those bits of organic matter somewhere within the shell that make it smell so badly. I personally use putting bleach in my shell every day until I know that the smell has gone. If you're in sanibel long enough, lay it on the ground and let the ants get at it. I've tried boiling the shell, but didn't think that this was particularly effective. I've also tried microwaving the shell. DO NOT DO THIS! I fried my shell, and saw it disintegrate.....Even if I knew better how long it might take, I don't think that I would risk the shell. Joyce Matthys, a volunteer at the Shell Museum and very knowledgeable, in a newspaper article, said that experts thought that freezing the shell was the preferred way. I tried this method, freezing, thawing, freezing, thawing, and thought it worked.

Have fun

Hell, Michigan
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9. Re: Most Important, how do I get the shells home

I buy the little boxes at she sells sea shells for my sanddollars - painted with elmers glue first :) I also carry them on the plane in my purse and sit with them in my lap. Sorry to my kids who may want my lap...

I am going to try steinbecke's Pringles container this year (just an excuse to eat the chips inside), I think that might work better than the diaper I usually wrap the shells up in :))))

Lake St. Louis...
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10. Re: Most Important, how do I get the shells home

Sunny, I only eat pringles on Sanibel.... A good excuse ;)

I need to try the freezing, a friend does that but I was not aware it is recommended. THanks! I have done the constant bleach thing, and the boiling...and sometimes ugh it just won't stop stinking. I'm not microwaved...THANK GOODNESS haha