I've bought picture frames (with wide borders) from the Goodwill or other thrift stores. I use craft paint (any color) to paint them and then a satin varnish. Then I hot glue a variety of shells to the frame. I use shells I pick up at my beach and the frames cost only a couple dollars. Sometimes I insert a meaningful beach picture or I will leave it empty for the receiver to fill.
You can also bleach (dilute with water) the shells to make them look more weathered. Paint the frame with a true white paint. Then do a second coat of off-white or cream. When both coats are fully dry, lightly sand the top coat so that the white and even wood-grains show below. Hot glue the bleached shells on the worn frame for a fully weathered look.
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