Every trip to the beach finds me bringing home a treasure or two which I admire for a few days and then add to the other items that I have collected over past visits. After a while I regret adding any more finds to a box of outstanding shells, fossils, beach glass and coral. Here are a few display suggestions:
Small Photo Frames
I used small 2 ½ X 3 ½ inch photo frames to highlight one or more of the smaller, flat fossilized sharks teeth. I wanted the displays to look like they did when I found them on the beach so I used sandpaper as a background. I cut pieces of 100 grit sandpaper to size using the cardboard which fit into the back of the frames as a template.
I searched though my collection to locate three Snaggletooth sharks teeth that were flat enough to fit between the glass and the background of the photo frame firmly to hold the teeth in place yet not tight enough to cause damage to the glass. I did find three good sized display quality fossilized shark teeth that fit perfectly between the glass, sandpaper and cardboard backing. I placed the teeth on the sandpaper using adhesive glue dots then carefully placed the frame and glass onto the teeth fitting the sandpaper and cardboard backing into place. I slid the small tabs which hold the frame closed into placed and anxiously turned the frame to the right side. In another small photo frame following the same procedure I placed three Lemon Shark teeth in descending size on a sandpaper background.
Shadow Box Display
I decided to make a collage in a shadow box to display shells, teeth and other fossils together.
I again used sandpaper for the background of the 8 X 10 X 2 inch shadow box. This time after I cut the sandpaper to fit the backing cardboard I glued it to the backing using white craft glue to give it the necessary support it would need to hold the display items.
I arranged the items I wanted to display on the sandpaper backing to attain the look that I wanted. When I was happy with the display I slipped the frame over the top of the sandpaper to check for proper space around the edge of the background; allowing for easy insertion into the frame after the items were attached to the background. I then glued each shell, fossil, tooth, piece of coral or other item to the sandpaper using a combination of white craft glue and super glue for strength. I allowed the glued items to sit undisturbed for several hours to dry completely before inserting the display board into the frame.
I filled a small clear glass vase with different types of shells, sharks teeth, fossils, coral pieces, and colored glass pieces frosted by the sand and sea. This loose display allows people to remove the items, hold them and examine them closely.
A Field Guide to the Fossils of Calvert Cliffs , February 2003
Figure 4a. Fossil Shark Teeth of Calvert County
Figure 6. Common Shell Fossils of Calvert County Maryland