I'll gather them all up and (everytime) I'll lay them out to see what I have. Remembering to grab a few extra for my niece or a friend's child. I'll play with them and marvel at their natural beauty. I'll think about all the wonderful things I can do with these pieces of 'trash' from the ocean.
The problem is always once I'm home and have washed them. They end up looking so....boring. When they're dry their beautiful colors are gone and I forget why I picked them up in the first place. Determined to make my shells pretty again I tried numerous suggestions. I rubbed oils on them and polished them until they should have shined. It was all in vain and I thought I was going to be left with dull shells for the rest of my life.
The answer came in a suggestion from a friend and was so simple! Just cover them with clear nail polish. It's quick and easy. Oh, and it's cheap! The nail polish makes the shells look as though they're wet again.
Now, you may have to put more on them in the future, but it's obviously not hard. How long the polish will last depends a lot on how much the shells are handled or where they are kept. If your five year old is always picking them up and playing with them, then obviously it will wear away much quicker. Also if you have the shells outdoors it's not going to last as long either. There are other methods that you can use to "shine" your shells, but most of them are quite in depth and require purchasing specific (sometimes expensive) materials. I like this one because it's something I have in the house and it's cheap. I like cheap. :) I painted a bunch of my Fiji shells and gave them a beautiful home in a kava bowl that is also from there. They look so much happier now!