When I was searching Hobby Lobby for inexpensive objects to paint for outdoor craft shows, I came across these shells. Ones like this are sold six in a packet with instructions on using them to frame a mirror. This awakened memories of the shell faced dolls of my childhood, so I bought a couple of packets for my own purposes. I also picked up a few of the big, more expensive lion's paw shells. As you can see, shell pictures are attractive - especially to middle school girls.
There are practical uses for them in the adult world, too. Put one on your dresser to hold hairpins or safety pins; it's a colorful accessory. In the office, add color and originality to a workspace with a shell for paper clips. They don't stand alone well, but can be propped up on a shelf to brighten a room.
Shells like this are fun to paint. You have to draw your image with a Sharpie or similar indelible marker; pencils won't work. Acrylic paints do a good job for you here.
And where do I get my image ideas? This one is a cat version of artist's model Kiki of Montparnasse wearing 19th century clothing. I got it from a book I inherited from my father. If you love to draw, build your own inventory of books and scrapbooks to give you inspiration. Sometimes you can even sell it!