Summer Shells are a special summertime seasonal crafting material in Animal Crossing: New Horizons (ACNH)! Learn how to get Summer Shells and all of the beach themed shell items you can craft with them in this guide.
How to Find & Get Summer Shells in New Horizons
To get Summer Shell crafting materials in Animal Crossing: New Horizons naturally, you’ll need to be playing during June, July, and August in the Northern Hemisphere or December, January, and February in the Southern Hemisphere. They replace the seasonal Young Spring Bamboo found in the months beforehand.
You can find the Summer Shells randomly spawned on your island’s beaches along the shore during this limited period in the Summer months. They have a distinct blue color appearance in contrast to the regular shells found year-round, so they shouldn’t be hard to spot among the others.
When you do spot a blue Summer Shell on your beach, simply pick it up and you can begin crafting the exclusive summer items, assuming you have learned any DIY Crafting Recipes for them. Read on further in this guide to see all of the possible recipes!
Generally you can find up to around 3 Summer Shells on your island’s beaches at a time, and then more will spawn if you check back later in the day. Be sure to pick up regular non-summer shells while you’re at it as they are used to craft a couple of the items, plus you can craft a whole bunch of other Shell Set items!
How to Get Summer Shells Outside Summer
While Summer Shells only appear naturally on your beaches during June – August in Northern Hemisphere and December – February in Southern Hemisphere, you can visit other players islands that have Summer Shells if your own island is not in season.
For example, if you’re playing in the Southern Hemisphere when it’s in the winter months in June, you may be able to get Summer Shells from a friend playing in the Southern Hemisphere.
The Summer Shell crafting material can also be kept in your house storage or other places just like any other item, so you may be able to trade with players online outside of the season who have stockpiled the resource.
Finally, it’s always possible to time travel to a date where the crafting material is in season if you have explored all other options. You’ll want to change your Nintendo Switch to the following dates to find Summer Shells on your island:
- June, July, or August in the Northern Hemisphere
- December, January, or February in the Southern Hemisphere
List of All Summer Shell Item DIY Crafting Recipes
There’s a bunch of summer themed beach shell items you can exclusively craft with Summer Shell seasonal materials in Animal Crossing: New Horizons including accessories, wallpaper, flooring, and more.
The complete list below includes all eight of the Summer Shell items and their DIY Crafting recipes with screenshots of each item, and the crafting materials you need to make them.
How to Craft Shell Wand
The following crafting materials below are required to craft the Shell Wand:
- 3 Summer Shell
- 3 Star Fragment
How to Craft Shell Wreath
The following crafting materials below are required to craft the Shell Wreath:
- 1 Summer Shell
- 1 Sea Snail
- 1 Sand Dollar
- 1 Coral
- 1 Giant Clam
- 1 Cowrie
How to Craft Shellfish Pochette
The following crafting materials below are required to craft the Shellfish Pochette:
- 2 Giant Clam
- 6 Summer Shell
How to Craft Starry-Sands Flooring
The following crafting materials below are required to craft the Starry-Sands Flooring:
- 3 Summer Shell
- 1 Sandy-Beach Flooring (1 Coral, 1 Giant Clam, 1 Sand Dollar, 1 Sea Snail, 1 Venus Comb)
How to Craft Tropical Vista
The following crafting materials below are required to craft the Tropical Vista:
- 5 Summer Shell
How to Craft Underwater Flooring
The following crafting materials below are required to craft the Underwater Flooring:
- 3 Summer Shell
- 3 Coral
How to Craft Underwater Wall
The following crafting materials below are required to craft the Underwater Wall:
- 3 Summer Shell
- 5 Coral
How to Craft Water Flooring
The following crafting materials below are required to craft the Water Flooring:
- 6 Summer Shell
Total Materials Needed To Craft All Summer Shell Items
Looking to craft the entire set of Summer Shell items? In the handy table below, you can find a complete summary of how many Summer Shells and other crafting materials are needed to craft every single item listed above.
The materials required to craft the Sandy-Beach Flooring used for the Starry-Sands Flooring are included.
How to Get & Learn Summer Shell DIY Recipes
There are two ways you can find and get new Summer Shell DIY Crafting Recipes in Animal Crossing: New Horizons, but unfortunately it’s mostly dependent on luck taking time and patience.
Morning Isabelle Announcement
Near the beginning of the Summer season in June for Northern Hemisphere and December for Southern Hemisphere, you should hear from Isabelle in the morning announcements about the new seasonal crafting material and recipes. If you haven’t already learned the Shell Wreath DIY Crafting recipe, she’ll send it to your NookPhone during the announcements.
There’s been a lot of confusion in the community about when or how this morning announcement from Isabelle occurs, but from our knowledge so far, it can only happen when you have no other notable announcements.
In other words, the game seems to use the seasonal recipe announcements as a filler item of sorts when there’s nothing else for Isabelle to talk about! So whenever you have no villagers moving in, buildings opening, or other notable events for her to discuss, you should get the announcement.
Flying Balloon Presents
During the Summer season, all Balloon Presents flying in the sky over your island have a chance of dropping a Summer Shell DIY Crafting recipe! Unfortunately, there’s no concrete way to control exactly what you’ll get, so just keep shooting them down until you get lucky.
Duplicate Summer Shell DIY Crafting items are easily possible too and should be expected, so we recommend trying to make trades with friends to complete the collection faster. You may be able to sell any duplicates for a hefty amount online too, especially to players in the opposite Hemisphere as you.
We do have some tips for how you can most effectively hunt and farm balloon presents though! First of all, watch for the balloon traveling direction — they will always fly across your island in a single direction during the morning and afternoon. Then later in the day around 6PM, the direction of wind will reverse!
Whichever end of your island the balloons are travelling from, we recommend hanging out on that beach side to regularly walk up and down the shore looking for them as they first reach the island. Pass the time by collecting some Manila Clams or trying your hand at fishing too!
Secondly, flying balloon presents always have a chance of spawning on an every 5 minute cycle beginning at 4 minutes past the hour. That means you can expect possible balloon spawns at 1:04, 1:09, 1:14, 1:19, and so on. Keep in mind these are possible appearances though — they won’t always show up every time and a spawn time could pass by multiple times before actually happening.
Thanks to Merchant Willow for contributing photos to this guide. If you have any suggestions or spot any errors, please help us out in the comments below so we can address them!