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How to Make Seashell Christmas Ornaments

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Read on to see some great seashell Christmas ornament ideas and tutorials!

Read on to see some great seashell Christmas ornament ideas and tutorials!

Fabulous Seashell Christmas Ornament Ideas and Tutorials


Most of us love the beach. We love the ocean, we love the sound of the surf breaking against the rocks as it lulls us to sleep, and we love the feel of the sand sifting between our toes when beach-combing for seashells.

It doesn't matter if we currently live on the beach, miss living on the beach, or if we are dreaming of getting away from the rat race to relax on the beach, seashell ornaments and themed Christmas trees are a way of taking us back there without actually leaving our homes.

Creating ornaments and decorations from seashells is a beautiful, chic, and natural way to decorate our homes. This craft is dear to my heart. If you are a crafty, DIY type of person like I am, and you have a collection of seashells from travels to the islands, get them out of their storage box, grab the glue gun, and get started creating your own seashell ornaments.

Hang with us for a bit to get some great ideas on how to make your own seashell ornaments. Any style of shell that you decide to coordinate with your own home décor is sure to be a hit this Christmas!

Merry Christmas to All!


Silver Sparkly Beaded Starfish

The silver starfish here was a really ugly one that I found on the beach. It was full of holes, had an arm missing, and the color was all blotchy. This is what I did to turn it into this beautiful ornament.

  1. I used jewelry wire to fix its shape and added a wire arm.
  2. I then papier-mâché over the wire form with strips of newspaper. I made a hole through the wet papier-mâché arm with a large needle to later use as a hanger hole.
  3. Let it dry for 24 hours to make sure it was completely dry. (If it does not completely dry, it can mold from the inside out.)
  4. Next, I spray painted it with silver paint and let it dry again.
  5. I bought several tubes and strands of different-sized and colored beads; clear beads, silver beads, and silver-aqua blue beads. These beads were dumped into a tray and mixed together.
  6. Working with one side at a time, the dry starfish was then sprayed with glue and rolled into the beads; pressing the beads to make sure they adhered, then sprayed again and allowed to dry. Mod Podge would probably work for this too.
  7. Once the starfish was completely covered with beads and dried, I sprayed it again with polyurethane to seal and hold.
  8. I then used fishing line to thread through the hole to hang so that it would look like the sea star was floating in the tree branches. You could also use a pretty ribbon instead.

Now the fun thing that I discovered while making use of this ugly, holey specimen was that you really don't even need the original starfish to do this. You could do the same thing by making your own form with florist or jewelry wire.

Another color that looks terrific is painting the papier-mâché form with white pearlescent paint and using a combination of white, opalescent, and pearlescent beads. The effect is lovely.

Sorry, I no longer have photos of all the ornaments I have made. Some were given away as gifts, others were sold, and the photos I took were lost in one of my moves across the country.

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They're Easy to Make

Many people have collections of seashells from past vacations. If you are one of those that has a collection that is gathering dust in a box stored away on a shelf in a closet, bring them out into the sunlight and put them to use.

Make your own seashell-themed Christmas tree!

Turning a seashell into an ornament is one of the easiest crafts you can make.

All you need is a Dremel tool or a small hand drill, a glue gun, a can of spray polyurethane, and some embellishments such as small fabric roses, ribbon, glitter, or gold, and silver enamel paint.

  1. First, clean your shells to remove any debris or dust that may be clinging to them. If the shells you have are a bit grayed or off-colored, soak them in bleach if you want them to be bright white seashells. Let the shells dry completely once you have cleaned them.
  2. Once they have dried, using your tool with a bit small enough to drill an appropriate-sized hole, drill into the part of the shell you want to thread your ribbon as an ornament hanger.
  3. Thread the ribbon that you have chosen through the hole you have just finished drilling and cut to the length you will need to tie a bow and hang the ornament. Pull the ribbon back out, and use this as a ruler to cut more pieces of ribbon for the number of shells you will be using. Sometimes I use pearl strings instead of ribbon, and sometimes I use 20 lb. to 30 lb. test fishing line. The fishing line is invisible and will make the ornaments appear to be magically sitting or hanging in mid-air on their own.
  4. Now is the creative part. Using your glue gun, you can glue on your fabric roses and pieces of lace. more strands of ribbon or glitter. It's up to you and the look you want to achieve. Spray glue works great for glitter. You can edge the rims of the shells with glue and glitter, or you can use gold or silver enamel paint to paint the edges or rims of the shells. It is up to you.

If you like your shells having a natural look, spray them with some polyurethane to bring out the natural color and seal the shell's pores. This will keep your shells looking beautiful and helps to preserve them.

Just have fun while you build your whimsical seashell Christmas tree and dream of lying on the beach in Hawaii.

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Bulk Seashells for Handmade Christmas Ornaments

Even if you don't already have a collection of seashells left over from your tropical travels, don't let that stand in the way of your creativity. Buy seashells in bulk online on eBay, Amazon, or from seashell vendor sites, then head for the glue gun and glitter! Remember to embellish with beautiful ribbons for hanging.

Snail and Tan Murex Seashell Christmas Ornaments

You could buy these seashell ornaments, but if you already have the seashells at home tucked away in a box doing nothing, why not turn them into something fabulous?

You could make them look much prettier by hanging them from a pretty ribbon in a matching color with your own décor. Add a large silver bead or a faux gemstone to the center of the snail shell spiral to really add a sparkly, elegant look.

Add some gold foil or glass glitter to the shells and hang on a gold ribbon to give it a regal festive look for Christmas décor.


Silver Drops on Sea Stars

I have used sea stars (starfish) like these on my trees. I have used them in their natural state to add coastal accents all over the house and as Christmas tree ornaments.

I have turned them into shabby chic Christmas ornaments by adding seed pearls, lace, and ribbon roses to them. Larger-sized sea stars can also be used as tree toppers.


  1. Using a product called Diamond Glaze, mix in enough silver acrylic paint or ink to get the color you want.
  2. Once mixed, place drops on the arms of the starfish. Diamond glaze will dry to a glass-like finish. A word of caution: Don't use a cheaper product claiming to be the same. It's not, and it's a waste of money.

There is another product that I haven't tried yet called Liquid Pearls. This product claims to be a waterproof pearlescent paint designed for decorating paper and fabric. This might work as well.

You can also buy little silver balls at the craft store that can be glued on, but I find the paint adhesive in a bottle the easiest for me.

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You Will Need

  • Seashells such as starfish, sea urchin, sand dollar, abalone, scallop, clam, or any large seashell.
  • Paint
  • Glitter
  • E6000 glue
  • Bling—Faux rhinestone chain
  • Faux Pearls and Gemstones
  • Old jewelry bits and pieces
  • Popsicle stick
  • Ribbon, pearl string, gold thread, or silver thread for ornament hangers.

Watch the video, select the type of sea shells you want to use, pick out your bling, glitter and paint colors, then get creative and get crafting!

If you are crafty, why buy something you can make yourself, only better? Add a little bling after painting it silver or gold.

If you are crafty, why buy something you can make yourself, only better? Add a little bling after painting it silver or gold.

How to Make a Silver Starfish Ornament

Paint a starfish with either silver or gold paint and add a coordinating silver or gold cord for hanging. You can find sea star ornaments ready made on Etsy for $5 to $20 or on Amazon for $10. Better yet, I would spray paint my own at home. It's a very simple afternoon project.


  1. Just drill a hole through one of the arms of the sea star using a Dremel tool.
  2. Insert an eye screw.
  3. Once the painted sea star has dried, you can thread it with a pretty ribbon or monofilament fishing line. When using a monofilament line, it gives the illusion of the ornament floating in the tree instead of hanging off the tree branch.
  4. For the paint, I recommend using Krylon Looking Glass Mirror-Like Paint instead of dull silver paint. That way, you get the silver-mercury, glass-mirror-like effect.

What You'll Need

Clear Fillable Ball Christmas Ornament

Clear Fillable Ball Christmas Ornament

Create a Sand-Filled Ornament

How to Make Your Own Sand or Potpourri Seashell Ornaments


  • clear glass ball Christmas ornaments with removable metal tops
  • a wee bit of sand (or potpourri if you prefer)
  • a few tiny shells
  • a tiny starfish
  • tiny bits of coral (they must be small enough to fit through the opening of the ball)
  • some ribbon, gold cord, or 20 lb. weight fishing line


  1. All you do is remove the tops from the clear glass balls and pour some of your sand into the ball. You can use a funnel if you have one to make it even easier. If you don't, roll up a piece of paper into a cone shape and use that instead.
  2. Add a few of your tiny shells and bits of coral into each ball.
  3. Put the tops back on and string your ribbon, tie a bow, and hang it on the tree.

It doesn't get any easier!

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Glass Ball Ornament with Starfish

This is a great starfish ball ornament designed by Kurt Adler to hang on the Christmas tree. It was made with two glittery starfish perched on some beach sand inside a clear ball Christmas ornament.

Doesn't this ornament give you ideas for making your own?

Hawaiian Made Christmas Sea Glass Ornament by Garden Leaf Design

Hawaiian Made Christmas Sea Glass Ornament by Garden Leaf Design

Hawaiian Made Christmas Sea Glass Ornament (by Garden Leaf Design)

The woman who makes these ornaments is from the Big Island, where I am from. She sells them on Etsy, and they have become very popular. Her work is now all over Pinterest.

I know you could easily make them, too, with the right supplies and a little imagination.

See More of Her Work at Hawaiian Sea Glass Jewelry Made on the Big Island of Hawaii by Garden Leaf Design

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Create One Yourself

Add a little bit of sand, tiny seashells, and bits of sea glass to your clear glass ornament to hang on your coastal-themed Christmas tree.

It doesn't get any easier! You can use seashells you found on the beach that you saved from your last beach resort vacation. Don't have any?

The tiny seashells featured to the right are very reasonable for your seashell ornament project.

Sea Urchin Ornaments

Make these sea urchin ornaments by attaching decorative finials, which can be picked up at any craft store in your local area.

The finials I have bought in the past have a thin rod attached to the base of the finial. The rod is threaded through the hole in the bottom of the sea urchin shell and then through the hole in the top of the sea urchin shell. It then is screwed into the top of the finial.

I would add a drop of glue to secure. Tightening the finial too tight can break the very delicate sea urchin shell, and leaving it too loose can have the same disaster. Glue works to solve both scenarios, but be very careful when gluing.

The photo shows raffia used as the ornament hanger, which I love for a rustic coastal look. However, I prefer using sheer ribbon or metallic thread when I want a more elegant look.

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Seashell Wreath Tutorial

Seashell Wreath Tutorial

How to Make a Seashell Wreath at Home

Seashell Wreath Tutorials:

1. Seashell Wreath Tutorial

2. Seashell Wreath with Styrofoam Base

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How to Make Seashell Wreaths Video Tutorials

Questions & Answers

Question: Do you have a source for the finials needed to make the sea urchin ornaments?

Answer: I no longer have those resources. Please try searching Amazon, Etsy, and eBay. They are the sites I check with first when looking for craft supplies.

Let Us Know You Were Here with a Comment Below

Elaine on May 07, 2020:

No matter what it is anything with the ocean is my place.Love it.

Bea on July 20, 2018:

i also love the sea urchin ornaments. Can you tell me where I can get the finials in order to make them.Be a

Lori on May 08, 2018:

I absolutely love the Sea Urchin ornaments. I can not find the decorative finials anywhere. I have even looked online. Can you tell me exactly where to get them or what key word I should be using online?

Thank You!!!!!

LindaP on March 05, 2018:

Enjoyed your post! Thanks I learned some new tricks with using the cotton swabs and a pan in a box.

Thespiritmom on November 12, 2017:

I love seashells!! These ideas are a great addition for the Christmas ornaments I'm making! Thanks for the ideas!

Diana on August 22, 2017:

were can i get the wood things for the Sea Urchin Ornaments

Dianne on October 18, 2016:

I will be visiting the Hawaii island very soon. Now I know what shells to look for. Thank you.

Teri on October 26, 2015:

thanks for some awesome ideas was trying to think mout of square !!LOL!:)

Ahmed on February 04, 2015:

Thanks so much for your shell page! Our Vacation Bible School theme this year is Under the Sea. I'm the music coordinator, and I plan to prdvioe each child with a key ring with cards w/ the words to one of the songs on one side and a shell on the other. God bless you for helping.P.S. My husband and I like to go to the Florida shell shows and he's won several awards for his displays of tree snails.

nancyj on January 07, 2015:

I love your shell ornaments. Thank you. They are beautiful.

Diane on December 28, 2014:

Love love love all these ideas....I plan on decorating my Christmas tree in 2015 in a "Beach Theme" these ideas will come in handy! Thanks

nikki on October 30, 2014:


MarcellaCarlton on June 16, 2014:

Love the sea urchin ornaments! These are all so beautiful. Thank you for all the ideas.