How to Make Seashell Christmas Ornaments
Fabulous Seashell Christmas Ornament Ideas & 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 yet natural way to decorate our homes and a craft that is dear to my heart. If you are a crafty, DIY type of person like I am, who has 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 on 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 to the right 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.
- I used jewelry wire to fix its shape and added a wire arm.
- 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.
- 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.)
- Next, I spray painted with silver paint and let dry again.
- 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.
- 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.
- Once the starfish was completely covered with beads and dried, I sprayed it again with polyurethane to seal and hold.
- I then used fishing line to thread through the hole to hang so that it would look like the sea star is 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 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.
Glitter It! Pearl It! Texture It! Tempera Mixing Mediums
Crayola now makes 3 products called "Pearl It", "Glitter It" and "Texture It" that are a Tempera Mixing Medium that I believe would work very well for this project.
They are now available together in a 3-pack.
DIY Ideas for Seashell Ornaments - You Can Easily Make YourselfClick thumbnail to view full-size
Dremel Cordless Rotary Tool Kit
My Dremel tool is priceless when it comes to all of my crafty DIY projects. I love it for my seashell ornament projects as it makes drilling holes in the seashells a cinch.
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 could 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.
- 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 a bright white seashell. Let the shells dry completely once you have cleaned them.
- 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.
- 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 a number of shells you will be using. Sometimes I use pearl strings instead of ribbon and sometimes I use 20 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.
- Now is the creative part. Using your glue gun, you can glue on your fabric roses, 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 the 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 the natural look, spray them with some polyurethane to bring out the natural color and to 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.
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.
You Can Make These Yourself!
You can make these simple seashell ornaments yourself for much less when you buy your seashells in bulk.
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 color to match 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.
Starfish for Ornaments
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.
- Using a product called DIAMOND GLAZE, mix in enough silver acrylic paint or ink to get the color you want.
- 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.
DIY Glitzy Glam Seashell Christmas Ornaments
You can use these sand dollars, or any seashells you like to make the glitzy Christmas ornaments featured in the video.
You Will Need:
- Seashells such as starfish, sea urchin, sand dollar, abalone, scallop, clam, or any large seashell.
- 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 type of sea shells you want to use, pick out your bling, glitter, and paint colors, then get creative and get crafting!
Make this Ornament Yourself
Handmade Turquoise Finger Starfish Christmas Tree Ornaments
This is an example of starfish painted turquoise to hang on a coastal Christmas tree or to use as decorations throughout the house.
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 - $20 or Amazon for $10. Better yet, I would spray paint my own at home. It's a very simple afternoon project.
- Just drill a hole through one of the arms of the sea star using a Dremel tool.
- Insert an eye-screw.
- Once the painted sea star has dried, you can thread it with a pretty ribbon or monofilament fishing line. When using monofilament line, it gives the illusion of the ornament floating in the tree instead of hanging off the tree branch.
- 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.
How to Make Seashell Fairy Christmas Tree Decorations
You Will Need:
You will need these seashells to create the Seashell Fairy Christmas Tree Decorations featured in the video tutorial above.
Create a Sand-Filled Ornament
How to Make Your Own Sand or Potpourri Seashell Ornaments
Clear Glass Ball Christmas 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
- 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.
- Add a few of your tiny shells and bits of coral into each ball.
- Put the tops back on and string your ribbon, tie a bow, and hang it on the tree.
It doesn't get any easier!
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
Make Your Own Sea Glass Christmas Ornament
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
Tiny Miniature Seashells
A beautiful selection of tiny seashells for all your craft needs.
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.
Have I Inspired You?
Are You Ready to Craft Your Own Seashell Ornaments?
Fabulous Examples of Sea Urchin Ornaments - You Can Easily Make at HomeClick thumbnail to view full-size
Pink-White-Green Sea Urchin Seashells
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.
White Sands Decorative Tassel
Multi-Colors Long Silk Tassels with Bronze Caps
With 34 tassels included in this package, you are sure to find the right colors for your sea urchin Christmas ornaments.