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How To Make Seashell Christmas Ornaments: Easy And Creative Ways To Customize Your Tree

Published by Britney Bodison

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From the simple to the ornate, seashells are an amazing palette on which to paint your Christmas inspirations. With a natural look and feel, these craft ideas will help you create décor that is uniquely your own. These ornaments are perfect for those who live near the sea, or wish that they did. Grab your supplies and prepare to get creative!

Supplies Needed To Make Seashell Christmas Ornaments

Make sure you have the following on hand:

  • A drill with a 1/8” drill bit
  • Various shells
  • Glue
  • Glitter in different colors
  • Ribbon
  • Paint and paint brushes
  • Foam craft brushes
  • Craft knife
  • Various embellishments

Preparing Seashells For Decorating

Clean all shells before decorating in a 50-50 solution of bleach and water; scrub with an old toothbrush if necessary. Remember to wear gloves to protect your hands!


Seashell Christmas Ornament Ideas

  • Clam shell decoupage: The art of decoupage is easier than it sounds. First, drill a small hole in the top of the shell for hanging. Then all your need is a photo, some fancy wrapping paper or fabric and glue. Print photos of family members on your favorite type of photo paper (thinner is better for this use) then glue them to the inside of the shell. Mod Pod glue is one that works great and can be found at any local craft store. Smooth the photo out with a foam brush and spread a thin layer of the glue over top of the photo and all around the shell. Make sure the drilled hole stays open; you can use a toothpick to help keep the glue out. The glue will dry clear; then, go over the whole shell with a second layer. Wrap ribbon or hemp through the hole and tie a knot.
  • Gold starfish: Drilling holes in starfish is not easy and it can get messy; it is better to wrap ribbon around one of the legs or glue the ribbon to the back of a leg to hang. But before you do that, decorate! Forget the traditional gold star; take your starfish and paint it gold! Before it dries, sprinkle some gold glitter around for effect. Then, attach your ribbon once it dries and it is ready to hang!
  • Paint! Using the inside surface of a clam or oyster shell or the top surface of a sand dollar, paint a Christmas scene. Snow, green trees, red berries, whatever you can imagine! If your painting skills are not great, cut out images from Christmas cards and follow the steps in “Clam shell decoupage” above to glue the pictures onto the shell.
  • Take a small conch shell and use hot glue to stick red berries and holly leaves inside the opening. You can decorate the outside of the shell with glitter, if you prefer, and either drill a hole for hanging or glue ribbon in a loop to the back, inside of the shell.
  • Seashell garland: Drill holes in many small shells and string them on hemp cord or natural colored raffia. Tie knots before and after each shell to space them apart. Try adding red and green beads in between as well for some added color.
  • Sea urchin snowman: Glue three sea urchin shells on top of one another to form a snowman shape. Using markers or small pom-poms, add buttons and facial features. Wrap red ribbon around the neck area for a scarf and use construction paper or fabric for a black top hat. Glue a loop of ribbon to the back for hanging.
  • Simplicity: Using any shells you like, tie a bow with the ribbon of your choice, glue to the top of the shell and then add a loop at the back for hanging. Using this simple idea, you can get creative by gluing iridescent glitter, small flowers or sequins to the shell surface. If you have a particular color theme in mind, repeat the process with a variety of shells in that ribbon and glitter color.

Hundreds of other possibilities await; just grab some shells, use your imagination and have fun!

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