A few simple seaside-themed ornaments and decorating tips can create the atmosphere of nautical beauty in the Christmas season.
From lighthouses to old-fashioned lanterns, a seaside feel can create a magical Christmas setting through a seaside-inspired atmosphere. Certain Christmas decorations can create the illusion of a coastal home or New England atmosphere. Tree ornaments, shelf sitters, and other items are easy to make by hand.
A few unique choices for decorations include grubby New England candles, a lighthouse tree topper, and paper-mache starfish. Shell ornaments and sand dollars to accent the tree’s branches are the perfect finishing touch to create Christmas by the shore in any home environment.
Grubby candles, like window lamps and melted tallow in brass candlesticks, are part of the primitive tradition that incorporates the New England traditions and colonial arts, among others. The grubby candle is one of the simplest lighting crafts to create, bringing to life a sense of old-fashioned lighting and beacons burning to guide the way during the storms at sea.
- one plain white candle
Coat the candle with glue, then sprinkle generously with cinnamon, from top to bottom. Once the candle is dry, melt the paraffin and coat the outside of the candle in order to light the candle.
Omit the paraffin if the candle is simply for decorative purposes. The candle, however, should not be burned with simply the cinnamon and glue coating, since the flame poses a fire threat with the materials without the protective coat applied.
Beacon Tree Topper
Light the way with a nautical tree topper alternative to the star or angel. A lighthouse constructed from craft paper and shiny metallic features is the perfect finishing touch to a nautical-themed Christmas tree.
- one sheet of decorative card stock
- one sheet of white card stock
- one sheet metallic gold paper
- measuring tape
Roll the decorative cardstock into a conical tube and glue in place; trim away excess paper around the bottom, back, and top once the glue is dry. Measure a narrow strip of white paper to form the lantern. Roll into a cylinder and glue; then trim off the excess paper in the back.
Cut squares of metallic paper from the full sheet and glue as lighted windows to the lantern. Once the glue has dried, fit the lantern inside the short end of the lighthouse and glue in place. Use the remaining white card stock to roll a cone-shaped roof for the lighthouse and glue to the top of the beacon.
Use additional strips from the white sheet to trim the bottom of the lighthouse or forms “stripes” by winding it around the patterned sheet.
Shells and Starfish
Simple ornaments made from seaside decorations can adorn a Christmas tree as effectively as traditional colored balls and icicles. Like traditional ornaments, some of these items can be purchased in bulk; others can be crafted by hand using simple techniques.
Baskets of shells and sand dollars, sold in craft stores, can be transformed into ornaments using glue and ribbon to create loops for hanging them. From miniature “Trident’s trumpets” to traditional half-shells, assembly is easy and creates a beautiful effect on the tree.
More elaborate ornaments like starfish can be created using flexible candy molds and paper-mache pulp. Shredded tissue paper, flour, and water are mixed together until a thick pulp is formed. The mixture is pressed into the mold and allowed to dry at least partly before the items are removed. Finished paper-mache ornaments are then painted with whatever the chosen colors and additional details are added (like stripes or patterns).
A combination of nautical decorations and ornaments will suggest a seaside Christmas to all who visit during the holidays.