When I blogged about doing a coastal style Christmas a little while ago Maya invited me to do a guest blog about what I would make. So here it goes:
Since I have a lot of sea treasures from our last vacation, I decided to make some sea shell decorations for our tree.
I just needed some basic supplies, like scissors, thin hemp rope, ribbons, pliers, shells, spray paint and wire. I already had the Dremel tool.
First I sorted the shells out, I used some of the ones that I didn't mind drilling and painting. I used a Dremel tool to make small holes in the shells. I will post seperate on how to drill shells, but meanwhile, you can look at a tutorial from Maya. The drilling of the sea shells took the most time of the project. I recommend wearing a mask, glasses, and gloves for drilling and spraying. If you don't have safety glasses use your sunglasses. This is what the shells looked like before stringing:
Then I took some natural hemp on a roll and started stringing the shells on. I made a knot on top of each shell, so they would not move around.
I hung the garlands to spray paint. I choose silver as a color and red and green ribbons for the individual ornaments.
I sprayed the shells silver front and back, and hung them outside to dry. I made a total of four garlands of different lengths for our medium sized tree. That way I can easily string them on the tree and I won't have to worry about one big long string as it is with the Christmas lights.
This is the finished sea shell garland, strung around a Cedar tree in my yard:
Then I moved on to the individual ornaments. I choose different shells and sizes to place on the tree accordingly.
I drilled holes in the heart shells and used wire to wrap around the others.
I then sprayed them silver, and the cone shells I sprayed with a clear laquer since they already had a nice color. I let them dry outside on newspaper. It only took about 30 minutes. After the shells were dry I attached ribbon to them and tied a knot. I then placed the part of the ribbon with the knot inside the shell to hide it.
This is the finished product:
I placed them on the Cedar tree to see what they would look like on the Christmas tree.
I also purchased plastic fillable ornaments, which I wanted to hang from the tree filled with sand and shells. Turns out the XL size I got is too heavy when filled, so I think I will place them on an outside tree, which is more sturdy. Perhaps next year I will give it another try with a different ornament. I thought the take apart ornaments would be easier to work with, but you can't really place the sand and shells the way you want them since it comes apart in the middle. If you want to try this I do recommend the ornaments that are fillable from the top. You can also take sea glass and wrap wire around it and make a loop to hang from the tree. Don't forget to place something nice as the tree topper, I'm going to use a sea star.
Voila! We now have coastal style decorations that are handmade, inexpensive, and unique.