Seashell Holiday Crafts – Give A Little Bit Of Hatteras Island This Holiday Season

While basking in the sun and strolling along the shoreline during your Hatteras Island vacation, you are bound to have come across many unique and beautiful seashells. You collected them in buckets, coolers – even pockets – and took them home with you at the end of your stay.

Now what? Since the holiday season is rapidly approaching, (oh who are we kidding – it’s HERE!) why not take some of those treasures you have collected and use them to create one-of-a-kind holiday seashell crafts? They are the perfect way to have a little bit of Hatteras Island for the holidays! They also make wonderful gifts to give to your loved ones. What’s better than receiving something someone else put love and care into?

We have compiled a few simple craft ideas you can try. Don’t limit yourself to just these ideas though. The possibilities are endless!

Holiday Wreath:
What you’ll need: Seashells, wreath, clear nail polish, a glue gun or crazy glue, ribbon, and decorations like bows, ornaments, strings of beads, glitter, etc.
Best shells to use: Whole scallops, clams, and arc shells.
How to do it: Paint all the shells with a heavy coat of clear nail polish so they look like they just washed up from the ocean – or – glue white glitter on them to make it look like sand or snow. Once your shells have dried, place them where you want them on your wreath (available at dollar stores and craft stores). Using a glue gun or crazy glue, glue them to the wreath. Continue gluing bows and/or other decorations you want on the wreath. Once dried, add a hanger or ribbon to hang your pretty creation on a door or wall.

Holiday Ornaments:
What you’ll need: Seashells, clear nail polish, a glue gun or crazy glue, ribbon, and decorations like strings of beads, glitter, etc.
Best shells to use: Whole scallops, clams, moon snails, and arc shells.
How to do it: Paint all the shells with a heavy coat of clear nail polish so they look like they just washed up from the ocean. Once shells are dry, loop a ribbon or string of beads into a circle, and glue it to the back of the shell, creating a “hanger” for the ornament. (If you have two similar shells, you can even glue them together, with the loop of ribbon in between the two shells.) Then decorate each individual shell any way you’d like: add glitter, glue a string of beads along the edge of the shell, or even paint holiday designs on the shell.

Mirrors, Picture Frames, Trinket Boxes:
What you’ll need: Lots of shells, a glue gun or crazy glue, clear nail polish, and a plain mirror, a frame you can decorate, or a trinket box. (You can also get cut pieces of mirror at a hardware store, and simply add a hanger to the back.)
Best shells to use: Small, decorative shells, or pretty shell pieces.
How to do it: Glue the shell pieces around the mirror, overlapping each other so that there are no spaces of mirror visible. Once the glue has dried, coat the shells with nail polish to make them shine.
Have fun and get creative, and don’t forget that these ideas are just the start of the number of projects you can do with your seashells. Grab a little glue, polish and paint – there’s no limit to the number of remarkable, one of a kind craft projects you can create with these treasures.

Wall Hangings:
What you’ll need: A nice thin piece of driftwood, approx. 12″ – 18″ long, seashells, rustic twine, fishing line or strong thread, nails or tacks.
Best shells to use: Small decorative shells with tiny holes in them, large enough to pull thread or fishing line through.
How to do it: Create strings of shells by looping the fishing line or thread through each shell and tying a knot, creating an even 8″ – 12″ long string of a dozen shells or so. If the driftwood is sturdy enough, space tacks or nails along the piece of driftwood and tie on each string of shells. If not, simply tie each string of shells to the piece of driftwood. Essentially, you’re forming a “beaded curtain” of shells along the piece of driftwood. Once this is complete, add hardy twine to each side of the piece of driftwood, or around each of the nails, gathering and tying the individual pieces at the top, and creating a hanger for the wall hanging.

The following craft ideas and pictures are via Better Homes and Gardens:

Beach Detailed Flower Holder:
Repurpose a tin can with beach finds. Gluefabric or paper around the clean can. Add desired beach details. To use on a chair back, cut a hole near the top and the bottom of the back of the can, then tie with ribbon threaded through the holes. Or set decorated tin on the table as a centerpiece.

Shells and Twine Bookmark:
Craft a lovely bookmark to remind you of days at the beach. Natural string fits right in with seashore finds, such as shells, buttons, and bottle caps. Knot eight 18-inch-long strands together at one end to make the main bookmark; knot 8 inches below the first knot, or farther depending on
the size of the book. Drill holes in items to attach to the string ends or use hot glue.

Seashell Candles:
Clean shells and let dry. Melt small chunks of a paraffin block or old candle stubs in the top of a double boiler. Cover the work surface with plastic or newspaper. Slowly and carefully pour melted wax into shells. Quickly put a wick in the center of the wax. Let cool about 30 minutes. Never leave burning candles unattended.

Beach Memory Jars:
Bring home beach memories to store in a jar. Collect clear jars and bottles. Put shells and sand inside. Label each container with rub-ons or stickers to spell out the name of the destination.

Have fun with these projects! Happy Holidays from your friends at Surf or Sound Realty!


Picture of the Week

The occasional Outer Banks winter storm brings gorgeous seashells well into the spring, making the Cape Hatteras National Seashore a beachcomber’s paradise. Photo by Joy Crist of Surf or Sound Realty.