How to Make a Seashell Wreath ~ Wreath Making

Beachcombing


Do you like to remember those lazy and sun kissed days spent at the beach?


I well remember ditching my shoes and running over the blistering hot sand to the shoreline where the sand was more hard packed and cooler because of the relentless wave action of the Gulf of Mexico.


There were many sand dunes on South Padre Island when I was a teenager. They have mostly been gobbled up by developers over the years who have built hotels and private beach homes where they once stood as small mountains of sand. Mountains may be a slight exaggeration...but in my mind's eye, and especially as a kid...they appeared as such.


I think that I am not alone in the love of beach-combing in addition to other types of seaside entertainment. There is the possibility of finding that perfect treasure right under your toes!



Seashells, rocks and coral picked up from a Florida beach.

Seashells, rocks and coral picked up from a Florida beach.
Seashells, rocks and coral picked up from a Florida beach. | Source

Florida Seashells + other "treasures"

Florida Seashells + other "treasures"
Florida Seashells + other "treasures" | Source

Seashells


Seashells come in all sizes, colors and shapes. They are the remnants of such things as mollusks, sea urchins, starfish, crabs and other sea creatures who once lived inside these hard exoskeletons. The hard shells protected them similar to our living in a house or apartment protects us and keeps us safe from the outside elements.


Most often when beachcombing, the shells are empty. The sea creature has long since perished. Occasionally a particularly turbulent storm might wash up some shells with the sea dwellers still alive within the shells. Kindly people who pick these up will often toss them back into the ocean where they have a chance of survival.


Seashells can be quite beautiful and collectible. Often there are seaside shops selling these beauties from all around the world. Pricing depends upon how perfectly intact the shell is, the size, coloration and also the rarity. They can also be purchased in most hobby and craft stores.


I remember how thrilling it was to find a perfectly intact sand dollar seashell on the beach. There are many different types of seashells and Florida is a great place to find an abundance of them. I have found worm castings, spiky Murex shells, Atlantic augers, olive shells, turkey wing seashells, jingle shells, Florida lightening whelks and many other types.


While most people might like to collect just the perfect seashells with no holes or broken pieces, it has not mattered to me. I have even collected bits of coral and even interesting rocks on those Florida beaches to add to my collection.



Back of shell wreath

Back of straw wreath with wire inserted and made into a hanger.  Shells are hot glued on the front and sides of the wreath leaving the back plain.
Back of straw wreath with wire inserted and made into a hanger. Shells are hot glued on the front and sides of the wreath leaving the back plain. | Source
Closeup of wire inserted into wreath and wrapped around to make a secure hanging hook.
Closeup of wire inserted into wreath and wrapped around to make a secure hanging hook. | Source

Seashell wreath making


Photos are my favorite kind of souvenir when I go on vacation, but since I had amassed a huge collection of pretty seashells, I thought that it would be nice to use them in some way. I ended up using quite a few of them in the making of several seashell wreaths. I gave one to my aunt and uncle who hosted my mother and me in Florida on several occasions and who took us to the beach to find the shells. I also gave several others to friends as gifts.


The one that I still possess is a heart shaped wreath made out of plastic wrapped straw. It measures about 12 inches in height and width with the shells attached and weighs about 2 1/4 pounds. The other wreaths that I created were round in shape.


The ingredients to make such a wreath are few. All one needs are the following supplies:

  • A collection of different sized shells, bits of rock, coral, etc.
  • Straw wreath purchased from a craft store
  • Hot glue gun and glue sticks
  • Wire in which to hang the wreath when completed
  • Acrylic spray to apply to the shells on the wreath when completed. This makes the shells look more colorful as if they just came out of the water.

Closeup of shells layered onto the seashell wreath.

Closeup of shells layered onto the seashell wreath.
Closeup of shells layered onto the seashell wreath. | Source

Making the wreath



This is not rocket science folks! About the hardest part is poking a hole into the straw from the back to insert a strong wire to loop through the straw which will hold up your wreath to hang on a wall when completed. I used an ice pick to get it started and when I wound the wire through, I doubled it to add extra strength and wound it together as you can see from the photo.



After that chore is completed, simply start laying a base of shells onto the wreath and carefully glue them to the surface. Be careful with that hot glue gun because if any of the hot glue gets onto your skin, it causes quite a painful burn. I know! "Been there...done that!"



After you have a base of shells, start overlapping other shells onto the top making sure all portions of the straw base are covered up.



Here is where you will utilize your artistry skills! Just play with your assortment of shells and seaside collected items to see what looks best. There is no right or wrong way to do this...so have fun with this project.



When completed, spray in a well ventilated area with a glossy acrylic spray. Let dry and your seashell wreath is ready to hang on a wall and admire for years to come.

Completed seashell wreath

Completed seashell wreath
Completed seashell wreath | Source

Do you think you might try to make your own seashell wreath?

  • Yes, I just might do that or already have made seashell wreaths.
  • I have used seashells for other types of decorating.
  • No...I'm not a person who makes crafts of any kind.
  • Seashells would not be my choice of things to use as décor.
  • I'd rather purchase my seashell wreaths already made by someone else.
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seashells

© 2012 Peggy Woods

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Comments are welcomed. 141 comments

Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 16 months ago from Houston, Texas Author

Hi Suzanne,

I had an aunt who also liked collecting sea glass and she displayed her collection in pretty containers. One of my uncles liked collecting sharks teeth. There are many treasures to be found when beach-combing! Thanks for the visit and the pin.


Suzanne Day profile image

Suzanne Day 16 months ago from Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

This is a great project and I remember in the old days people used to make seashell boxes and even seashell building facades! I like finding sea glass on the beach too and it looks so beautifully shaped I can't resist bringing home as much as possible. Pinned to my DIY board and voted awesome!


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 17 months ago from Houston, Texas Author

Hi peachpurple,

That would be the inexpensive way of securing seashells to use in projects such as this if you live anywhere near a beach location. Good luck with your search!


peachpurple profile image

peachpurple 17 months ago from Home Sweet Home

beautiful craft, must visit the seaside to collect some seashells


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 19 months ago from Houston, Texas Author

Hi starstream,

Enjoy yourself while beach combing in Florida when you next travel there. The shells are wonderful along the west coast in that state. It is easy to create shell wreaths as you now know. :)


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