- Arts and Design
How to Make a Seashell Wreath ~ Wreath Making
Seashells, rocks and coral picked up from a Florida beach.
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!
Florida Seashells + other "treasures"
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
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.
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
Do you think you might try and make your own seashell wreath?
DIY HOW TO Make a seashell wreath Do it yourself
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© 2012 Peggy Woods