I have always been a beach lover and a shell collector as far back as I can remember. Creating crafts from shells is my passion
Ideas, Tips, and Directions to Make Shell Wreaths
If you love shell crafts as I do, then get ready to create some fun shell crafts for your home or next party. These are easy to craft for your wedding if you're having a beachy theme. They would look great on the doors of your wedding venue or you can get a wreath hanger and place them wherever you want to add a little touch.
If your home is beach décor, then these are perfect for you also. They make a great hostess gift if you are visiting someone who has a beach cottage. Best of all, they don't cost a lot of money to make. Think about collecting some shells on your next beach trip and create a one-of-a-kind memory!
- Wreath form
- Shells (you will want some different sizes and colors)
- Hot Glue Gun and Glue Sticks
- Wire to hang your wreath
- Ribbon for adding bling
- A Pair of Tweezers (to place your smaller shells)
- A Glass or Ceramic Plate (to collect your glue drippings)
Getting Started on Your Shell Wreath Project
The first thing that you will need is a base for your wreath. I like to use a more natural wreath to go with the shells. It makes all the difference in the world. So, I like to use the natural grapevine wreath. I find that the shells stick better.
But you can use a regular Styrofoam wreath. You just need to cover the entire base. I buy forms from Amazon. They are all reasonably priced. If you use a Styrofoam wreath form, you should wrap burlap or ribbon around it. It gives a more finished look.
You first need to measure the area that you would like to create the wreath for, Most door sizes would be 12 -14". Remember the wreath width comes in different sizes, so read the description carefully so that you get the exact one that you need.
The width across the wreath is the exact size you should aim for. Measure across the space to decide how wide you need your wreath to be.
There are also different widths in the wreath form itself. There are thicker forms all the way around and then there are lighter and thinner forms. You will want to determine the size of the shells that you want to use. The thinner forms may not hold up the bigger shells. You decide what is right for your project.
Buy Seashells in Bulk or Collect Them Yourself
I live in Florida, so it's easy for me to collect my own seashells, but in case you don't live at the beach, buying bulk is the best way to go. I like to mix the larger shells with some smaller ones, but that is strictly up to you. Place some shells up, showing their inner side to add more interest.
If you are like me and live close to a shell beach, then you have plenty of raw materials to work with. That being said, there are plenty of resources to find bulk amounts of seashells. Ebay is one good resource. When I did my seashell/beach wedding theme. I added to my seashell stash with bulk orders on Ebay. I found this is the best and most reasonable resource.
Read More From Feltmagnet
Also check out your local thrift store. I found several bags of seashells for almost nothing in my local Goodwill store. So don't forget to check your local thrift store, you might surprise what you find.
Prep Your Seashells
Before you get started, it's a good idea to prep your shells, even if you purchased them in a store, but especially if you got them on a beach.
- First, rinse them carefully with a garden hose in a colander.
- Soak the shells in tap water and some bleach overnight. Use 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup of bleach (depending on how big the bowl and the number of shells).
- Drain the shells in a colandar and rinse with tap water and let them soak for one day.
- Rinse again. Let air dry and they are ready to use.
Steps to Create Your Shell Wreath
You have gathered all your supplies. So you are ready to create your shell wreath. Let's get started!
- On top of your prepared work area (you have placed a plastic tablecloth down), lay your wreath form on top of a piece of cardboard that is bigger than the wreath. I like to elevate the wreath with the cardboard on top of one of my plastic storage units.
- Heat your hot glue gun until it is the correct temperature. Make sure that if you are using a dual control glue gun, you have set it for the higher setting. Generally, if you see glue dripping from the gun, it is ready to go. Follow the directions from your manufacturer.
- Cut a length of heavy floral wire to use as your hanger. Wrap and secure it to the back side of your wreath form.
- With tweezers, pick up the shell in a manner that allows you to place the glue on top of the shell. Be sure you're wearing the rubber finger on your thumb.
- For smaller shells, cover the entire underside with the hot glue. They will stick on easier and longer.
- I like to hold onto the shell a couple of seconds to make sure that the glue has adhered.
- Apply gentle pressure to the glue gun trigger. Be careful not to use too much glue on the seashell or you'll be cleaning it off.
- Clean off any extra glue with the tweezers.
- Add a ribbon bow or any other decorative elements that you wish.
Tips for Creating Your Shell Wreath
We have listed a few tips that we have learned from our own shell wreath experiences:
- Work in small sections gluing the shells all the way around the form overlapping as much as possible to cover the styrofoam. Be careful with a high heat glue gun and put the setting on low to avoid melting the styrofoam.
- Use small shells or pebbles to fill any remaining gaps.
- Remove glue strings. Tweezers work well for this.
- Attach your twine or ribbon to hang before you get started.
Create a Shell Wreath Using a Foam Base
Another way to create a shell wreath is with a foam base:
12" foam wreath
24" floral wire
hot glue and 2 bags glue sticks
seashells in various shapes and sizes
- Make two or three loops around the top of the wreath with floral wire and then make a small loop at the top. The small loop will become the hanger for the wreath.
- Hot-glue the shells to the foam wreath as desired. Make sure to fill in any spaces where the foam shows, especially on the sides.
More Shell Wreath Designs
- Try this Easy DIY Seashell Wreath for Beautiful Decor! | Up to Date Interiors
Make a beautiful seashell wreath DIY to add coastal decor to your home with this easy tutorial and step by step instructions.
- Craft How-to: Seashell Wreath at WomansDay.com
Make your own seashell wreath to display during the summer months at WomansDay.com.
- Shell Wreath Tutorial
How to make your own shell wreath.
- Starfish Wreath
Who does not love starfish? This design uses them with flair
© 2013 Linda F Correa
Tell Us About Your Shell Wreath - Or Stop And Say Hello !
Linda F Correa (author) from Spring Hill Florida on February 05, 2021:
I love working with them
Elaine Byers on February 03, 2021:
Great work, shells are so pretty, I’ve made a wreath and a small tree with them before.
Linda F Correa (author) from Spring Hill Florida on August 18, 2020:
Thank you for your comment. I love shells and am always looking for new ways to use them.
Mehedi Hasan from Barishal on August 16, 2020:
Linda F Correa (author) from Spring Hill Florida on October 31, 2014:
Living in Florida makes it fun to create shell crafts. My 2011 wedding was full of shells and my DIY shell crafts. Good luck with your project
Cynthia Sylvestermouse from United States on October 27, 2014:
What a beautiful wreath and excellent instructions! Our daughter's bathroom is all beach décor. I absolutely must make a seashell wreath for her. Thank you for the idea and the tutorial.