Bring the beach home for the holidays! Here are three quick and easy beachy Christmas ornaments to make with seashells, sand dollars, and starfish.
Easy DIY seashell Christmas ornaments
One of the simplest beach crafts to make are these single shell ornaments. This project is so quick and easy you can fill your themed Christmas tree with seashell ornaments in an afternoon. These beach-themed holiday decorations are also perfect for coastal Christmas gifts.
You can use souvenirs from your summer beach vacation to make these Christmas ornaments. I found most of them at a seashell shop near the beach, but you can also find shells at your local craft store or online for your beach ornaments DIY project.
The seashells should be lightweight and about the size of an average Christmas ornament---roughly 3 or 4 inches in diameter for round shells. Oblong shells can be a little longer since they take up less space on the tree. The most important thing, though, is that they are light enough so they don't bend the tree branches when you hang them.
This is a quick and easy project perfect for beginners or kids (with supervision). Another great idea for kids is to paint the sand dollars and let them dry before making the ornaments!
Here are the full instructions for three easy seashell ornaments.
DIY Seashell Christmas Ornaments Tutorial
- Sand dollars
- Orange sugar starfish
- White finger starfish
- White spindle shells
- Metal ornament hooks
- Decorative cord (I used a matt gold twisted cord from a local hobby shop)
- Either a hot glue gun and hot glue sticks OR Gorilla Glue Gel
Steps for sand dollar ornament:
- Start with a sand dollar that's 3 to 4 inches in diameter. Cut a length of cord or ribbon about 12 inches long and thread it through the largest hole in the sand dollar.
- Place the sand dollar in the middle of the cord. Make sure the ends of the cord are even and tie an overhand knot at the edge of the shell. You can add beads here if you want to.
- To hang the ornament on the tree you can either tie a second knot near the ends of the cord to create a loop or just tie the sand dollar onto the tree with a bow.
Steps for sea star ornament:
- Start with a 3 to 5-inch sea star like the orange sugar starfish or white finger starfish. Choose the "top" finger of the sea star that you want the ornament to hang from.
- Take a metal ornament hook and bend one end of the hook into a narrow loop that fits on the back of the starfish finger that you chose for the top of the ornament.
- Then simply glue to the bent end of the hanger to the top of the sea star with hot glue. Or if you don't have a glue gun, this super glue will work. Remember to only use lightweight starfish so the glue will be able to hold the ornaments.
Steps for spiral shell ornament:
- Start with a 4 to 5-inch white spindle shell.
- Take a metal ornament hook and bend one end of the hook into a narrow loop that fits on the back of the smaller end of the shell.
- Then simply glue to the bent end of the hook to the thin end of the spindle shell. You can use hot glue or super glue gel. Remember to only use lightweight shells so the glue will be able to hold the ornaments.
Other types of seashells that would work well are scallop shells or any thin lightweight shell.
And of course, if you don't want to make your beach Christmas ornaments, you can always buy these very similar seashell ornaments pre-made with the hanging loops already attached, as well as other beach holiday decorations online.
For more coastal holiday decoration ideas, hang small shell ornaments on a mantel or homemade seashell wreath. Mix in some small clam or oyster shell ornaments and add sea glass for sparkle. You could even use acrylic paint or spray paint to match the tiny shells to your color scheme.
With all of these homemade seashell Christmas tree ornaments and DIY beachy Christmas decorations, you're sure to have a beautiful coastal Christmas!
If you make this project, we would love to see it. Tag @coastalwanders on Instagram and use the hashtag #coastalwandering to share your DIY project!
These coastal ornaments are so cute, I love them!
Thanks so much, Bri! They are super easy to make 🙂
I've been thrifting for seashells and anything Beach/Coastal decor. Just went the 99Cent Store and scored Tiffiny Blue hearts Purple hearts that are adorned with sequins, looks mermaid like for 50% off.