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Create these Easy to Make Beach Ornaments from Seashells

Remember your vacation with an easy to make beach ornaments that can be made in minutes and is easy enough for kids to make.”

Remember your vacation with an easy to make DIY Beach Souvenir/ Beach Christmas ornament that can be made in minutes and is easy enough for kids to make.

This post does contain affiliate links. This post was originally published on May 28, 2014. 

When budgeting for vacations or quick getaways, I rarely include money for souvenirs. Personally, I’d rather create great experiences with my family and shopping in overpriced stores for t-shirts or snow globes rarely fit that criteria. Of course, there are exceptions, but the majority of the time, I’ll pick up a couple of postcards, press a few pennies, save some brochures and call it a day.

If I do buy a souvenir, it needs to be something unique and something that doesn’t take up a lot of space. Sometimes I make my own souvenir, like these easy beach ornaments.

When my kids were really little, we began a tradition of decorating our Christmas tree together. Each year, we’d pull out the special Christmas tree ornaments that I’d collected as a teen and young adult and we’d go through them one by one. As my kids would hang them on the tree, I’d share the story behind the Christmas decorations.

Some were ornaments that I’d had as a child, some were handmade from my great-grandmother and some were travel themed ornaments or souvenirs. I always looked forward to that special time as a way to relive those memories.

When I began to plan a road trip to Florida, I knew I’d make a few stops along the coast at a beach here and there. I don’t know about you, but I can’t stop at a beach without picking up a few shells and a handful of sand.

Mickler's Beach near Jacksonville, Florida is full of seashells to collect.

But I never know what to do with the shells once I return home. I remembered those special moments with my kids each December and decided why not relive those special travel memories by creating easy DIY beach ornaments with the shells and sand I’d collected to display?

Gather your materials to make your beach Christmas ornaments

Make these Adorable Beach Ornaments in a Few Easy Steps

I shopped for some simple craft materials- clean plastic craft ornaments, Aleene’s Tacky Glue, jute string, cloth tags, and ink, grabbed the sand and shells I had collected- and got started on my DIY Christmas tree ornaments.

Are you ready to get started? This project really couldn’t be much easier and you’re going to love the result!

Add shells and sand to your clear ornament to make your beach Christmas ornaments.

DIY Beach Ornaments in 5 Easy Steps

1. To create your ornament, you simply open your ornament and fill half of it with sand.

2. Add a few shells.

3. The plastic pieces fit together snugly, but I wanted to make sure that my creation would remain intact so I added a thin layer of tacky glue along the ridge of one side of the ornament to seal the ornament. It looks white, but don’t worry the glue will dry clear.

Seal the beach Christmas ornament with Tacky Glue

4. Then, I added some jute string so I could hang the ornament from the tree.  You could also use twine, hemp or colored ribbon.

Add twine, jute or hemp to hang the beach inspired ornament from the tree

Since we travel frequently and have been to many beaches, I wanted to make sure that I could remember where these shells came from years down the road.

5. I took a pre-made canvas tag and added a bit of color by lightly brushing the canvas to a colored ink pad.

Add ink to the canvas tag

Next, I wrote the name of the beach to the front of the tag and slid the tag onto the jute string. On the back of the tag, I added the location of the beach and the year. 

Add location and year to the back of the tag
This craft is super easy to create, takes only a few minutes and makes very little mess.

Someday, I’d love to display an entire beach-themed Christmas tree but in the meantime, I’ll continue to visit beaches on my travels to collect shells for those special beach ornaments. They are so easy to make that I think I’ll make my kids a set as well. 

If you enjoy DIY projects, check out these travel ornaments and coasters. The coasters would make an excellent gift idea for someone on your list. 

Do you collect seashells when you travel? What do you do with them when vacation is over?

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Sunday 1st of June 2014

Cute idea! I've always wondered what in the world to do with the shells we love to collect. This is a total keeper. :) #typeaparent


Monday 2nd of June 2014

Hopefully you can make a few ornaments of your own. I also placed a bunch of shells in a glass bowl and nestled a candle in the center. I love it. Reminds me of our trip to the beach and provides decoration for my home.


Friday 30th of May 2014

Love this idea - thanks for sharing! I have two teens also, so I'm glad to have found your blog. Have a great weekend!

NYC Single Mom

Friday 30th of May 2014

Love this DIY project. I never know what to do with the seashells we collect


Thursday 29th of May 2014

Nice! I hope I remember this come next vacation... Protection Status
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