Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Sea Shell Wreaths

Since it's starting to get hot here in Arizona, I think it's about time to flashback to last summer and a trip to the beach!

Every year when I go to the beach with my family, we have a terrible habit of collecting all sorts of pretty shells and never doing anything with them. This trip, however, I decided to change that. After a lot of thought (and looking at pictures online), my sister-in-law and I finally decided that we were going to use these shells to make some awesome shell wreaths. 

Here's what you need: 
  • Shells (the prettier the better!)
  • Wreath form 
  • Hot glue gun and glue
  • Ribbon

Since we collected our shells right off of the beach, the first step was to thoroughly clean them and make sure there wasn't any stinky beach stuff left inside. This also gave us a chance to organize them based on size and style (organization is a key piece of our projects, as you can see). We had a lot of the large, plain, clam-like shells and just a handful of the really pretty and unique shells. 
For us, this part of the project was free. If you don't have access to the beach, however, don't be discouraged! Michael's sells bags of pre-cleaned and pre-organized sea shells!

After cleaning the shells and getting them home, we picked up some green Styrofoam wreath forms from Michael's.  The first thing we did was use the ribbon to tie a loop at the top of the wreath so that we could hang it once we finished.

Then, we started using the glue gun to attach the shells. 

We started by attaching the biggest shells to cover as much of the green Styrofoam as possible.

Once we had a solid base, we used the smaller and prettier shells to fill in the gaps. 
We added fun things like sand dollars, sea urchins, and coral to give each wreath it's own unique look. 

The finished products: 

 And there you have it! You can use shells in different shades to get different effects with the wreaths. One of ours ended up with an orange hue throughout, while the other one has yellow, green, and black accents. 

No matter how you do it, it's a fun way to use all of those shells that you pick up along the beach and bring a little bit of your vacation back home with you! 

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