These seashell ornaments are SO PRETTY! Turn your beach finds into these beautiful, sparkling handmade seashell ornaments. Then hang them on the Christmas tree or keep them as a year round keepsake decoration.
Glitter Seashell Christmas Ornaments
Have you or your kids ever found the most beautiful, perfect seashell at the beach? This craft is such a fun way to turn those beach treasures into a fabulous keepsake. (No beach? No problem, more on where to buy seashells below!).
This is a great craft for both summer and winter. You can display them all year round, or you can decorate a bunch of seashells to use on a beach themed Christmas tree.
They’re sparkly. They’re glittery. And they’re oh-so-beautiful! Don’t forget to write the date on the back with a sharpie!
Check out our Seashell Ornaments video tutorial:
*Note: Scroll down for the step-by-step photo tutorial.
Looking for more seashell craft ideas? Here’s some of our favourites:
Here’s what you’ll need:
The full printable instructions are at the end of this post, but here’s a list of affiliate links to products on Amazon that are similar to the supplies we used:
Where to get seashells?
Are you going on a beach vacation? Search the beach for beautiful seashells.
No beach plans? Don’t worry, you can also usually find bags of gorgeous seashells at the dollar store, craft store or on Amazon. They’re perfect, clean and very inexpensive.
How long do the seashell ornaments take to dry?
It takes about a full day for these ornaments to fully dry so that the white glue becomes transparent. But you really only need to wait about an hour between each coat for things to dry enough to work with.
The times given in the instructions below are approximate. Your materials might dry faster, or they might take longer. If your fingernail can easily move the paint or glitter, you’ll need to wait a bit longer before moving on to the next step.
How do I keep the glitter mess contained?
Don’t worry, I used to hate working with glitter. But now that I’ve gotten the hang of keeping the glitter contained, it’s really not bad!
I find it easiest to place the seashell on a piece of paper before adding glitter. Then when you’re done, simply fold up the edges of the paper around the glitter so the glitter is completely trapped inside the paper. Then you can throw away the paper and the glitter.
If you want to save the glitter, fold the paper in half, then open it back up and place your seashell onto it before sprinkling it with glitter. Then when it’s dry, you can use the fold in the paper to pour the glitter back in the container. This method is definitely messier, so you’ll have to decide how important it is to you to save the extra glitter.
What kind of glitter do I need?
I used two types of glitter – fine glitter and larger iridescent glitter. You can get glitter at any craft store or from Amazon. Sometimes the dollar store has it too.
You’ll want 2 different sizes of glitter to get this effect. The color is completely up to you!
How to Make Seashell Ornaments
Step 1: Paint the seashell
- Paint both sides of a seashell with acrylic paint. You'll be covering it with glitter, so as long as the the coverage looks decent, 1 coat of paint should be fine. Allow the paint to fully dry - about 1 hour.
- Squeeze a fair bit of white glue onto the top of the seashell.
- Using a paintbrush, spread out the glue so it evenly covers the entire top surface of the shell.
Step 2: Decorate with glitter and rhinestones
- Sprinkle the fine glitter onto the wet glue so the surface of the seashell is fully covered. Allow the glue to dry for at least 1 hour then lift the seashell and tap off the excess glitter.
- Squeeze more white glue onto the top half of the top of the seashell.
- Again using a paintbrush, spread out the glue so that only the top half is covered with glue. Turn the paintbrush sideways and add some glue down into the grooves in the shell to make the glue line a bit uneven.
- Press the rhinestones onto the wet glue.
- Sprinkle the glue with the large glitter. Allow it to dry for at least 1 hour. Then lift up the seashell and tap off any excess glitter.
Step 3: Add the string
- Cut a piece of string about 6 inches long and tie the two ends together into a knot.
- Squeeze a small glob of hot glue from the glue gun onto the back of the seashell, then carefully press the knot in the string into the glue.
- Your seashell ornament is complete!
You can make your handmade seashell ornaments traditional Christmas colors, or you can choose more neutral, year round colors. I personally love how our white seashell looks like it’s covered in snow!
Here’s even more seashell craft ideas:
Our book Low-Mess Crafts for Kids is loaded with 72 fun and simple craft ideas for kids! The projects are fun, easy and most importantly low-mess, so the clean up is simple!
Where to buy:
You can purchase Low-Mess Crafts for Kids from Amazon, or wherever books are sold: