We asked New York designer John Loecke to accept our first-ever seashore craft challenge: To create holiday decorations using shells, spray paint, and a glue gun.
Shell Embellished Wreath
1. Purchase an evergreen wreath from your florist. We added boxwood sprigs to ours to make it extra dense.
2. Attach abalone shells (seashellcity.com) to the greenery using a hot-glue gun around the wreath’s opening, leaving a 10-inch space at the top.
3. Affix two shells called orange lions paws (jamaligarden.com) with their bases touching at the top of the wreath.
4. Glue a jungle star (seashellcity.com) on top of the lions paws.
Sea Star Boxwood Garland
1. Buy premade boxwood garland.
2. Stick Floral Picks in Blue Glitter Coral (shopwildthings.com) into garland.
3. Hot-glue white finger sea stars (jamaligarden.com) to branches.
• Plastic-foam bell shapes, colored with Krylon Travertine Tan Granite spray paint and wrapped in raffia ribbon
• White shore bird yard stakes from Midwest of Cannon Falls (colonialcandle.com/coastal.aspx)
• Painted buoys (lobstertraps.tripod.com)
• Plastic-foam balls covered with spotted cardita arks and yellow cockles (seashellcity.com) that were hot-glued on
• Sand dollars and other shells (seashellcity.com) made into ornaments using twine and a hot-glue gun
• Glass floats with knotted jute netting (seashellcity.com)
1. Add potting soil to base of an artificial giant clam shell (jamaligarden.com).
2. Plant cyclamen (available at most gardening stores) in soil.
3. Cover soil with small clam shells (seashellcity.com).
Fun Fact: Cyclamen petals resemble a clam shell’s shape and last longer than most flowers.
1. Hot-glue tiny white ark shells to three plastic-foam cones.
2. Fill in gaps by gluing on colorful ark shells that come pre-dyed.
3. Hot-glue pearled yoka star turbos to each cone’s top.
4. Cut florist foam to fit inside three buckets (themacbethcollection.com).
5. Stick one end of a wooden dowel into the plastic-foam cone base and place the other into the foam in the bucket.
6. Hot-glue dyed ark shells to top of foam.
All shells from seashellcity.com
1. Wrap 2-inch-thick three-strand twisted manila rope (webriggingsupply.com) around a staircase railing.
2. Tie together the cut ends of boxwood and juniper branches using florist wire.
3. Hot-glue jungle stars (seashellcity.com) to base of greens.
4. Fasten branches upside-down to the twists in the ropes using florist wire.
1. Paint wooden castle form, plastic-foam cylinders, and plastic-foam cones (michaels.com) with Krylon Make It Stone spray paint in Charcoal Sand.
2. Cover all with a layer of spray glue.
3. Sprinkle on glitter, shake off the excess, and let dry.
4. Hot-glue shells onto castle, cylinders, and cones.
5. Stick flags, made of scrapbook paper and toothpicks, into the top of each cone.
6. Display on a table, styling with cut evergreen branches.
Mix plaster of Paris according to package instructions and pour into a colored bucket. Just before hardening, stick in Sierra
Manzanita Branch (save-on-crafts.com).
Fun Fact: Sierra manzanita branch looks like driftwood but is sturdy enough to support shells.
Colorful Clam Shell Danglers
1. Cut florist wire into 4-inch pieces.
2. Make a knot at the bottom of the wire.
3. Thread Tutti Frutti Colored Clam Beads (seashellcity.com) onto wire, then twist remaining wire around branch to secure.
1. Cut twine into 15-inch pieces.
2. Knot twine around three to four pieces of found sea glass (also available at seashellcity.com), starting with the smallest at the top and working to other end.
3. Secure glass to twine with small dabs of hot glue.
4. Tie twine to branches.
1. Purchase small, medium, and large abalone shells (seashellcity.com).
2. Cut florist wire into 10-inch pieces.
3. Holding the wire vertically, slide the smallest shell to the top, securing in place by threading the bottom end of the wire through a nearby hole.
4. Repeat with a medium-size shell (securing it in the middle of the wire) and then a large shell (at the bottom).
Tip: No drilling required! Holes appear naturally along the shell’s edges.