This post was originally published on June 11, 2013. After four years of dragging it in and out of storage, some of the shells went missing and others needed to be secured. We updated this post on our DIY Sea Shell Wreath with new photos and affiliate links.
One of my favorite DIY projects to date. Rather than paying $70 for a beautiful sea shell wreath, we thought we’d make our own. The site we originally bought these shells is no longer in business. However, Amazon has quite a collection of sea shells! The wreath cost us about $30 total. About $22 was a gallon of these white sea shells.
This was so much fun to make. It took us about four hours to complete. Sea shell by sea shell, we hot glued them to the wreath and sipped on some refreshing Marquisritas. (Four years later, it took another hour and a half to secure and glue on more shells).
Where to start on this DIY Sea Shell Wreath?
We weren’t sure how we should make the sea shell wreath. Should we buy the tube-like, foam base, a flat base, or the wire frame? After roaming the aisles of Michaels for almost an hour, we opted in for the flat surface foam wreath and wrapped it in burlap. This way, the shells would hold better to the burlap, rather than the foam. We got a 16″ diameter foam wreath because we were afraid of running out of shells if we bought the larger one.
The shells were sorted into a few different piles; large, medium, small, and broken. We only had about 10 shells that broke among the 300 in the box. Starting with larger shells, we covered the top and sides, leaving the back exposed since that was going to sit against a wall. Then, using smaller shells, we continued to layer in more shells until we couldn’t see the burlap.
DIY Sea Shell Wreath
- Foam (flat surface) wreath (we used 16″ diameter)
- White sea shells (we used about 7lbs of the 8lbs we bought)
- Hot glue gun and glue sticks (16-20)
- Green paddle wire
- Other sea accents like starfish
- Plug in your glue gun to start heating it up.
- Sort your shells. You’ll want to sort out the large shells first, then medium and small ones.
- Wrap your foam frame in burlap. With every few wraps, you’ll want to place some dabs of hot glue on the foam wreath to keep the burlap in place. You’ll only need to wrap the foam frame in 1 layer of burlap. When you get to the end, cut from the roll and glue the end to the wreath.
- Use the paddle wire to make a loop to hang the frame. We wrapped some wire around the frame and twisted it up the top in a loop. We wound the extra wire around the base of the loop to keep it secured in place.
- Now it’s time to start glueing! Pick out your large shells and glue them on the frame first. Space them out, and place them in different directions. Don’t be shy with the glue!
- Once your large shells cover the wreath, you can begin adding medium shells. We sorted out the large cone shells and placed them on first. Then, we added the medium-sized ribbed arc shells. All of them.
- Place the medium shells on the rest of the surface, remember no shells on the back. Once you covered the surface, start adding the rest of the medium shells (still the ribbed arcs) on top of the base shells to cover up the spaces between shells.
- Fill in the rest of the space with smaller shells and auger (terebridae) shells. Pile them on top of each other.
- We added a sugar starfish accent.
- This wreath is heavy! Make sure your nail is secure before you leave it. Also, be gentle when moving this wreath, as it is fragile.
Have you made any wreaths for summer?