June 13, 2014

Easy Inexpensive Shell Wreath

When I was looking for easy and inexpensive wreath ideas
that I could make for my hospital's March of Dimes fundraiser
I saw this wreath at Pier One...
 sorry this is not a good photo...I was trying to be sneaky and take a photo with my cell phone.

I already had some shells left over from summer decorating
and I knew I could buy a twig wreath at Jo Ann's craft
store with a coupon.  The Pier One wreath is white but I 
kind of like the natural color myself...you could always
spray paint the wreath before adding shells if you wanted. 

The wreath that I made for the fundraiser only cost me
$7.50 since I already had the shells and glue.

You could use hot glue if you want to to add the shells to
the wreath but since this one was being actually sold
(in a sense) I did not want the shells falling off later on
(as hot glued items can tend to do) in the Alabama heat. 

Here is how the wreath for the raffle turned out...

Here it is being shown at a table we had set up to show
the wreaths and sell raffle tickets...

Here is its collage for a kinda-sorta catalog of wreaths
that were in the wreath raffle...

The shell wreath generated good sales for the raffle and
the winner was thrilled to have her name drawn for it. 

One lady who did not win the wreath said that she HAD 
to have one and I liked it too so I made a couple more
since they are so easy and inexpensive. 

Two wreaths, two shell bags and one glue tube later
I'm ready to go again to make more shell wreaths.
You may have shells from a beach trip and not even have to buy any! If you need shells for this
project, Hobby Lobby and Dollar Tree have good deals on bags or baskets of shells. 

I got all the supplies with coupons from Jo Ann's, Michaels
and Hobby Lobby.  The wreaths are regularly $12, the shells
$12, and the glue $5.  I could have done both wreaths with
one shell bag I realized later. Even with buying the shells and
 glue this time around each wreath only cost $15 with coupons.

This glue made by Goop is really great.  It goes on and dries
clear.  It does not dry instantly but after a couple of hours it
has "grabbed" the item well enough that you can add other
things on top of it. That is the trick to using this glue (that,
I think, will hold the shells on the wreath long-term) is to
layer the shells, letting each layer dry before adding more.
I'm sure there are other glues in the craft stores that would work well too for this project. 

Because the shells are all unique, each shell wreath will
have its own personality too.  

I did not have the large scallop shells for these wreaths that
I did for the first one but I think they turned out pretty in
their own way.  On this wreath a layer of medium-size
scallop shells was added close to the wreath opening.
After the glue dried a couple of hours on those,
 smaller scallop shells were added to fill in blank spots.  

With a somewhat solid center ring finished, snail-looking 
shells were added to start another ring of shells. 

The tricky/challenging/fun part of this wreath is to find 
the places on the shell that is actually going to touch the 
 twig wreath or another shell to know where to put
 the glue so that the shell has a place to stick to. 

I tend to like symmetry, so I more or less got a little
pattern going of different shells around the ring but you
can add whatever shells you have in whatever fashion.

If you can leave the wreath on a table and go back to it
every couple of hours to add more glued shells, it will 
be finished in less than a day. 

Because my front door is brown and the glass "reads" as
dark from the street, this natural color wreath does not 
show up well from the street.

  I does, however, look great on my light-colored brick
mantel where the whorls of the twig wreath can be seen
 and the amazing shells can be seen up close and appreciated. 

The third wreath also had its own "look" since the other
lady wanted a tiny bit of colored shells on her wreath.

This is after the first three "rounds" of shell gluing...

...and the finished product...

Most shell wreaths available for purchase START at
$50 (for a small one) and go up from there.  If you make
your own for $15 with coupons (or $30 without) you can 
give it the look that YOU want. Try it...you'll like it! 


  1. Wow! These are just gorgeous! You did a fabulous job. I think I'll give it a try!

  2. The wreath turned out wonderful! You know I am a fan of coastal design so of course I love these.
    Have a great weekend.

  3. love it! the wreath turned out beautiful! If you have a chance, stop by and link up to our Snickerdoodle Sunday (8pm ET Sun to 8pm ET Tues)http://2crochethooks.com/snickerdoodle-sunday-with-bobbi-from-3glol/

  4. I love it, what a great idea. Super tutorial too. Thanks tons for linking to Inspire Me.

  5. Love the shell wreaths; put a mirror behind the opening and you have a whole new "look"; I may have to Kopy Kat this!


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