These ornaments turn out beautifully every time I make them! If you love seashell ornaments and have the time to make your own here's how to do it! If you'd rather buy some of my finished items I have them in my Etsy shop around the holiday timeframe: Paintingartsncrafts.etsy.com.
Difficulty: Intermediate experience using hot glue
Time: active 1 hour, inactive 30 minutes
Here is a Video link to a tutorial on how to create them if you prefer to watch!
I love making beautiful things, and I love the holidays, and I love the beach so why not combine all three? These Ornaments can be hung permanently as well decor, flanking items on a photo wall, around the towel holder in your coastal bathroom etc. They are not hard to make, you can use some of your own items too, and every one turns out so pretty! I make these with large Abalone Beads, their shape and size are perfect for a 4 inch wood flower cutout and allow some some stunning creations. Give them a try!
Gather all materials (list at the end of the article) & put something down to protect your surface, I use inexpensive butcher paper since glue and paint won't penetrate it ruining my desk. Scroll down for links to all supplies!
Take your wood flower base and using a 1/8 drill bit drill two holes in the center of two of the petals to thread your ribbon through. I spaced mine out leaving one petal in between. If needed lightly sand around where you drilled, sometimes the wood gets a little rough on the edges.
Spray Paint your flower base on both sides, be sure to angle the sprayer to get the sides of the wood, I use black spray paint on mine since most ornaments are going to hang on a dark green tree and I don't want the wood to be noticeable, if you are putting them on a white tree then you would use white, etc. the wood is more of a base to glue everything down on.
Cut a 11 or 12 inch piece of ribbon, then cut each end at a sharp angle. Thread one end of the ribbon through one side of the wood base & tie a knot so that it will not come back out, then push the other end of the ribbon through the other hole and tie a knot. Both knots should be on the same side of the wood base and this will be the side that everything is glued upon also. Pull the ribbon on the other side and secure temporarily with a piece of tape, I use masking tape, this is just so that it is out of your way while you are working on the other side.
Lay out the items you will be using: abalone bead, seashells, charms, packing peanuts, beads, etc. Hot Glue, E6000 quick dry glue, long tweezers (so you don't burn your fingers when attaching beads, etc) and roughly layout what you want to create on the wood. Then when you are happy with the arrangement move the items aside before you begin gluing.
Plug in your glue gun so that it begins to get hot, using the E6000 attach the first Abalone Bead in the run as that will be on the bottom. Use plenty of glue, place it where you want it then remove it, wait one minute then add hot glue around the E6000 and put it back being careful not to burn your fingers as the bead gets hot fast! This is where the tweezers help, you can use them to hold the first bead in place for a minute while you wait for the hot glue to cool off. Once this first bead is solidly in place you can then start gluing down the next bead. You do not need to use E6000 on every bead, I recommend using it on 4 of the 11 you are gluing down.
To glue your next layer you may need to raise up the middle of the flower area because the Abalone Beads are not flat, you can do that by using hot glue to adhere one or two packing peanuts in the center. Do a quick dry placement of the next layer making sure you are happy with how it will look, then glue it down using hot glue. When gluing seashells they will get hot fast so be sure to use the tweezers. If the seashell is concave and that bowl area will be facing down you will want to fill it with glue then turn it over to place it down. This ensures the it will not pop off for lack of enough glue.
Repeat the prior step with the next layer and all items, checking each time to make sure you are happy with how it looks before gluing it down.
When adding charms, broaches, chains, etc. be sure to hide the glue behind or below them, I like to push the end of a chain where the abalone beads meet, let that cool then I can measure and cut where the other end will be applied. Where needed you can layer hot glue to build up a mound to ensure greater coverage also by letting each layer cool for a minute before adding the next, be creative!