Coastal Sea Shell Christmas Tree

by Terry
3 Materials
1 Hour
I felt like adding another sea shell tree to go with my others since I'm decorating for Christmas, so I pulled together my supplies and got busy!
I had purchased these turquoise limpet shells awhile back knowing I would make a tree with them. I also had some sea glass in my craft stash. I purchased the small styrofoam cone at the dollar store. To be honest here, I thought of the sea glass addition at the end of the project to correct some mistakes. More about that later.
I typically hate using a glue gun because I burn my fingers but for this project you need something that will dry immediately so the shells don't slide around. I started with the biggest shells for the bottom row.
I also placed the glue toward the top of the long side of the limpet shell. They are oval in shape but do have one side longer than the other. I did this so I could glue the shell at a slight slant so overlapping the next row would be easier.
Here's what it looks like (sorry for the blurry picture!) as I layered the row and overlapped any open areas.
Okay, now I'm seeing progress and my fingers are burnt up!
The styrofoam cone I bought had a flat top so I had to glue a row of shells to make more of a point at the top. You can see what I mean in this photo. Can you see the glue gun hairs all over this? They all get pulled off at the end ;-)
Next, I glued the last two shells almost leaning against themselves but with space for a starfish at the top. Can you say the word serendipity? As I looked at the tree when all the shells were on it, I noticed even though I had been very careful to overlap the shells and try to ensure there were no gaps, there were many. That's when I got out my sea glass and began gluing small triangular pieces between the shells. I liked the look so much that I put pieces of sea glass in almost every gap I could find. And then I put it along the base of the tree to finish it off.
Here it is with the pieces of sea glass sticking out. Almost looks like lights on the tree. I added a cute little white starfish to the top to finish it off.
I took the finished tree and added it to my other shell trees and coastal mantle. I have a collection of glass candlesticks that I found are perfect for displaying the shell trees. Here's wishing you all a very Merry CHRISTmas and happy crafting!
Suggested materials:
  • Limpet seashells   (online)
  • Seaglass   (collected and Pier 1)
  • Styrofoam cone   (Dollar Tree)
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3 of 8 comments
  • Terry Terry on Mar 08, 2020

    I'm with you, Kevin. I love dumpster diving for goodies. I've lived near the beach my whole life and have collected shells and sea glass for years. Glad you have some good stuff to work with.

  • Tricia Jackson Jones Tricia Jackson Jones on Oct 16, 2021

    Can you tell me how many shells it took and the size? Also would like to know the size of the cone. I love it. I already have some oyster shell trees and I think they will look great together! Thanks for the idea.

    • Terry Terry on Oct 16, 2021

      Hi Tricia, I didn't count and don't have the tree near me, but I counted 48 on the side I could see. I purchased the shells off the internet and it may have been Etsy or another site. Search for Turquoise Limpets. They are a little high in price, but so pretty. You could very easily layer some within the oyster shells too. I have an oyster shell tree, not pictured and they are beautiful too. Good luck and just use your imagination--all shells are beautiful together.