Friday, December 9, 2011

Seashell Wreath

Remember all of those seashells you've collected on vacations around the world? Maybe you've put them in glass jars or in a bowl or, like my sister, stored them in boxes out in the garage. Tis the season to grab a glue gun, get out all of those shells, and get rid of your guilt for taking them off the beach and far from home.

Elaborate seashell wreaths can retail for $200 and up. Or you can assemble one in about two hours (less if you have a good mind for puzzles). For the base, you can use styrofoam wrapped with ribbon or muslin (glue the ribbon or muslin to the styrofoam), a wicker wreath base, or a straw wreath base. Here, I've used a straw wreath base about sixteen inches in diameter that cost less than $2 at a craft store.

Wielding your glue gun, start by gluing down your largest shells at spaced intervals around the wreath. Then glue down medium-size shells about half-way between the large shells. Then fill in with smaller shells. The whole thing rapidly becomes a puzzle project. I've glued down some smaller shells on top of a gap in two other shells. I've glued some really tiny shells and shark's teeth inside some of the larger scallop shells. Just keep rotating the wreath, filling in gaps, and facing more and more tricky challenges until you're done.

Here the wreath is hung on the wall. It could also be placed flat on a table with candles of varying heights arranged inside the wreath and used as a centerpiece. You could glue the wreath down onto a circular mirror of the same size.

Or, if you like found art installations and are an O'Henry fan, you could take a hike down a beach on Christmas day with your wreath and place it on the sand for some lucky wanderer to find. They'll be telling stories about their seashell Christmas wreath for the rest of their lives.

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