Sea Shell Decoupaged Shell Ornaments

 This is an idea I borrowed and tweaked from a local artist who makes and sells beautiful decoupaged jewelry dishes. 

Christmas oyster shell

My shells are slightly different, edged with gilding wax, and made into beautiful coastal Christmas ornaments.

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This project began with a walk on the beach one beautiful fall day. 

a walk on the beach

I collected a bunch of oyster and clam shells from our local beach. 

I love collecting and up-cycling things I find on the beach

2 oyster shells

I brought the shells home and scrubbed them with a bleach cleaner. 

I let the shells dry on a towel for several hours. 

Oyster and clam shells

Next, I used Mod Podge to decoupage a single layer of a decorative napkin to the inside of the shell. 

red and black buffalo check napkin

I coated the top of the napkin with another coat of Mod Podge

You can use either matte, satin or gloss Mod Podge, I used matte. 

decoupaged shell ornaments

Once the shells were dry, I used my electric sander to sand the edges of the shells to remove sharp edges. 

The shells are easy to sand using sandpaper too. 

The sanding not only smoothed the edges, it also trimmed the napkin to fit the shell perfectly. 

Next, I used gold gilding wax to rub all over the edges of the shells. 

gold gilding wax on shells

The gold wax hid any rough edges of the napkin and gave the shells a finished look. 

decoupaged shells with gold edges

I also rubbed the back of the shells with the wax which enhanced the beautiful texture of the shells. 

gold rimmed oyster shell

On one of the largest shells I stenciled the word Joy with white craft paint. 

joy stencil on shell

Lastly, I drilled a small hole in the top of the shell and tied a length of waxed twine through the hole. 

On the twine I tied a bow.

oyster shell ornament with bow

These beautiful shells found their way from the beach to my Christmas tree in a few easy steps. 

oyster shell ornament with pinecone

They make great gift tags or hostess gifts and can be personalized with any kind of decorative napkin you can find for any occasion. 

Buffalo checked seashell ornament

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I am Susan, the author and creator at Homeroad. I am a wife, mother of 4 daughters, and a grandmother of 5 and counting. I am a retired teacher, a DIY blogger and an artist at heart. .