Vacation Sea Shell Garland

What do you do with the shells you collect on your beach vacation? I always look for pretty shells no matter what beach I visit but when I get them home I'm never too sure what to do with them... until now. 

sea shells

I just got back from two weeks on the gulf coast of Florida and while there I collected so many beautiful shells and coral pieces.

florida beach

It wasn't until I visited a local souvenir shop that I knew just what I could do with them. 

souvenir shop window

(sorry this photo is a little hard to see) 

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I am often inspired when on vacation, especially a beach vacation.

Today, I'm going to show you how to make a shell garland 2 ways. 

First I laid out all my shells, if you don't have shells they can be purchased on Amazon.

You will need some thin string and ribbon. 

shells and coral

First I will show you how I made a garland with ribbon. 

The ribbon I used was a thin burlap ribbon from the dollar store but you can use any kind of beachy looking ribbon. 

I hot glued the end of the ribbon to an S hook for the hanger at the top of the garland. 

hot glue ribbon to S hook

Then I started gluing my favorite shells to the ribbon. 

shells hot glued to ribbon

Somewhere on this garland you could write with a thin ultra fine point sharpie marker where you found the shells. 

shell garland on an S hook

That is all you need to do for this garland, now just hang it wherever you need a little summer vibe. 

shell garland hanging on hutch

It looks beautiful hanging in a window, (it is just darn hard to photograph! 😂)

shell garland hanging in window

The second way I made a shell garland is with white cotton string and pieces of white coral.  

I doubled the string then tied a knot at the top. 

coral tied to cotton string

I tied the string around pieces of coral, if the knot was not enough I put a tiny dot of hot glue on the back of the coral. 

glue dots on the back of coral

I kept adding coral until the garland was the length I needed. 

coral tied to cotton string

Between the coral pieces I added a silver bead here and there. 

When I got to the bottom I went back and filled in the spaces with more color. 

coral garland with sea glass

I added sea glass, rusty nails and a few pretty shells. 

You can also sometimes find sea glass at the dollar store like I did for this project

Some of the smaller shells were hot glued in between the coral with another shell on the back. 

Coral and sea shell garland

This is a beautiful way to display your precious vacation souvenirs. 

Did you know you can also paint shells with metallics?

jar of shells and garland

Thanks so much for visiting and before you go please don't forget to sign up for the Homeroad emails! 

For more vacation projects please visit these projects.

For more DIY shell projects, check these out! 

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Vacation garland with overlay


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. .