Quick and Easy Seashell Crafts That Make Great Gifts

You don’t need to shell out big bucks for awesome presents!

Have you ever admired the beautiful beach-themed ornaments or decor you see at Christmas shops? Do you ever think, gosh…I could make that at home! I’m not going to pay $14.99 for that ornament!

Well, you’re right! Here are a few simple beach-themed crafts you can easily make yourself. They make adorable gifts for your holiday host, a beach-loving friend, or to decorate packages with an extra special touch.

Seashell Bookmark Craft | Great Escapes OBX


Shells & Twine Bookmark

Grab a drill and some twine and you instantly have a simple yet beautiful reminder of your days on the Outer Banks.

Your book-loving friends will love receiving a beach-themed novel with this handmade bookmark tucked inside. What a thoughtful gift!

Thanks to Better Homes & Gardens for this easy craft:


Twine, drill, seashells, buttons, bottle caps, hot glue



  • Knot eight 18-inch-long strands together at one end to make the main bookmark
  • Knot 8 inches below the first knot, or farther depending on the size of the book.
  • Drill holes in your shells and bottle caps to attach to the string ends (or use hot glue).


Seashell Ornament | Great Escapes OBX


Simple Seashell Ornament

Ornaments are the classic Christmas gift and the perfect way to use the smaller shells from your last Outer Banks collecting frenzy. You can even include other special beach finds like sea glass, pretty pebbles and bottle caps.

Thanks to Icanteachmychild.com for this kid-friendly idea:


White Crayola Model Magic, rolling pin, colored shells, straw, ribbon, and a drinking glass. Ultra fine glitter paint and paintbrushes are optional, but everything is better with glitter, right?


  • Roll out the Model Magic so it’s between ¼ and ½ inch thick.
  • Use the top of your glass to cut out a circle.
  • Use the straw to cut a small circle out at the top of the ornament to put the ribbon through for hanging.
  • Ask children to choose both medium and small colored shells to push into the model magic.
  • Let dry. According the package, it will be completely dry in about 3 days.
  • Paint with a glitter glossy paint, if you like.


Sharpies and Shells | Great Escapes OBX



Sharpies and Shells

It’s easy to figure out how to turn the colorful shells into beautiful crafts, but here is a way to make even the plain white shells into something amazing!

All you need to do is find some colorful Sharpies and start coloring! You can do random designs or an intricate pattern. It’s up to you if you prefer lots of colors or to stick to one. You can also drill a small hole in the top of the shell to make a pretty ornament or gift tag!

Thanks to creativeinchicago.com for this easy craft.


Sea In a Bottle | Great Escapes OBX


Sea In a Bottle

If you have a new little one in your family, you might want to make them this delightful “Sea In a Bottle” to get them headed down the right path in life….to the beach! This sensory bottle is super easy to make and will actually fascinate older kids, too.

Thanks to Childhood101.com for this craft:



  • One lightweight plastic bottle
  • Water
  • Blue food coloring – just one drop
  • Clear, plastic gemstones, glass pebbles, sequins, and other colorful add-ins
  • Silver glitter
  • Small sea shells

Simply add the gemstones and sea shells to the bottle, filling it three quarters full of water (you don’t want to make the bottle too heavy with too much water) and add a drop of blue food coloring. Then add about a tablespoon of glitter. Secure the lid tightly with a dab of glue from the hot glue gun or by wrapping the top with colored electrical tape.


Starfish Ornament | Great Escapes OBX


Starfish Ornament

We think this is just beautiful as an ornament for your coastal-themed Christmas tree. If the string were a little longer it would also be gorgeous hung around the neck of a great wine bottle, which would be a thoughtful gift for a friend or your hostess this year.

Thanks to Crafts by Courtney for this craft:



Spray Paint, Starfish, Rope, Hot Glue, Glue Gun



  • Hot glue the two starfish together
  • Spray paint your rope a festive color, like gold or silver
  • Dab hot glue onto the back of one of the arms of the starfish, wrap the rope around the arm and create your hook. Decide how long you want to make the rope depending on how you want to use it!


If you didn’t bring any seashells back with you this year, don’t worry! You can actually buy shells at most local craft stores (and they will be already clean and ready for your crafting session). But next time you visit the Outer Banks, take full advantage of all our beautiful coast has to offer. Check out this blog post which is full of super-helpful tips for shelling and beachcombing.