Introduction: Beach Memories Wreath
I love the beach! My family and I have vacationed in Destin, Florida, for many years, and one of our favorite activities is collecting seashells. Over the years I have stuffed many glass jars full of beautiful shells: however, these jars collect dust, and I don’t want to risk breaking the shells to pull them out.
Quarantine hit, and rather than go stir crazy once summer arrived, my family and I planned a staycation that included the Great British Baking show, baking competitions, and Pinterest crafts among other things. Since baking means eating, and I needed a calorie-free craft alternative, I turned to Pinterest craft ideas. One idea caught my eye: a beach wreath with shells. While there were many beautiful wreaths, I couldn’t settle on one that I liked best. So I did what I often do, and I combined ideas. I just had no clue how to blend all of my ideas together. That led to reading many different craft tutorials that weren’t very detailed or didn’t quite fit my project and then guessing at what I needed as well as figuring it all out as I went.
So I decided to make it easier for the next crafters and created the type of instructions that I wished I’d had to craft a beach wreath that will showcase favorite memories and beautiful seashell treasures.
- Fourteen inch floral wire or embroidery ring
- Two shades of blue spray paint (We used Rust-Oleum Deep Blue and Oasis Blue.)
- 100-140 tan clothespins (We used 100 clothespins, and it worked well, but more pins would have made the colors stand out more.)
- Seashells from the beach
- Beach sand
- Coarse salt -- optional
- Clear glitter -- optional
- Elmer’s School Glue (Yes, the one you used as a kid. )
- An old paintbrush
- White or cream ribbon
- Hot glue gun with extra glue sticks
- Two sturdy cardboard boxes
- Mask and gloves (Trust me, you’ll thank me for this suggestion.)
Step 1: Frame
Don a mask and disposable gloves before spray painting the wire wreath. Work in a well-ventilated area. We did our spray painting in our garage minus the cars.
Hang the wreath on a wire hanger to allow 360 degree access.
Spray the wreath with the darker blue spray paint. Be sure to coat all surfaces.
Let it dry overnight.
Step 2: Blue Clothespins
Clip forty to sixty clothespins (depending on how close together you want your pins to be on the wreath) onto the flaps of a sturdy cardboard box. Spray the dark blue paint below the wire clip on the clothespin. Spray on all four sides and the clip part of the pins.
We used a piece of cardboard over the top of the pins to limit where the dark blue landed. The cool thing about using box lids: you can get all sides covered in one go.
Once the darker blue is mostly dry, spray the lighter blue paint on the upper part of the clothespins. All four sides and the top part should be covered but not dripping with paint.
Don't worry about spatters or perfect lines. It should resemble water and waves at the beach. Remember, this is all about making craft memories to capture beach memories.
Let the clothespins dry overnight.
Step 3: Sandy Clothespins
Clip sixty to eighty clothespins to a second cardboard box and then use an old paintbrush to spread glue on the tops only.
Sprinkle pure beach sand or a mixture of equal parts sand, salt, and glitter mixture over the glue. (We didn’t have much beach sand, so we used coarse sea salt to add volume and then added glitter to give some shimmer.)
Let dry overnight. Spray dried pins with hairspray to set the sand.
Step 4: Ribbon
Tie a ribbon to the top of your wreath. We threaded ours from front to back through the top rung of the wreath and knotted it twice at the top of the ribbon. Doing this step now will help you move the wreath in all the other steps without messing up your great progress.
Step 5: First Layer
Use hot glue to attach the sandy clothespins to the outside rung of the wire wreath. As you glue, place hot glue on both inside tips and clip the tips to the wreath. Then add a little hot glue to one side for extra stability.
Also, don't place the pins straight, but allow a little slant so that the pins curve with the wreath.
Step 6: Second Layer
Hot glue the blue clothespins to the inner rung of the wreath.
We experimented with different sides of the wreath and different placement for the pins. Our favorite was to have the wreath flat and the blue clothespins clipped over the third rung of the wreath and hot glued to the innermost rung.
Step 7: Decorating
Choose your favorite shells (get more than you think you’ll need). Lightweight and colorful shells are the best ones to use. Play around with different seashell colors, shapes, and positions on the wreath before you hot glue.
Use hot glue to adhere the shells to both the tan and blue clothespins.
We overlapped some on both the tan and blue clothespins to pull the whole design together.
Be sure to turn the wreath over and reinforce shells from behind with hot glue to make sure they stay.
Last but not least, find a wall to hang your showstopper craft where it can receive the "ooh"s and "ahh"s it deserves.
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