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Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Shell Tree Tutorial.

As it's Summer already, I thought I'd prepare this tutorial for you. Whites, naturals and shells add such an instant beachy feel  to every corner of the house!

You will need shells...

A hot glue gun and about 4-5 glue sticks...

A styrofoam ball, better if divided in half, so you can open it and then glue the two pieces together; a pot filled with pebbles and concrete (to give stability). The finished tree will be about 2 kgs/4.4 lbs heavy, so it needs a very solid base! Also, bare branches or cinnamon sticks (the ones I used here).

Assuming that you have already prepared your pot with a branch or cinnamon sticks in place, open the styrofoam ball, make a hole in it, and then insert the trunk and a few cardboard pieces. Glue them with hot glue. The ball will need to be well fixed, or you will have problems adding a lot of weight (shells) later on. 

Glue the other half of the ball in place.
Then start attaching your shells, starting from the middle top of the ball. Start placing shells one close to another...

... and then fill the gaps with smaller shells. 

I believe it's better to fill all the gaps at this point, and finish off with tiny shells in the end, because you may want to see how your work prooceeds while it is in progress, and to mantain perfect roundness.
It would be useful to stand up from time to time and observe your tree from a distance! :)

Add a string or raffia bow and add small lovely pebbles in the pot, to cover the concrete. 

Monica x.


  1. Oh...lovely.....it makes make think of the sea.......
    I am also in a naturel mood, funny I just made a post of it....
    Fine day

  2. Beautiful Monica!! I love it

  3. This is very pretty. What a nice way to display all those little shells! I love shells but never quite know where to put them; in a vase they seem lost and loose on the edge of the bathtub and soon your bathing in sharp shells. I love this idea. Thanks for sharing!

  4. Lovely, Monica! What a clever and beautiful idea! ;)

  5. Monica, I'm going to make one and yes, I will send you a photo of it when I am done. I love this and your artistry comes out again. Also, love your flying lessons...I have always wanted to take flying lessons and I'm so happy for you that you are making it happen. I can appreciate what they mean to you.

  6. Love the tree!!! I have boxes and boxes of shells I have picked up on the beaches for years and year. Know what my project will be tomorrow, it won't be house work. Thank you so much for sharing.

  7. THANK YOU for that tutorial. I just ordered about $100 in shells. I have to get ready for LesSirens. The mermaid Art Event I am going to in July. I can't wait to start creating with my shells. LOVE your shell tree & the wreath you did last year. Hugs to you & KIM! Charlene

  8. Monica,

    Thank you for visiting my blog. What a gorgeous blog you have! I love your shell tree. I added you to my reader so I can keep up with you. :-)

    Here's to flying toward our dreams!


  9. So pretty Monica. My daughter and I make something really similar by covering styrofoam balls with moss and then using hot glue attach little sea shells and tiny pearls. They look wonderful in a bathroom :-)

  10. Such a beautiful shell tree and lovely idea! I think this would look good in my birds & blooms guest room. I've been trying to create a "cottage" feel in there even though it's a log cabin. I just have to find some shells this summer. If I am able to make one, I will definitely send you a photo! Thank you for sharing!!

  11. Hi Monica, love your shell tree, and I read your previous post, I am very excited for you. May we all fly and get our feet off the ground. all the best, missed you. hugs.

  12. What a fun idea! Hey girl...thanks for sending me such a sweet note on my blog. I am loving your stuff and your site! So so so excited that you had those beautiful purple flowers on here too. I have been looking for the name of them forever! And, your dog is too cute. Mine would steal all 3 cookies! Thanks!! XO

  13. I always collect buckets of shells, now they come in handy! thanks!

  14. Beautiful!!! Great tutorial! Gotta try this one. Thanks for sharing and Happy WW!

  15. Hi Monica,

    What a great way to use up the odds and ends of shells that always seem to accumulate. Thanks for sharing your technique!


  16. What a neat shell tree! Thanks for the tutorial! Happy White Wednesday!

    Back Porch Blessings,

  17. Hi Monica,
    You have a great blog. I found you via Karen @ My Desert Cottage. Thank you for the lovely tutorial.

  18. Thats so cute! I need the beachy feel...LOL it is just SO hot and sticky here. Are you near the shore?

  19. I love your shell topiary! And I think we've all got a bag or bucket or box full of shells, not knowing what to do with them. Thanks for the great tutorial!
    Happy White Wednesday!

  20. Hi Monica,

    Thank you for sharing your tutorial of your lovely shell topiary.
    This is wonderful and such a lovely way to display all your gorgeous shells.

    Happy weekend

  21. Gorgeous!!! Beautiful idea!!! I've just changed my glue gun and I've now a rapid G1000 one. I only had some difficulties to glue some felt with plastic stuff together, so i've used my good old neoprene :) the G1000 is maybe not enough performant or I might have not used the right glue sticks with it... Your shell tree is tempting me very much!!!

  22. How lovely. Thanks for the well thought out tutorial. I most definately shall try this. I have a love of shells. Happy weekend!


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