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Christmas Painted Shell Ornaments

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Handmade Christmas ornaments are always my favorite ornaments to take out year after year to hang on the Christmas tree. I love crafting with shells, so this year I wanted to come up with some holiday themed painted Christmas shell ornaments.

Christmas Shell Ornaments

RELATED: Puffy Paint Shells, Galaxy Shells, Painted Shell Design Ideas

And shhh…don’t tell anyone but I typically buy my shells for crafting online or at the craft store. I put some great options in the supply list below.

Christmas Painted Shell Ornaments Supplies

(affiliate links provided for convenience) 

How To Make Christmas Painted Shell Ornaments

There’s a few different ways to paint Christmas themed shell ornaments depending on what design you want to recreate. The first section is how I painted my Christmas characters, and the second is how I did the lettering and snowy painted shells.

Finally, at the bottom of this post you’ll find step by step instructions on how to turn a painted shell into a cute Christmas tree ornament.

Christmas Painted Shell Ornaments

Painting Santa, Penguin, and Owl Character Designs on Shell Ornaments

1. Start With a White Shell

For these fun character ornaments I started with a white shell. If you don’t have a white shell you can always use white spray paint.

2. Sketch the Design

I first lightly sketched the designs with a pencil.

3. Paint on Your Christmas Character

Using paint pens I colored in the designs. You could also use acrylic paint as an option but paint pens are much easier to control, especially for details like fine lines.

4. Glue on Pom Poms

For a finishing touch I added mini puff balls to the top of the shell.

Ornaments that have been painted to look like Santa, a penguin, and an owl


Completed Santa painting on a shell

Directions for Lettering and Painting on Christmas Shell Ornaments 

1. Choose the Right Shell

Shells that have a smoother surface are perfect for hand lettering and adding fun holiday phrases and words using paint markers.

2. Paint the Shell Background

If you want a colored background, acrylic paint is a great way to easily cover the surface of the shell.

3. Snowflake and Snow Painting Tip

For perfectly round dots, I used these dotting tools to create different sized snowflakes on the snowman painted shell.

Christmas Painted Shell Ornament ideas - one says merry and bright, the other is a snowman in the snow

Make Holiday Shell Ornaments With Dimensional Fabric Paint

Another great material to use on shells are dimensional fabric paints.

I love the raised surface created by these paints. They are a great craft material to use with children. The hardest paint is waiting for them to dry as they typically take several hours.

Holiday tree shells painted with fabric paint

How to Make Christmas Tree Hanging Shell Ornaments

There’s a few different ways to add an ornament backing to your shells so that you can hang them on your tree.

Hang With a Twine Loop

One simple way to turn your shell into a Christmas tree ornament is to hot glue some sturdy twine in a loop to the back of the shell.

Use a Pendant Backing

Or you can hot glue a pendant backing to the shell. This will be more stable than just gluing the twine loop and will help it hang nicer on the tree. Then simply add some baker’s twine (shown below).

Adding a backing to painted shells to turn them into Christmas tree ornamentsCompleted hanging Santa and Penguin

For some more painted shell design inspiration, check out these posts Puffy Paint Shells, Galaxy Shells, Painted Shell Design Ideas. I’d love to see what you come up with. Come share with me a picture of your painted shell ornaments on Instagram or Facebook! I love showing examples of my tutorials being made!


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