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DIY Decoupage Oyster Shell Christmas Ornament & Fun Craft Idea

Looking for a fun oyster shell craft idea? Check out these decoupage oyster shell decorations. You can easily add a custom napkin decoupage to make oyster shell Christmas ornaments for your Christmas tree, add them to a garland, or make them for Christmas gifts.

There are so many options for adding unique napkins to Oyster Shell Crafts. You can customize the ornaments for many coastal Christmas Tree Decor ideas, and they make great hostess gifts as well.

Follow these simple instructions to make unique Christmas Decorations.

recycle oyster shells and white paint for coastal Christmas Project

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How To Prepare Oyster Shells For Crafts

You can easily obtain free oyster shells from seafood restaurants to make oyster shell crafts. However, you need to take precautions before using them for a craft.

Begin by washing in soapy water and remove any meat from the shells. Then, rinse and add them to a mixture of 1 part water and 1 part Clorox. Allow the shells to soak for several hours to remove any unpleasant odor.

Rinse and allow shells to air dry for a few days before beginning your Decoupage Oyster Shell Craft.

Wash Oyster Shells in clorox to remove any odor.

How To Drill A Hole in Oyster Shells

To make Oyster Shell Christmas Ornaments, you will need to drill a hole into the shell.

Oyster shells are extremely hard and require a masonry drill bit. I used a 1/8-inch bit added to a small Demel drill press.

Place the oyster shell into the drill press to create a hole in the upper top side of the shell.

Drill a hole in the shell with a drill press.

Paint The Oyster Shells

First, paint the inside of the shell with white paint. The napkin is very thin, so any coloration will show through once it is applied.

You can also paint the backside of the shell with metallic gold paint while the paint on the other side is drying.

Paint Wooden Beads

In addition, you may want to enhance the Oyster Shell Decorations with wooden beads. I used a package with a variety of wooden beads for this project.

I used an appetizer skewer to hold the beads while applying metallic gold paint. Then, lay the beads on wax paper to dry.

You can paint the beads any color that you choose.

Prepare the Napkin for Decoupage

While the paint is drying, you can prepare the napkin for decoupage.

Begin by separating the layers. Most paper napkins are three-ply, and you only need the top decorative layer.

Use a piece of tape to separate the layers easily.

Coastal Napkins for DIY Christmas Project, separate the layers of a napkin.

Since I plan to use the decoupaged oyster shells at our beach cottage, I chose these great Coral Reef napkins.

Begin by cutting the napkin to the approximate size of the shells, aligning the design you wish to show on the oyster shell Christmas ornaments.

Cut the top decorative layer the size of the oyster shell to decoupage them for a beach cottage decoration.

How To Decoupage Oyster Shell

Once the paint is dry, you can begin to apply the napkin decoupage to the oyster shells.

Add a coat of Mod Podge to the inside of the shell and press the napkin to the shell gently. The napkins can be easily torn while adding to the Mod Podge, so a gentle application is best.

Once the napkin is in place, you can trim any excess away with scissors.

Apply another coat of Mod Podge over the top of the napkin and allow it to dry.

Paint over the napkin with mod podge to make a DIY Napkin Decoupage  Christmas Ornament for cottage core decorating.

Add Jute Twine and Beads

You can use ribbon, yarn, or jute twine to make hangers for the Decoupage Oyster Shell Christmas Ornaments. I used a medium size jute twine and small beads.

To allow the twine or ribbon to be threaded through the oyster shell and beads, wrap the two ends closely together with a piece of tape. Thread the twine through the shell from the backside and create a loop to secure the ornament.

Finally, add the beads you wish to enhance your oyster shell ornament. Just slide them over the taped pieces of jute that you just tied onto the shell. You can add as many beads as you desire.

Insider Tip

I recommend using a long length of twine or ribbon when attaching to the ornament.

Depending on how you plan to use them, you may need extra length to tie the ornaments securely to your tree or other places you plan to display them. You can always cut any excess length after your oyster shell Christmas ornaments have been attached.

How To Decorate with DIY Decoupage Oyster Shell Christmas Ornaments.

There are many ways you can use the DIY Decoupage Oyster Shell Christmas Ornaments to decorate your home this holiday.

They will obviously look lovely on a Christmas tree, but these unique ornaments have other creative uses.

I plan to use these ornaments to decorate our tiny beach cottage. Because our space is limited, a Christmas tree is not an option.

Therefore, I look for alternative ways to add Christmas cheer to the cottage.

Make A Driftwood Garland

First, I added several of the ornaments to a piece of driftwood and hung it above our kitchen island.

Tie the DIY Cottage Core Ornaments to driftwood and hang for Christmas Decoration at a coastal beach cottage.

Each of the Oyster Shells is tied onto the driftwood with the jute twine and placed so that they are all facing forward. Then, the driftwood is hung above the island using an invisible fishing line.

Tie the DIY Decoupage Christmas Ornaments to driftwood and hang for Christmas Decorations.  Beach Cottage

Next, I added a few pieces of natural cedar to the top of the driftwood for added holiday style.

Oyster Shell Christmas Craft Ideas using oyster shells and napkin decoupage with wooden beads and driftwood.

Ornament Charms

You can use your DIY oyster shell decorations as charms for door knobs, cabinet handles, or tassels.

Attach the Christmas ornament to a string of beads and use it as a charm for a large bottle or container, a lamp, or add it to a tray or basket.

They also look great hanging from peg hooks and shelving.

I added my ornament to an existing beaded tassel that I had tied around the large bottle previously. You can make your own beaded tassel or add to one you already have. Just tie it between two beads with jute twine.

Oyster Shell Decorations Gift Ideas

The individual oyster shell decorations also make great hostess gifts, thank-you gifts, secret Santa gifts, and more.

Decoupage Christmas ornament crafts make good Christmas gifts, hostess gifts, secret Santa gifts, etc.

The beach cottage is already feeling festive with the addition of the decoupage oyster shell Christmas ornaments.

Decorate a small beach cottage with DIY Cottage Core Style Decorations and Christmas Ornaments For Coastal Cottage

Oyster Shell Garland

See this easy Oyster Shell Garland tutorial for another fun oyster shell craft. Plus.. see this Upcycled Oyster Shell Decorative Rings Dish tutorial.


Click the images below for supplies and resources used for this project.

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How to Make decoupage Oyster Shell Ornaments for a Coastal Beach Cottage Christmas


Thursday 2nd of November 2023

Rachel, these Oyster Shell Christmas Ornaments turned out so pretty. Love it! I found some at a store and each shell was $35. No lie. So much better to make them yourself.


Friday 3rd of November 2023

Tammy I agree! Yes they are expensive and so easy to make. Can't wait to see what you make.

va in NC

Wednesday 1st of November 2023

This is such a beautiful idea. Hope to use in future. You are so creative. love your ideas.


Thursday 2nd of November 2023

Oh you are just so sweet to always lift me up with your comments. Thanks for your input.


Tuesday 31st of October 2023

These are so cute Rachel, perfect for the beach house.


Tuesday 31st of October 2023

Wendy, I really appreciate this. Thanks you


Tuesday 31st of October 2023

This is such a fun idea. It looks beautiful. Hugs to you.


Tuesday 31st of October 2023

Renae, I appreciate your encouragement.


Tuesday 31st of October 2023

I can't figure out how to attach the beads to the shells????


Tuesday 31st of October 2023

Kathi, Run the jute twine through the shell first and loop it to hold the shell. Then thread the beads onto the same jute twine. Be sure to use a long piece of twine so you have plenty of room for the beads and to tie it to your tree or where you want to hang it.