How to Make Unique — Elegant Christmas Ornaments Using Paper Clay — Silicone Molds, Hometalk

Unique & Elegant Christmas Ornaments Using Paper Clay & Silicone Molds

I absolutely LOVE to play around with these silicone molds by Redesign with Prima. They are easy to use and can add so much drama to a rather plain piece.

Every holiday, I incorporate these silicone molds, and I often use them on furniture too!

At the end of this post, I’ll include links to my previous Hometalk posts using this technique on different surfaces (one even has a video!)

You can even grab the kids to join in! Paper Clay is usually a hit

The cost will make at least 12-20 ornaments (depending on how much paper clay you use on each ornament)

First, grab your supplies.

You’ll need preferably plastic ornaments. Any kind and size will do. You can even use colored ones or ones that you already have!

I happened to have plastic ornaments on hand that are two halves and snap together. They worked perfectly! I purchased them in a pack of 20 from Amazon.

The reason to use plastic ornaments is because you’ll be gluing the molds to it and applying pressure. Glass ornaments are rather fragile and may break when pressure is applied.

A package of paper clay. Grab it from Michael’s with a 40% off coupon!

You’ll also need corn starch and a detail paintbrush to dust the silicone molds. This prevents the clay from sticking.

Wood glue and a detail paintbrush to brush the glue onto the paper clay molds. I prefer titebond brand wood glue.

Paint color of your choice with a smaller paintbrush to paint the ornament. Or get plastic ornaments in the color you’d prefer to avoid painting them.

Frensheen metallic pigment mixed with Frenchic Finishing Coat or clear wax and a detail paintbrush to paint the molds.

Redesign with Prima silicone molds. One, two, ten.. as many as you’d like and whichever designs you prefer. Mix and match and get creative!

*One small paintbrush

*Frensheen metallic pigment mixed with Finishing Coat

8 ideas for crafts from shells for beginners

Keep the seashells as a reminder of carefree days on the beach is best in the form of interior items, ornaments and souvenirs. After all, they are so beautiful, completely free, natural and durable material. In this material you will find 50 inspirational photos, 8 ideas and as many step-by-step master classes on making crafts made of shells with your own hands for beginners.

Basic instructions for preparation of shells


Before you start making crafts from shells, they need to be properly prepared.

  • If the shells are “dead” and there are no remains of mollusks in them, then they should be simply soaked in a solution of water and any chlorine-containing agent (eg, with bleach, “Duck”, etc.) in a 1: 1 ratio for 30 minutes. If the shells are very dirty, or you want to remove the dark outer layer (periostracum), then soak them longer. After soaking, clean the shells with a brush and rinse with clean water.
  • If the shells are “alive”, that is, they have the remains of mollusks (even long dead) and have an unpleasant smell, they must be thoroughly cleaned. To do this, lower the shells into boiling water for 5 minutes, and then remove the remains of mollusks using forceps, manicure scissors, etc. There is also a second method: warm the shells in a microwave for 30 seconds, then try to remove the remains with forceps. In case of failure, continue to heat the sinks in the microwave oven, checking the result every 10 seconds. When all the remains are removed, treat the shells with a chlorine-containing agent according to the first instruction.

After processing, inspect the shells for chips and, if available, grind them with a grinding bar, disc or sandpaper. If desired, you can give them shine with a transparent nail polish or furniture, as well as with oil or greasy cream. The truth in this case, before processing the shells with glue, the place of gluing will have to be additionally degreased with alcohol.

Drilling holes

To make some types of crafts from shells (eg, wind music, garland, beads, bracelet and other jewelry), they need to drill a hole. This task is rather simple, the difficulty is only that the shells can crack or exfoliate at the drilling site.

  • Therefore, remember the main rule: the thinner the shell, the less it must have a hole and, accordingly, the thread / accessories of the decoration.

There are two ways to make openings in the shells – manual and automated.

Method 1. Choose a drill for a drill, screwdriver or straight grinder with a diameter of 0.8 – 2 mm. Place the shell on a wooden or plastic board and glue it with paint tape. Drill a hole directly over the scotch – it will not allow the shell to split or exfoliate.

Method 2. If you do not have a screwdriver or a drill, you can make a hole in the sink with a stud and a hammer. To do this, first glue the shell with a paint tape, put a label on the inside of the shell, then put the stud and gently tap it with a hammer several times to make the opening. Next, widen the hole by moving the same nail inside it back and forth until you reach the desired diameter.

If you did not have a nail or a hammer at hand, use an ordinary needle, a nail scissors or a knife and “drill” the hole manually. The result will appear in about 10 minutes.

Idea 1. Inlay frames, frames and frames

Seashells can be decorated with a frame of a mirror, a picture or a photo frame. Examples of such artifacts are presented in the next compilation (turn the photo to the right).

Today we suggest you decorate the mirror frame for the mirror, but by the same principle you can decorate any photo frame or picture frame.

  • Shells of small, medium and large size and, if desired, additional decorations (eg, starfish, pearls, figures of skates, etc.).
  • A glue gun and several glue sticks or a transparent epoxy adhesive.
  • Newspaper or any unnecessary paper to protect the mirror from the glue.
  • Painting or usual scotch.

Step 1. Protect the mirror with paper, fixing it with paint tape. At this stage, the frame can be painted if its original appearance does not suit you.

Step 2. Sort seashells in size to make it easier to create a future composition.

Step 3. First, glue the first row of small or medium sized shells (about the same size) around the mirror.

Step 4. Now start gluing the largest shells. Beforehand, you can play with the layout options and choose the best one. If you use epoxy glue, then after all the parts have been glued, leave the frame to dry for the night.

Step 5. Fill in the blanks between the large shells, medium and small shells.

Idea 2. Master the panel valentine

From the collection of shells of different shapes and sizes, you can make a panel in the form of a valentine. However, you can cut out of cardboard / plywood any other shape, say, the same seahorse or letter.

  • Adhesive-pistol or any adhesive of strong adhesion;
  • Collection of river and sea shells;
  • Cardboard;
  • Scissors;
  • Twine.

Step 1. Cut out the cardboard base for the panel in the shape of the heart.

Step 2. With a knife or an awl, make two holes for the twine.

Step 3. Start gluing the shells, trying to leave between them the minimum spaces. Open the eyelet holes.

Step 4. Cut the twine of the desired length, thread the two ends of the rope into the holes on the underside of the panel and tie it to double nodules.

In the next video you can see a visual master class on making crafts made of shells with their own hands in the form of a panel valentine.

Below are other ideas for creating a shell of seashells.

Idea 3. “We write” a painting on canvas

And here’s another idea of ​​creating a wall-crafts made of shells.

  • Canvas on a stretcher;
  • Shells;
  • Adhesive-pistol or other adhesive of strong adhesion, eg, “Moment”;
  • A template or stencil of the desired pattern, printed on paper;
  • Acrylic paint for background creation (optional);
  • Brush (not necessary).

  1. If you want to repeat the idea of ​​painting this master class, then first create a background for the composition of the shells. To do this, use a brush and an acrylic paint of the desired color. Wait for the background to dry, and proceed to the next step.
  2. Fix the template or stencil on the canvas with the help of a paint tape, and then circle its contours with a pencil.
  3. Start gluing the shells on the picture, without going beyond its boundaries.

Idea 4. We make candles for mini candlesticks

Shells are practically ready miniature candlesticks, which are just waiting to be supplemented with paraffin and wick. The resulting candles you can use for table setting, a romantic picnic or just for decorating the interior.

  1. Sea or large seashells;
  2. Small round candles in tins;
  3. Water and saucepan for a water bath;
  4. Glue PVA or double-sided adhesive tape.

Step 1. Remove the candle from the tin container, and then remove the wick from it by pulling the metal base at the bottom of the candle (see photo). Set aside the wicks, and return the candles themselves to the molds.

Preparation of paraffin and wick

Step 2. Each wick is glued on a double-sided adhesive tape or PVA glue in the center of the shell.

Step 3. Now we need to melt the paraffin to a completely liquid state. There are three ways to do this:

  1. Bring the water in a saucepan to a boil, then loosen the fire to stop the water from boiling, and lower the molds into it.
  2. Put the candles on the stove, heated at minimum heat, and make sure that the paraffin does not burn.
  3. Preheat paraffin with a hair dryer.

Step 4. Once the paraffin has melted, remove the molds from the fire and proceed to fill the shells. It is best to use for this some kind of tongs or a pair of Chinese sticks. Do not forget to first protect the table surface with a newspaper.

  • If the shells are too unstable and you are afraid that the paraffin will freeze unevenly, it is better to spread out the candles in the egg packing cells or to fix, for example, a soft clay that leaves no traces.

After about 20 minutes, the paraffin will completely solidify, and you can enjoy the light of the candles from the shells.

  • Idea 5. Doing the topiary in a marine style

    Topiary is a small decoration in the form of a tree in a pot. You can learn the principles of manufacturing the topiary from cockleshells with your hands in our master class or from the next video lesson.

    And in this collection of photos you can get ideas for decorating the topiary from shells with your own hands of a traditional round shape or in the form of a Christmas tree.

    Idea 6. Master the candlestick-flower

    If you have enough shells of bivalve mollusks, then you can make them beautiful candlesticks in the form of flowers.

    Today we propose to make here such an odd job from shells of mussels.

    • Shells of bivalve mollusks;
    • Any round base of small diameter;
    • Glue gun;
    • Glue PVA (not necessarily);
    • Glitter (not necessarily).

    Step 1. Prepare seashells – wash them with soap, remove the remains of organic matter and, if desired, bleach them with chlorine-containing agents (see instructions at the beginning of the article).

    Step 2. Paint the round base of the candlestick in any neutral color, for example, white.

    Step 3. While the substrate dries, sort your set of sinks by the size.

    Step 4. Start gluing 1 row of shells on the sides of the base with a thermo-adhesive.

    Step 5. When the first row is a little dry, proceed to create a second row, placing each new lap overlapping with the previous one and so that it is between the two shells of the first row. As a result, you will form the layout of the shells of two rows in a staggered order as shown in the photo.

    Step 6. The third and all subsequent rows are glued on the same principle, but not on the basis, but on the joints of the shells of the previous row (the place is marked with an arrow in the photo below).

    Step 7. When you paste the last row, examine the candlestick and add one or two more rows where it seems to be necessary.

    Step 8. Hurray, the candlestick made of shells is ready! If desired, you can additionally decorate it with sequins. For this you need to do the following:

    • Handle the shells with PVA glue inside or just around the edges.
    • Generously sprinkle on the hand-made spangles, let the glue dry, and then shake off the excess.

    See also: Flowers from tapes with their own hands – 6 master classes for beginners.

    Idea 7. Create Wind Music

    Shells are the ideal material for making wind music, because the “chime” of such sea bells is very pleasant by ear.

    • Twine, fishing line or any thread.
    • A branch or a wooden stick.
    • Scissors.
    • Hot glue gun or a tool for drilling small holes (drill with a 2 mm drill or just a needle and a nail scissors).
    • Shells.

    Step 1. If you want the shells to be tied to the threads, then drill holes in them first (see the Basic Instructions at the beginning of the article). If you do not have a tool, and you are satisfied with the adhesive method of attachment, then immediately proceed to the next stage.

    Step 2. To the twine bind the twine as shown in the photo, measure from it about 7 cm in length and cut off the excess.

    • If you use sinks with holes, then the twine must be cut at once with the desired length, with a reserve for nodules.

    Step 3. Glue the shell to the twine with a drop of thermal glue. Then attach another 7 cm twine thread to the other end of the sink. Continue until you are satisfied with the length of the first row.

    • Seashells with holes can be tied to a thread in at least two ways: tying the knots around the holes or under them (the knot should be larger than the hole).

    Step 4. Continue to hang threads with seashells to the desired number. In this case, you can play with the length of the rows to form, say, an arch or ladder. In this case, wind music has alternating short and long strings.

    Step 5. When the product is ready, tie another piece of twine at both ends of the branch.

    According to the principles of this master class, but replacing the branch with embroidery frames or adding shells with sea stars, beads, feathers and other decor, you can create more bizarre designs of wind music.

    Idea 8. We make a bracelet from a shell of cauri

    If you have at least one shell of kauri, then you can make a bracelet of your own with a boho for your arm or leg. All the accessories for this decoration you can buy in shops for needlework or in large sewing shops.

    • One shell of cauri;
    • 1 m of silk lace;
    • Half a skein of a mulina of contrasting color;
    • Beads (in this master class copper beads are used from an old bracelet);
    • A pair of crimp terminals with loops (designed for cords and making bracelets);
    • Clasp for jewelry (in the form of a ring or carbine);
    • Ring for fastening (detachable);
    • Scissors;
    • Pliers.

    Cow shell, silk lace, beads from an old bracelet and a tailstock

    Step 1. Drill two ends of the cowry along a small hole (see the Basic Instructions at the beginning of the article).

    Step 2. Cut approximately 15 cm from the skein of silk lace and set aside this piece for a while.

    Step 3. Pass the silk lace about half the length through one hole in the shell and tie the knot.

    Step 4. Pass the other end of the cord through the middle of the shell and tie the knot on its second hole.

    Step 5. Cut a few strands of mulina, collect them and fold the resulting bundle around the silk lace next to the shell as shown in the photo.

    Step 6. Take a short piece of lace, wrap it tightly around the top of the folded threads of the mulina, tie a knot and cut off the excess. You will get a brush. Flush it and, if necessary, trim with scissors.

    Step 7. Start stringing the beads on both ends of the bracelet. After the desired length is reached, bend the ends of the cords in half and shove the resulting tips into the crimp terminals.

    Step 8. Use the pliers to clamp the end pieces on the ends of the bracelet, and then cut the excess cord.

    Step 9. With the help of pliers, attach a ring to one end piece, and to the other – a clasp. Your bracelet from the shell is ready!

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