Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Made It: Seashell Mobile

Hello! Spied this project awhile back The Spirit Of Christmas 20th Anniversary Edition (thrift store find):

In the chapter entitled "Beach House Christmas", a seashell-laden wind chime is shown. But the thought of seashell crafts in the dead of winter didn't make sense to me. I thought this item would look better in the summer, when the local beaches where I live can actually be used. 

I had plenty of seashells on hand (another thrift store find), but didn't have the starfish and sea glass that are on the supply list. So instead I went to one of the local beaches to pick up some driftwood, and used beads for the sparkle the sea glass would have given. I also omitted the jingle bells, so I'm calling my finished project a mobile rather than a wind chime. 

Here's how it turned out: 

This mobile didn't photograph very well, no matter where I hung it, so I'm showing off two pics: hanging up on an interior door and laying on the carpeting. It's actually hanging up on the front porch, but it's even harder to get a good shot there. 

Some close-ups:

Overall, this was an easy project, although there were a few tricky parts along the way. For one thing, I learned that some seashells don't take well to having holes drilled in them. Fortunately, some of my thrift store seashells had holes in them already, and I was able to make holes in some of the remaining shells without too much effort. 

The other problem was finding the right-size needle: one that was thin enough to go through my chosen beads, but also with a thick enough eye to accommodate the thin twine I was using for the strings. 

But once the shell-drilling and the needle-threading were accomplished, the project went together fairly quickly. I started by drilling five holes in my driftwood piece: one on each end, one in the center, and one between the center hole and each end hole. 

Next, I strung thick twine through the two end holes, tying the top center of the twine into a hanging loop. Each end was knotted underneath the driftwood. 

Then all that remained was the arrangement of the three strands. Using thin twine, the end of each strand was threaded through the top of the driftwood. I added two beads to each end and then knotted the twine. 

Each strand was then strung with alternating beads and shells. I didn't measure where to place these; I just tied them on. The middle strand is the longest, so it has one extra bead and shell. 

For extra measure, I dabbed each knot with a bit of waterproof glue. Hopefully this will keep the knots from unraveling. 

As far as dimensions, my driftwood piece is 15" long (horizontal length). The mobile measures about 40" long. I didn't plan a particular length, it's just what I ended up with. This is the kind of project that's pretty adaptable; you can make it as big or as small as you'd like.  

And if you want, you can always use your mobile to decorate for a "Beach House Christmas", as the Spirit Of Christmas folks had intended. I'm fine with my beach-look mobile in the summertime!


  1. Love it! Great idea to use those beads. Not all of us have beach glass lying around. I might have to try this. Off to the beach !

  2. Thanks, Ms. KC! I enjoyed making this project - once I got the drilling and needle-threading figured out