Beach Vacation Treasure Tree

Christmas is just around the corner and we find ourselves being extra crafty with all of our treasurers we found at the beach throughout the year. What do I mean by treasurers? Drift wood, Sea Shells, and the occasional sea star. Our hope is to give you some great ideas of crafty things to do with those treasures you brought home from the beach. This year we made some beautiful center pieces and a Christmas tree this year. We look forward to showing you the crafts. Check out the video at the end of this post that will walk you through making the Christmas tree.

Items Needed: Your Beach Treasures (Drift wood, and sea shells), Scissors, clear mono-filament fishing line, small inexpensive ornaments in your choice of color a hot glue gun and hot glue sticks.
To begin you need to clean your treasures. Drift wood is usually sandy and often smells and sometimes shells have creatures in them and usually sand as well. The easiest way to fix this is a simple bath. I suggest cleaning them with a hose on concrete. You do not need a powerful spray on your hose. You are simply wanting to clean not take apart your treasures. A powerful spray will damage the wood and could break your shells. If you find out you have an animal in your shells a container with bleach for 24 hours will remove this creature. Just be sure to rinse it well in clean water.
Once your all of your items are clean they need to be completely dry. This may take as much as a week depending on the humidity of your area. I suggest letting it dry outdoors in the sun. This will get rid of any smell your wood may have.
Once your wood is dry it is time to start. You need a hard surface like hard a kitchen counter or table but be sure to put something over it to protect it from hot glue and being scratched by the shells and wood. To save yourself some time I would organize your wood and shells into size smallest to largest. Also, I would cut lengths of fishing line into foot long pieces. Cut two times the number of driftwood pieces you have.
Now it is time to start tying. You can use the knot that you would think would work best for you. We tied a simple loop and then a double knot on top. However, if you like another type of knot use it by all means. You need to tie a piece of fishing line on each end of each piece of driftwood. Be sure to leave a long tail on each one. This long tail will be tied to the next smallest piece of driftwood above later in this project. Tie each end of each piece of drift wood. Finish off the knot with a dollop of hot glue. Once each piece of hot glue is dry go ahead and repeat the tying by connecting the long tails to the next smallest piece. The smallest tail can be your hanger or you can actually hang it from the smallest piece of driftwood. Once all of the tails are connected finis those knots off with a hot glue as well. This will lock your knots in place and keep the line from slipping.
We put seashells on our driftwood trees as ornaments along with small inexpensive plastic ornaments. I have seen it made with antique ornaments which is just as beautiful. Just keep in mind the shells can be heavy so those knots you tie with your fishing line on the driftwood need to be really good, and sealed with hot glue.

Now you need to tie fishing line to the ornaments and glue it to the shells be sure to have a pencil or a tool to use to push your fishing line into the glue. Leave a tail on the ornaments as well, you can always trim off any excess later. The glue will be very hot and can burn you. Once your ornaments are dry you can glue them to the
Once you have all your driftwood tied and glued and all your shells tied and glue you can glue everything together. I turned my driftwood tree upside down. So you can see the messy glued side. I spaced the ornaments out how I liked them on each branch. Now you are ready to glue. Be sure to not leave the strings too long the goal is to have them hang. Put a dollop of glue down and use your pencil to push your fishing line or ribbon into the glue. Do everything on one branch. And let it dry for a few minutes. Once they are dry you can cut off the excess line. Then go to the next limb down and so on. I suggest doing one at a time to avoid burning yourself with the hot glue and to avoid cutting the wrong line when trimming excess hang over fishing line.

You are almost done. You need to find a place to hang it! I would not suggest a door. Just because it could damage your door or break your creation. We used one of the removable adhesive hangers that don’t leave a mark on the wall. I used a second one just the adhesive part to put the starfish above it. You can find starfish at your local craft or big box store. Send us your pictures of your creations. We really want to see your ideas of what to do with you beach treasurers.

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