Sand and Seashells as a Travel Souvenir and DIY Ornament

I’ve been waiting to share this idea with you for almost a year! I saw sand ornaments on Etsy last winter, and KNEW that I wanted to take the idea and turn it into a memorable, adorable, and incredibly frugal travel souvenir. However, since they are essentially DIY Christmas ornaments, I felt the need to wait until Christmastime to share!

Sand and Seashells: Travel Souvenir and DIY Christmas Ornament!

Like most kids, my girls like to collect shells (among other fun things) when we go to the beach. This year, when we traveled with my parents to Puerto Rico and with Nate’s sister and family to Cancun, I made sure that some of the smallest shells they collected made it home with us. I also filled our trusty ice cream bucket with a bit of sand and lugged the sand home to make the ornament feel more authentic. But of course it’s perfectly acceptable to raid your sandbox for sand too!

Turn your seashells into an inexpensive souvenir/Christmas ornament!

(One disclaimer: if the beaches you frequent are protected and preserved, please find seashells elsewhere!)

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To make this seashell and sand Christmas ornament, you will need:

  1. Sand
  2. Seashells (we used about 15 small shells and rocks)
  3. Clear glass or plastic ornament balls
  4. Heavy-duty ornament hanger.

Kid-Made Christmas Ornaments: Sand & Seashells

We used glass ornaments like these, but they turned out to be very heavy. The little metal hangers were definitely not strong enough to hold them on our tree. Ribbon would be a better choice.

Kid-Made Ornaments: Sand and Seashells

However, by using plastic ornament balls (like these), you minimize the damage if the ornaments fall.

As is typical of this page, this activity was oh-so-easy! And a sweet reminder of the time our family got to spend together this year on vacation.

This kid-made ornament is part of an awesome (IMO) blog hop hosted by Mama Miss. For this series, we are all sharing kid-made ornaments that are inspired by books!10 Days of DIY Christmas Ornaments

I wish I could say that I have a great beach book for kids to recommend, but this ornament is inspired by family travel (in general) and (specifically) the travel books I have on my wishlist for my girls–Lonely Planet’s Not for Parents Travel Books.

These books are still a little advanced for my girls (I believe they’re recommended for ages 8 and up), but they sound so fun!

From Amazon on the Not for Parents Travel Book:

“Everyone knows which is the world’s highest mountain, but do you know which country banned chewing gum? Or what’s the world’s stinkiest fruit? Or who invented roller skates? Or which building leans more than the Leaning Tower of Pisa? Or where can you eat fried spiders as a snack?”

And from the How to be a World Explorer:

How to be a World Explorer will teach you all you need to know about venturing through all the landscapes on Earth. How do you cope with extreme cold? How do you find water in the wild? How do you escape from quicksand? How do you navigate by the stars? How do you build an igloo? How do you fight a bear? It’s all here!

Sounds to me like a cool way to weave together adventure, geography, travel, culture, and silly fun!

You can find all of the literature-inspired, kid-made ornaments on Mama Miss!

Check out today’s features:

Polar Express Ornaments

Scratch ‘n Sniff Watercolors

Ornament Journal

Turn your seashells and sand into an easy, DIY Christmas ornament and inexpensive souvenir.

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