Sunday, November 8, 2009

Decorating for Christmas & My First Tutorial - A Shell Topiary

Probably a month or so ago, my husband asked..."when are you going to start decorating for Christmas?" which I replied "oh, the day after Halloween!" I said that as a joke, but in all seriousness, I really did want to start decorating early this year. The Christmas season is my very favorite, and it always passes all too quickly - so why not extend it by decorating early?!! So, today I started getting out my decorations, and tackled the mantle first. It probably will get some extra holiday love, but I wanted to get a few things up and the mantle is always the easiest place to start for me!

You may be wondering, why we have so many stockings, well each one has a special story to tell, from left to right...1) My husband's stocking, nothing too fancy, but I did hand stitch the name on it myself when I was pregnant and on bedrest with our first son. 2) Our sweet boy J's stocking, which actually needs to be switched out since he is going on his second Christmas! Woohoo! 3) Stocking in memory of our first precious son, who went to Heaven in December of 2003. 4) Stocking in memory of our second sweet boy, who joined his big brother in Heaven in September of 2004. 5) Stocking in memory of our 3rd child, also joining his/her siblings in Heaven, April of 2006. 6) Stocking in memory of our 4th child, who like baby #3 joined his/her siblings in Heaven April of 2007. 7) Stocking for our furry baby, our doggie, BoBo! 8) My stocking, lovingly handmade by my mother almost 30 years ago. And last, but not least, 9) Little bitty stocking hanging on mine to honor the newest little blessing in our lives! We're expecting our little miracle next Summer! So there you go, the stories of all our stockings!

Okay, onto my first tutorial about how to make a sea shell topiary! You will need 1) and assortment of sea shells, 2) a styrofoam ball - whatever size you desire, I used a small, 3 inch one, 3) some burlap or some type of neutral fabric to cover up the ball, 4) hot glue gun & lots of glue sticks, 5) something to place your topiary inside once you're finished. And, for ease of use, I temporarily used a rubber-band and a stick while I was gluing on all the shells, but removed them once I was finished. Okay, here we go...

Gather all the necessary items in one place, carve out about 30 minutes of time and you're good to go!

I started by placing my styrofoam ball in the center of a square of burlap with the corners trimmed off, and I secured the burlap with a drop of glue that was squeezed onto the ball.

With a stick poking into the underside of the ball, tie the rubber band around the loose ends of the burlap, you could use of piece of string or even a hair band for this since you won't be keeping it on...use what you have readily available!

Place ball where you intend to display it to get a reference line for where you will want the shells to be. Glue one shell on, and then keep on gluing until you have a lovely mound of shells overlapping and placed topsy-turvy all over the styrofoam ball.

The end result should look something like this! Although, I wasn't happy with the container that I chose to host my sea shell topiary...

So I tried this one instead, and still didn't like it...

...eventually, I ended up using this! I replaced the other loose shells which were previously displayed in this vase, which I wrote about here. What do you think?!!

Have a great rest of your Sunday, and a blessed start to your week!



  1. Cute! I like the container you settled on last the best, too!

  2. Gracie,

    I love all your sweet stockings and the ones for your angel babies. :) What a great way to's sweet to know that your babies get to spend Christmas every year with Jesus!

    The topiary is lovely! I love the seashell idea...and although I'm not a big coastal gal, you make me want to make some topiaries! I'm thinkin' maybe a cranberry one for Christmas?! I love topiaries! Thanks for the idea!



  3. Congratulations on your upcoming baby! Your stockings are so sweet.

  4. I love it and you're right, it looks just like my kissing ball :). And oh my goodness!!! Congrats on your pregnancy. Seeing how many children you have lost breaks my heart. I don't know your story, but I know that the grief I had over a miscarriage was some of the worst grief/loss I've had in my life. Praying for you as you work through surrendering this child up to the Lord. Praying for peace and that fear would be cast out. Praying for protection over you and your little one.

    Much love friend,

  5. Grace- Thanks so much for your sweet comment!

    I love this topiary gives me another project to add to the list AND I think I could do it without spending a dime. That's good!!

    Blessings to your family here, and in heaven.