Embellished Branches with Shells

How to make Shell twigs:

Shell branches

I have been a fan of the artist and photographer Dietlind Wolf for years and have always wanted to try to recreate her shell branches.  So I cannot take credit for this brilliant idea but only humbly try to make my own version of these embellish branches with shells.

Watch the video on youtube:

Shell branches

Here is how I created my branches, but you should feel free to make this project your own.  Change the color of the branch or leave it natural, paint the shells if you fancy or even swap out the shells for glass beads or anything that you have on hand that will work with this project.

Shell branches


1. Branches (collected from your garden or a nearby park)
2. Shells (variety of shapes, sizes, and colors)
3. Hot glue gun and glue sticks
4. Acrylic paint (optional)
5. Paint brush (if painting)
6. Clear sealant
7. Beads, pearls and other small embellishments

Prepare the Branches

Shell branches

Start by collecting branches that suit your desired size and shape. Look for branches with interesting textures and unique twists. If necessary, trim them to your desired length using a pruning shears. Clean the branches by gently removing any loose bark or debris.  I rinse my off with some water and let dry.

As you can see here I am repurposing branches I used for this easter branch tree by painting them white.

Collect and Sort Shells

Shell branches

Head to the beach or a local craft or second hand store to gather an assortment of shells. Look for shells of various sizes, shapes, and colors to create an interesting visual appeal. Take the time a few moments sort the shells based on their characteristics. This will make it easier to select the right shell for each branch.


Shell branches

I like the look of the light color branch so I am painting my branches with white paint with just a smidge of red in it.  This gives the white a slightly pinkish tint that I am looking for.  If you want to add a pop of color to your shells, consider also painting them with acrylic paint. Use your paintbrush to apply the paint, allowing it to dry completely before proceeding to the next step. This step is optional and can be skipped if you prefer the natural look of the branches and shells. If you do decide you want to paint your branches take you time and enjoy this process – it can bring you flow and calm your mind.

Seal and Protect

Whether you paint your branches or not you may want to seal them with some clear sealer.  This will add some strength and elasticity to the branches to help avoid breakage and prolong the life of your embellished branches.

Attach Shells to the Branches

Shell branches

While your hot glue gun is heating up gather some shells and decide where you want to put them on your branches.  I find that the heavier shells do better towards the bottom of the branch and smaller more delicate shells adorn the ends.  Apply a small dab of hot glue to the back of a shell and press it firmly onto a desired spot on the branch. Hold it in place for a few seconds to ensure a strong bond. Repeat this process, adhering shells along different sections of the branch. Experiment with different arrangements and spacing to achieve the desired aesthetic.  Add pearls and beads to enhance the look of your shells and cover any holes or globs of glue.

Embellished Branches with Shells

Display and Enjoy

Shell branches

Once your embellished branches with shells are complete, find the perfect spot to display them in your home. Use a heavy-duty vase or place some stones inside the vase to give the branches a stable place to sit.  These unique branches can be used year after year for your summer décor.

Shell Branches

As always, enjoy the process of creating this project as well as the beautiful results!

Shell branches

Looking for more summer inspired projects?
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Meet Jane

Welcome! I’m Jane, and I am obsessed with crafting, decorating, gardening, repurposing castoffs and general DIYing.

This blog focuses on creating on a budget, creative and fun projects that will add a bit of amusement to everyday life, cause lets face it, sometimes life isn’t so easy. My projects aim to be simple while also being Eco and budget friendly with a sense of humor or a sarcastic twist.
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