| Since I live in SW Florida, every year I decorate "Tropical Christmas" style. During frequent beach walks, I keep my mesh bag handy to pick up all the nice shells I find (especially after a storm).
With "fresh shells" be sure to prepare them first. When you get back home from the beach, immediately place the shells in a pot of boiling water and simmer for 30 minutes. This will kill anything "live" still attached. There are "live" things that you cannot see with the naked eye! Lay the shells
out to dry, then package according to shell type in different plastic bags for craft use later.
My favorite tree ornament is using the long, skinning, spiral-shaped cone shells. (Horn Shells, Turrets, Augers & Worm Shells). Look at them with a "Christmas Eye". Don't they look just like an icicle?
All you have to do is brush on some of the Twinkle Paint (a varnish with glitter - available in all colors) in any desired color. When dry, hot glue a ribbon bow to the top of shell. Hang on the tree and enjoy!
Of course, variety is the spice of life! I like the natural shell color with just the hint of color the glitter varnish leaves on it. The varnish dries clear, while the glitter makes the shell sparkle in the tree lights. But I have seen them painted also. Your choice. These are my husband's
favorite ones too.
Also, I use seashells, starfish, etc., in the bow decorations along with those tiny little ornaments (for mini-trees) and candy canes, and anything else I have on hand when wrapping gifts. Just a hot glue gun & imagination is all you need I could go on for hours! But you wanted a "favorite."
Contributed by Denise Vaughn DeeVaughn@aol.com.