How-to Make an Easy Seashell Window Treatment

Being “down the shore” last weekend and seeing all the” beachy” decorating reminded me of a window treatment I made for a segment I did for Lifetime Television’s,  Our Home Show.  The segments topic was “super easy no-sew window treatments”.

I demonstrated how to make 3 or 4 treatments using all sorts of items.  I can’t remember all of them – I will have to go look at the video, but this seashell one was my favorite.

How to Make a Seashell Window Treatment

supplies needed:

  • Raffia
  • Chain from the hardware store
  • Seashells, lots of them
  • Wire Christmas ornament hangers
  • Hot glue
  • String
  • 2 Nails
  • Scissors
  • Wire cutters

Hammer a nail into the top of the window moulding on each side of the window.

Drape string or ribbon on the nails to measure how long you want your seashells to drape.  Remove the ribbon/string and measure the length.

Cut chain with wire cutters to that measurement.  If you don’t have wire cutters, when you are purchasing the chain, know the length in advance and have them cut it in the store.

Tape together one end of a small bunch ( 1″ in diameter) of raffia

Weave it in and out of the chain.  About every 4-5 links.

My raffia was 36″ in length, shorter than my chain so I had to add a new length of raffia.  Start the second one where the first one ended.

Remove tape.

Tuck ends into chain. Don’t fuss too much as it will get covered with shells.

Hang the raffia and chain on the nails, making sure ends fall evenly on each side of the window.

This next step should be done beforehand.   This is one of those steps that are best done while you are comfy on the couch watching a movie as it is the” mindless” part of the project or what I refer to as the “production line aspect”.   Hot glue wire ornament hangers to the back side or inside of all your shells.

The front will then look like this.

Once you have enough shells to cover the chain, start hooking them all along the chain. Try to mix and match shells along the entire chain to create visual balance.

To cover the top portion of the draped section, you can bend and mold the ornament hooks to get the placement you want.  If you want a more dramatic look, you can add another chain, just drape a bit lower than the top one.  If you have a long window, you could make a few dips (swags) go across the window.

I am just putting this up for the summer. If you have a wall in your basement or storage area you can hammer in two nails a window width apart and hang the finished treatment in the off season.

Cover to protect it.This way you won’t have to take it all apart, but it will be safely out of the way and ready when you want to re-hang.

DIY Seashell Window Valance: Perfect Summer Style to bring the beach home with you.

More Creative Window Treatments

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  1. Kim Vincent says:

    Diane, I just found your blog when websearching “painted thrifted furniture”. You are my new most favorite blog. Love, love, love this, as I have boxes of shells I don’t know what to do with after many trips to Florida beaches over the years (I live in WAshington state). Also LOVE your diy crystal and vintage metal chandy from the builder’s fake brass chandy. Plan on trying this effect on other brass items as well. Don’t ever take these posts out of the archives, PLEASE. One of my big frustrations with other blogs is that old posts get deleted or there aren’t any archives. Your creativity is SO INSPIRING. Thanks so much for sharing!

  2. I don’t know how I missed this post. I live in Florida and have a bunch of shells that are collecting dust. I love this idea. Thank you

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Debby – It is an old post back from the early days of my blog. I am happy you found it and can make the window treatment for your home with your collection of shells.

  3. Karen McRae says:

    OK, you’re adorable. I’ve been wondering what to do with the plethora of seashells i’ve collected, bought, gathered. Thank you for this!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Thanks Karen. I love seashells and am always searching for new ways to use them.

  4. Jaye Brown says:

    Awesome idea, I do everything with sea shells.

  5. I love your swag idea, too cute snd so easy! (For a woman with NO creative bones In her body) I live on Galveston Island, and have seashells coming out of my ears!! Thank you for this idea, now I can finally do something with my special (grandkids gathered them) shells!!

  6. Sheryll & Critters. says:

    How in the world did I miss this post? I LOVE it. Oh, I missed it because I did not find you that long ago. I am definitely going to put this SOMEWHERE in my house. Thinking my kitchen window and maybe my back door (window pane glass door). I am wondering if it would be okay to just hot glue shells around the frame of the glass oval inset of my front door? Both inside and outside?

  7. I’ve been collecting seashells to make a garland for my Christmas tree. This is beautiful and easy. Now…I am thinking it would be great above my kitchen sink…or several smaller versions wrapped loosely around my Christmas tree. Great idea. Thank you! Can’t wait to try it.

  8. This is what I would call home jewelry.

    1. That is a good way to describe it. It is like a bracelet with charms.

  9. Love of the Sea says:

    I love this…I am a major shell lover and I have so many…I think I could make this. I like the idea of draping a shelf with it…I have a house in The Keys – where this would go perfectly. Thank you for sharing.

  10. I love your ideas, especially this one! I have seashells everywhere, and am going to try this. :) Thanks!

  11. Liz@Its A Blog Party says:

    So much fun! That looks absolutely amazing!
    Thanks for linking up!

  12. So beachy and fun! I love that you have it swagged like that. Cute!


  13. Madigan at madiganmade says:

    Love this idea!

  14. I likey this a lot. TFS!
    Visiting by way of Shanty2Chic

    Makaz Home

  15. Jessica @ Sunny Tuesday says:

    That is so pretty! I love it. It would be so fun to decorate a room with this as the inspiration.

  16. Carmie of the Single Nester says:

    How absolutely gorgeous. Do you think you will keep it up after Summer ends?

    1. Hi Carmie
      If it was hanging up in my dream beach house then I would keep it up all year round. In my current home – I like to change things every so often, so I will probably take it down when it starts getting cold. Perhaps, I will make an autumn looking treament then.

  17. I love this! It came out great. Thanks for linking up to Strut Your Stuff.

  18. Bethany @ The Paper Pony says:

    The chain was a brilliant way to keep it strong enough to hold all the shells. I love this idea! I have a beachy themed bathroom that needs a treatment… this has just flown to the top of the list!

  19. super cute & easy! Now to conjure up a beach house to hang it at ;)

    1. Maybe with a bit more DIY effort I can whip up a beach house. I only wish it was that easy. Thanks fo the cute comment.

  20. The Polka Dot Closet says:

    Wow, what a great idea! It sure is a pretty and fitting view out to the pool!


    1. The pool is my backyard water view for now. I do enjoy it, even though it makes no surf sounds of waves breaking and crashing into the beach.

  21. Kathy @ Creative Home Expressions says:

    What a great piece to use on a mantel to “summer” it up, too!

    1. Hi Kathy-
      What a great idea to drape it on a mantel. That would look very nice. Thanks for sharing.

  22. Oh my goodness! This is SUCH A GREAT PROJECT!
    I’m forwarding it to all the shell-lovers I know RIGHT NOW!!!!



  23. Sherry @ No Minimalist Here says:

    This looks great and would also work as a table drape for a beach party. Love it!

    1. Hi Sherry-
      Another great idea to drape the shells and chain on a table for a party. Kathy’s comment suggested draping on a mantel. I love all these great applications. Keep them coming! Thanks for sharing your ideas here.

  24. Stephanie@cre8tive says:

    Once again, you are so inspiring! What a darn cute idea! What is nice about it, you can re-use those shells for another project next summer if you wanted to. So creative, I love it. And you tutorials on how to do things are exceptional.
    I did a project last week that I got from your post about “how to make inexpensive artwork”. I posted it on my blog today, and I of course gave you the credit for my inspiration.

  25. This is freaking awesome! Okay, I’ve been spending too much time with the tweens, but your shell garland is too too cute. Well thought out and your how to is clear and concise. Love the way this came out. Now I have to make one. Thanks!!

  26. Michelle L. says:

    Wow!!!! That is so gorgeous. The big chain is brilliant. What a huge impact that makes. I’m visiting from DIY showcase, thanks for the great idea!

  27. beachhouseliving says:

    Thanks for the “hot gluing ornament hook” tip. So much faster, easier, and so much less dust then drilling each shell!

  28. That is such a great idea , I was raised on the beach and could have never thought this one up ,just got back from vacation with seashells ,hmmm ,thanks for posting

    1. Hi Deb-
      I collect shells and have boxes and boxes of them from all the beaches I have been to. I have them in big bowls, and here in there just sitting out, but wanted a way I could use them and enjoy seeing more of them in one place. I hope you had a great vacation.

  29. shelly@familyblt says:

    Such a cute and easy idea!