This easy DIY beach ornament is the perfect way to capture and remember a special vacation!
It includes a memorable photo, sand, AND seashells from your trip, and it also makes a sweet (and inexpensive) gift idea!
How to Make a Beach Ornament: The Perfect DIY Vacation Souvenir
I LOVE keepsakes and I especially love making my own Christmas ornaments.
What do you get when you combine the two??
That’s right: DIY keepsake ornaments.
Here are some of my favorite ones that I just love hanging on the Christmas tree every December:
I am especially fond of these floating photo ornaments that I’ve made commemorating both of my boys’ first trips to the beach:
Why Make a DIY Beach Christmas Ornament?
So why do I love making these floating photo ornaments, especially ones for beach vacation keepsakes?
- SO easy to make! Literally anyone can DIY these things.
- very inexpensive and the supplies can be found at any craft or dollar store.
- the simplest keepsakes that feature your own photo as well as sand and seashells that you bring back home from your trip.
- simple and sweet (and frugal!) gift ideas (especially for those hard-to-buy-for grandparents).
So skip that trip to the souvenir shop and make your own when you get home!
I guarantee it’ll be so much more special and memorable.
Keep reading to find out all the details about just what you need as well as how to put it all together!
Beach Ornament Supplies
Here’s what I used to make this family beach vacation Christmas ornament:
- Plastic disc ornament
- Sheet of glossy photo printer paper
- Printer & ink
- Sand and seashells collected on our vacation :)
- Mini craft funnel (optional but oh so handy)
- Hot glue gun & stick
How to Make a DIY Beach Vacation Christmas Ornament
As I already mentioned, these beach vacation ornaments are super simple to DIY.
All you have to do is print out a photo and pop it along with some sand and seashells from you trip into an inexpensive plastic ornament.
I’ve already shared a full in-depth tutorial with alllll the details about my younger son’s first trip to the beach ornament, so I’ll be skimming the surface here to avoid recreating the wheel.
Definitely check that post out too as well as the slightly-different-but-basically-the-same floating photo ornament tutorial for my older son’s first beach experience.
That one uses a transparency sheet and vinyl decal for a nifty see-through effect…very fancy indeed.
Step 1: Print & Cut Out Photo
Ok, now on with the short(ish) and sweet tutorial!
The first step in the DIY beach vacation ornament is to print out your photo.
I chose a cute and colorful one of the four of us in our swimsuits and shades and opened it in Photoshop (any photo editing software will work).
After cropping it into a perfect circle that was sized at a precise 3.65″, I added a text overlay that detailed the location and date of our family vacation.
NOTE: You can of course skip all that cropping and text stuff and just use a regular photo that you cut into a circle.
Then just add stickers or write the details on the photo or simply hang a decorative tag with the details from the ornament’s loop.
There are lots of options to really make it your own!
Once I was finished editing my photo, I printed it out on a sheet of 4×6″ glossy photo paper then cut it out with scissors.
As you can see, your cutting skills don’t need to be perfect. ;)
Step 2: Insert Photo Into Ornament
Next up, I gently rolled the circle photo into a mini non-edible taquito and slid it into the plastic ornament.
The photo will start to unroll itself, and you can encourage it along with your finger if needed to make sure it’s fully opened and centered.
Step 3: Add Sand & Seashells
Now it was time to add the sand and seashells that we brought home from our trip.
I swiped a couple handfuls of sand from the beach and our youngest son had the time of his life collecting all the seashells his little heart could find during two nights of flashlight seashell hunting (look for a post on that soon!).
This step is pretty straightforward, and a mini craft funnel makes getting the sand inside the ornament a breeze.
Also, a pencil or end of a paintbrush can be used to help arrange and position the seashells until they’re juuuust right.
Step 4: Glue Twine Around Ornament Top
In order to make the ornament look more beachy and less craft store shelfy, I simply hot-glued some twine around and over the top of the ornament’s silver topper, and also made a loop for hanging.
Our Finished DIY Family Beach Vacation Ornament!
And here’s how our DIY family beach vacation Christmas ornament looks in all its sandy glory!
I can’t wait to add this to our collection of keepsake ornaments and hang it on our Christmas tree this December and every year after. :)
Don’t forget to Pin this DIY beach Christmas ornament idea over on Pinterest and save it for your next tropical vacation!
If You Enjoyed This…
Make sure you check out these other fun Christmas ideas!
Thanks so much for stopping by!