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  • Writer's pictureAudra Krieg

For the Love of Seashells (and Grandparents!)

Our kiddos are so incredibly lucky to have SIX amazing grandparents. We have always tried our best to teach our kids to be good gift givers. We don't want to just put their name on the gift that we pick out for our parents, we want them to be a big part of the gift if their name is on the tag. With six grandparents, that can get pricey! Early on in Joey's life we started our handmade gift collection and more often than not, it's the gift that gets the biggest reaction each year! Last year we painted oyster shells to look like little Santa's and attached a ribbon to the back so that it could hang on the tree. Six ornaments cost less than $10 between ribbon and paint.

This year, Penny and I found these great clear, plastic ornaments at the Dollar Tree! Not only were they the perfect thing for this year's handmade gift, they were two for a dollar. We grabbed a bunch of them, unsure at first what we would make but knowing that we would come up with something! With the opening of the ornament being so small, we knew we had to find something tiny to fill it with! We love the beach themed gifts since our kids are the "beach grandkids!" A week or so later, while Penny and I were on a beach walk in Corolla one morning, we found a shell bed with lots of seaglass and lots of tiny little seashells. While we were looking through the shell bed and collecting the tiny shells, Penny got so excited and told me that she was going to fill the ornaments with the tiny shells. I loved the idea and so our 2016 idea was in action! While she collected shells, I collected some of that gorgeous Corolla white sand since it's a much prettier color than our golden sand in Kitty Hawk!

When we got home I boiled the shells and seaglass and sprayed the sand with a mild bleach and water solution before letting it air dry. Once everything was clean, Penny got to work creating! Since we won't be seeing Grandparents for Christmas this year, we decided to give them their gifts early. A bonus is that I get to blog this! :)

First we filled the bottom of the ornament with sand. We didn't use a lot of sand because we didn't want the shells to get lost amongst it. I added a tiny little shake of white glitter, just barely enough to notice. Then Penny separated her shells and seaglass into piles and one by one she dropped them into the ornaments. We think they turned out great!

We ended up making 10 ornaments so that we had a few extras to share with a few other very special loved ones. Total cost of ten ornaments, $5! Penny's pride and excitement, priceless!

Finding the perfect sand in Corolla!

The kids were just so proud to give these to their grandparents this year! How do you encourage your kiddos to "give" around the holidays?

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