Making Lowcountry Holiday Crafts

There are some things that are just uniquely “Lowcountry”….that no matter where you are in the world – you know right away belongs on Hilton Head Island. One of those things is the Oyster Shell. We are so blessed with a healthy harvest of Oysters right in our backyard and the beds produce beautiful, shiny pieces that can be turned into art.

A few of my stay-at-home-mom friends get together and craft each week with their kids. I watch the facebook photos post with an enviable eye as they display Colt’s – Jordan’s – Donovan’s – Caleb’s little turkeys, turtles, trees and more.  I’ve tried making it to the craft group (to no avail); however I am grateful as my little Gray (3 years) is always bringing home projects from school.

Last week, I asked my uber-crafty girlfriend Amanda to create some Oyster Shell Angels, made with Lowcountry Oysters and Spanish Moss, to share with ya’all. She, Donovan (3 years) and Arli (1 year) sat down and created these delightful angels that are truly uniquely Hilton Head.

Items you will need:

  • Oyster Shells
  • Spanish Moss (wash in very hot water to get rid of bugs, boiling is better)
  • Burlap
  • Round Ball for Head
  • Paint & Sharp Pens for Face
  • Hot Glue Gun
  • Sandpaper

I picked up some oyster shells for her on the side of the road – truly :). If you are on Hilton Head, head down to Hudson’s Seafood on the Docks and grab some from there, or in Bluffton – the Bluffton Oyster Factory (or, of course, by the side of the road.)


Amanda started by pulling down spanish moss and washing the oyster shells.  If needed, take some sandpaper to smooth out the shell of its natural ragged edges.

Next she prepared the head using a wood ball and her intricate painting skills!

Baby doing arts and crafts

She glued on the burlap wings and Spanish moss hair – with Donovan’s help of course!

Young boy doing arts and crafts

You can use a hot glue gun – here Donovan is using a glue stick.

Young boy doing arts and crafts

And wow – check out the finished product – your very own Lowcountry Spanish Moss and Oyster Angel!


Angel ornament on Christmas tree

Just Beautiful On The Tree! Thanks Amanda!

Angel Christmas tree ornaments on tree

Check out this holiday ornament from the Harbour Town Lighthouse store – so cute!

Lighthouse tree ornament

Another ever-popular Lowcountry tradition is Oyster Shell Wreath. A few years ago, I had an Oyster Shell Wreath making party on my front porch. I invited about 10 girls over on a Thursday night, popped open the wine and we went on a hot glue rampage.  Needless to say, we had a lot of laughs and a *few* finished Oyster Wreaths but all in all – a ton of fun.

Here’s what you need to make your own Oyster Shell Wreath –

  • Cheap black hose tubing – ask for it at Lowes or Home Depot
  • Buckets of oyster shells – I get mine from the Bluffton Oyster Company – you can buy an entire tub full for approx. $20 – and they load them into the tub for you! You obviously don’t need that many unless you are hosting a party :)
  • Hot Glue Gun
  • Duct Tape
  • Sandpaper
  • Ribbon to Hang
  • Bleach

Loop the hose around twice creating your “wreath” size – cut at appropriate spot and Duct Tape around the tubing to hold it in place.

Black rope

Wash the oysters with bleach and a powerful hose and/or in a colander in your sink. Reminder – these oysters will stink to high-heaven so you may want to wash outside.

Wait a few days – let them sit outside in the sun

Oyster shells

Then arrange them on the tubing/duct tape to your satisfaction – you will find the tubing and the shells are uneven, and that is OK. It’s like putting together a puzzle – piece by piece you will find the ones that fit best. Also, only glue one side as you want the flat tubing to be against the door.

When you have it all laid out, simply start gluing down! And here is your finished product!

Oyster Christmas wreath

Look at this beautiful one that hangs on the door at my friend Rhonda’s home near the May River. So “Lowcountry” — I just adore it!

Christmas wreath with oyster shells and red bow

If you are not feeling that adventurous – feel free to stop by the retail store at J Banks Design where they have this beautiful Oyster Shell Christmas Tree. Talk about gorgeous!


Christmas trees made out of oyster shells

Here’s some additional photos of my mommy-friend craft group. Love these girls and their kiddos! Happy Holidays from Hilton Head!

Boy doing crafts with older woman
Two children making Christmas tree arts and crafts

Making Christmas Trees!

oyster shells

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Hilton Head is America’s favorite island, offering 12 miles of pristine beaches and everything you need for the ultimate retreat. Enjoy easy days relaxing in the sun, sand and surf on some of the best beaches in the country.
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