Tutorial: How to Make an Oyster Christmas Tree

DIY Oyster Christmas Tree Tutorial

Making Oyster Christmas Trees

As a little itty bitty Pizzazzerie, I grew up in Charleston, SC where my Mom would often take me and my big brother to the beach to “collect treasures” like oyster shells for craft projects. One of these craft projects was a Christmas Oyster Tree and today we’re sharing this simple yet elegant coastal holiday decoration with you! It’s really easy to create and so gorgeous on a sideboard or down the center of a holiday tablescape. My Mom’s own dining room table has oyster trees down the center of it this year. She keeps them from year to year and they’re stunning! They are always a conversation piece at parties. It’s a cute craft for a girl’s night too!


  1. Oyster Shells
  2. Styrofoam Tree
  3. Glass Candle Holder
  4. Hot Glue & Glue Gun
  5. Gold Spray Paint
  6. Ornament or Bow
  7. Craft Pearls


  1. Find your oyster shells! If you’re lucky enough to live on the coast and can find them by the seashore, then collect your shells there. For the rest of us, do what we did! Visit  a restaurant that serves fresh oysters. Smile big and ask if you can have leftover shells. Most places are very nice! If you still have no luck with nearby places, visit eBay or search elsewhere online for purchasing oyster shells.
  2. Your oyster shells will smell quite fishy. Don’t fret! Take them home and pour a solution of half bleach and half water into a bucket.  Pour this over the shells until they are totally covered.  Let the shells soak overnight.  The next day, drain and rinse your shells. Place the shells on a parchment lined cookie sheet and back for 1 hour at 200 degrees F.
  3. Glue the Styrofoam tree to your glass candle holder. Hint hint: The dollar stores have very inexpensive glass candle holders! This is optional but it serves as a pretty little base for your tree.
  4. Starting at the bottom of your tree, hot glue the oyster shells going around and around the tree base. You may have to hold the shells on a minute until they set up in the glue. The shells are heavy!
  5. Cover the glass candle holder with aluminum foil and spray your tree gold. Allow to dry and remove the aluminum foil. Glue a pretty ornament, bow, or other decorative element to the top of your tree! Glue pearls to the center of all (or just some) of the oysters.
  6. Display them on a bar cart, side console, or place a trio down the center of a dining room table for a gorgeous centerpiece! Save it for years to come!

Check out this Christmas Tablescape we styled where you’ll see them displayed with chocolate truffles instead of pearls for a “sweet” change! Isn’t it a pretty centerpiece? I just love them!

DIY Gold Oyster Christmas TreeDIY Oyster Christmas Tree Tutorial


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  1. Lori Elder says:

    Why do you need to bake the shells?

    1. geuens janine says:

      same question : why do you need to bake the shells? Thanks for your answer

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