Every year all of the Blog Bees do an ornament exchange, and every year I like to DIY something for my exchange partner. This year I drew Mrs. Hermit Crab, which was quite the challenging moniker to recreate!
Image via Weddingbee
I knew I wanted to do something with a real shell, so I wandered the aisles of Michaels with the little Hermit Crab image pulled up on my cell phone, until I was inspired.
And about 6 hours of work later, I had this little Hermit Crab figurine (I realized after I'd already started making it that HC might not be doing a tree, so I made a figurine instead of an ornament, but it would be easy to just tie a ribbon around the the shell to hang it.)
I highly doubt any of you care how I DIY'd a hermit crab ornament/figurine....but every time I don't think anyone cares about a tutorial, someone always asks. So to cover my bases, and be a good little blogger, I took photos of the steps. Feel free to scroll to the bottom and skip this if you want!
Paint the shell. I used metallic Folk Art paint, and it took 4 coats of the purple for full coverage. I made little blue dots with the blunt end of a wooden shish kabab skewer.
String your beads on 20mm jewelry wire. I just put all of the beads I bought onto the wire to start, so I could cut to the right length easily later (I did this while the shell was drying, so couldn't measure accurately at the time I was doing the stringing).
Hold up the strung beads to the shell once it's dry, and cut one strand of beads to bend in half to use as two of the legs. Twist the ends of the cut wire to secure the beads.
To make the crab claws, I had my husband cut round, flat beads in half using a mosaic tile cutter. Cut along the hole in the beads, so once they are cut in half, you have half of the wire hole exposed on either side, as a half circle, or a trough.
Using a strand of pre-strung beads, attach another piece of wire to the end by twisting it around the strung bead wire, to form a V shape.
Put hot glue in the half circle troughs you created when you cut the flat beads in half, and place the troughs on the wire Vs, as close to the other beads as possible.
Once you have two strung bead sections cut to the correct length and bent in half, and the claw legs completed (so, three strands of beads total, bent in half, to make six legs), glue them into the shell, starting with the back legs.
Finally, make another strand of tiny beads, with black beads at the tips, to create the eyes. In case you didn't know, hermit crabs have some weird looking eyes!
And there you have it. How to DIY a hermit crab out of a shell, beads, and wire, just in case you ever have the need!
And of course, I couldn't send off this little guy without making a cute card, and some custom Hermit Crab wrapping paper! Its just printed on four sheets of printer paper, lined up and taped together.
In return, I got this fabulously DIY'd Cola ornament from Mrs. Ferris Wheel!
Have you ever participated in an ornament exchange before? Or ever tried to recreate a challenging object as an ornament?