DIY Seashell Ice Cream Ornaments

I scream, you scream, we all scream for seashell ice cream! Our seashell collection has been growing lately, thanks to our recent visit to Panama City Beach, Florida! Never having been there before, we had lots to explore and had the best time shopping at the many coastal and vintage decor shops. There’s nothing like exploring a new place (especially one full of vintage treasures!) to kick your imagination into gear. These adorable shell ice cream ornaments were inspired by our recent trip to the beach – keep reading to see our favorite vintage finds, where to visit in Panama City Beach, and for the full instructions to make your own shell ornaments!

Not only were we charmed by the carefully curated home decor shops, but we had a blast collected seashells from the beach. (And buying a few too – we weren’t quite so lucky as to find the pink sea urchins, mini sand biscuits, and polka dotted shells pictured above!) We stayed at the Sunrise Beach Resort right on the beach and each night were treated to the best sunsets over the Gulf of Mexico. It was great being so close to everything on the main strip, and you can’t beat that view!

We ate very well while we were in Panama City Beach – anyone with a sweet tooth won’t be able to resist Thomas’ Donuts & Snack Shop, quite possible the cutest donut place we’ve ever seen! Andy’s Flour Power is another local gem that has the very best coffee and the tastiest breakfast menu. Firefly was definitely our favorite dinner spot – their signature grouper dish was served to U.S. Olympians at the London Games!

If you’re a fan of treasure hunting like we are, Panama City Beach has a lot to offer. With a whole trail of coastal & vintage inspired decor shops, there was lots to look at and be inspired by. The Shadow Box was the first shop we went to and was a never-ending maze of goodies – is there anything better than getting lost in rooms full of vintage housewares? Another favorite was Coastal Cottage Emporium, which was full of retro bamboo furniture and had a back room full of miniature old glass bottles perfect for crafting with. One of our favorite finds from the trip is our sweet shell art kitten that we found here! Dinah’s Coastal Decor was chock full of the most amazing coastal finds, including the silver ocean-themed Christmas tree pictured below. The glass octopus ornaments were calling our name but we resisted for fear he may not survive the trip home in one piece. The Beach House Market was yet another goodie – massive and filled with beautiful coastal-inspired gifts and housewares, plus don’t miss their amazing seashell collection!!

We really had an amazing time on our visit and left feeling so relaxed and inspired. We’ve listed our Panama City Beach at-a-glance guide below including our favorite places to eat, shop, and things to do with the whole family. If you’ve visited Panama City Beach before, let us know your favorite places and things to do in the comments!

And onto the beach-inspired DIY! In case you haven’t caught on, we ended up bringing a lot of seashells home with us and we’re thrilled that not a single one broke on the journey home! You’ve maybe seen these sea urchin ice cream cones for sale in gift shops before, but we wanted to put a handmade twist on them and add some pom poms into the mix! They’re SO easy to make, and all you need for one ornament is:

  • 2 sea urchin shells
  • 1 cone-shaped shell
  • 1 red pom pom
  • String
  • Hot glue gun

To assemble, simply hot glue the two sea urchins together to form a double scooped ice cream and then glue the cone-shaped shell to the bottom sea urchin. Tie a loop out of string and hot glue into the top of the sea urchin, and top it all off with a mini pom pom cherry. We love these as souvenirs that you can decorate your Christmas tree with, or keep out all year round!

We weren’t ready to stop making ornaments quite yet, so we turned these spotty shells into ice cream cones too! These ice cream cones are a bit more heavy duty and much less fragile than the sea urchin ones, so are a great option to make with little ones. All you need to make these ice cream ornaments is:

  • Cone-shaped shells
  • Pom pom maker
  • Scissors
  • Yarn
  • Hot glue gun
  • Mini red pom pom

To assemble, start by making your handmade pom pom – select a pom pom maker that roughly matches the top of the seashell cone. It doesn’t have to be exact of course, and trim it down as needed to fit nicely. Leave the two long pieces of yarn you used to tie the pom pom together as is, and then tie together to form a loop. Then simply hot glue the pom pom onto the seashell cone, and glue the mini pom on top of the big one. Voila!

They’re perfect to make a few of and give as a DIY gift, or keep them for yourself as a sweet souvenir!

PANAMA CITY BEACH GUIDE:
SHOP:

The Shadow Box – a never ending maze of vintage treasures!
Pieces on the Beach – massive drift wood selection
Beach Bums Decor – coastal inspired art and decor
Dinah’s Coastal Decor – beautiful pieces by local artists
Coastal Cottage Emporium – don’t miss the back room full of vintage goodies!
Beach House Market – the best shell selection
13 Hub Lane – simple and modern coastal decor

EAT:
Andy’s Flour Power – the best coffee and pastries
Thomas’ Donut and Snack Shop – the cutest donut place around
Firefly – try the grouper!
Barefoot Hideaway Grill – their patio is right on the beach!
The Grand Marlin – the freshest seafood
Schooner’s – they blast a ceremonial canon off at sunset!

DO:
Shell Island Boat Tour – white sandy beach covered in shells
Swimming – 27 miles of beaches!

This post is sponsored by Panama City Beach.

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