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Coastal Christmas Starfish Tree DIY

November 14, 2020

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I'd seen lovely Christmas Starfish Trees in shop and I was smitten.

So this year I decided to make my own crafty holiday version with a few supplies.
Coastal Christmas Mini Trees
Several years ago, while on a beach vacation, we stumbled upon the sweetest Christmas shop.

It was open all year round and was a fun diversion on a hot and humid summer evening.

It was true wonderland full of holiday treasures.

And tons of Christmas crafting inspiration.

One of the first things that caught my eye, was this collection of darling starfish trees.

Living on an island, of course I'd see them before the tourist towns, but I was never a fan. They just seemed like souvenir pieces, not something I'd want to display in my home during the holidays.

A time when my decor was very intentionally coordinated.

However, this time, in that particular setting, they seemed magical. And I wanted one.

Of course, it was July.

And I was in a major simplifying mode, so I snapped a picture and kept moving.

Surely we'd come back to see Santa in December and I could grab one then, if I were still smitten.

Well, we did go back and see Santa, several times, as a matter of fact over the next few years.

Somehow, though, those trees just never made it into my cart.

Well, this year a trip to that particular wonderland is clearly out.

So I decided to give it a shot and make a sea star tree on my own. After all, it seemed simple enough. I just had to find the right supplies, glue them together and glitter them up.

And that's exactly what I did.

How To Make A Coastal Christmas Starfish (Sea Star) Tree

Here are my craft supplies:

Starfish For Crafts

Starfish (or sea stars) - Mine are from Hobby Lobby with a 40% off coupon and free shipping, but Etsy also has a ton of them.

Glue Gun and Sticks

Glitter - I used a chunky snowy version

Mod Podge 

Foam brush

Dried And Preserved Starfish

I started by placing my starfish on a the table to assess what I had.

Quick tip, you definitely want to work on some kind of scrap paper, since the starfish flake when you first start handling them.

This is a very quick and easy DIY...but only if you have the right stars. The trick is to find them in graduated sizes and with knobs or bumps at the center.

They will create that sense of space and height when you glue them together - the illusion that your sea star tree has a trunk. 

Prongs On Starfish

To assemble the tree, I just plugged in my glue gun and added just a drop to the back of each starfish.

Then I placed one on top of the other.

Hot Gluing Starfish Crafts

The largest star was on the bottom, smallest on top. Pyramid style, if you will. 

I also made sure that I rotated each sea star slightly, so that they didn't line up perfectly. I wanted a natural tree look, with branches extending from all sides.

This way the tree will appear round.

Stacked Starfish Christmas Tree Top View

When the tree was all glued together, my stacked starfish started to resemble my inspiration pieces.

Now, I didn't have a tiny sea star to use as a tree topper, so I figured I would find a button or something to pop up there later.

You know, creative license.

DIY Stacked Starfish Christmas Tree

With my tree fully constructed, it was time to move on to glitter. More mess, so I needed a bigger scrap of paper. 

For this step I just coated the entire piece with Mod Podge and then dropped some snowy glitter on top. It's the same glitter I used on my Christmas candle holder

The Mod Podge sealed my starfish, so they didn't flake anymore, it acted as glue to secure the glitter and added a bit of shine to any spots the glitter didn't hit.

Adding Glitter To Starfish Christmas Tree

So far so good, right? Well, not quite.

Remember my plans for a creative tree topper? Yeah, that didn't work out so well. I combed through my craft closet with no luck at all.

Nothing worked. It all looked terrible and a bit a junky. I wanted that clean, elegant style that I fell in love with in the shop. 

So back to the drawing board I went and I gently tore the top star away from the rest of the tree, repositioned it as a topper and glued it back into place.

It actually fit really well.

Glitter Starfish Christmas Tree

I finally have my own little coastal Christmas starfish tree.

It's a bit smaller than the ones I saw in the shop all those years ago, but that's ok. It came with a tiny price tag.

Plus, I live in a tiny house.

Glittered Starfish Christmas Tree DIY

And now that I know what I'm doing, I could make a whole forest full of them in varying sizes and shades of white. 

But Santa thinks this one is perfect.

I'm not going to argue with the big guy so close to Christmas.

I mean would you? 😉


Kim Signature

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  1. How cute! I love the finished product, and the chunky snow was perfect for it! Brava!

    1. Thank you so much, Ricki! This was a quick and easy one for sure.

  2. I absolutely LOVE this Kim! I wish we had a Hobby Lobby here; we don't have cool local supplies like this. I have 3 ceramic starfish hanging in our power room as decor. Well actually, that should be 2 now - one jumped off the wall and broke. I'd love to replace them with real ones - in case they decide to go all suicidal on me again :).

    1. Haha! Funny, Sara! We don't often find sea stars on the beach around here, so I had to buy mine, too. I ordered from Hobby Lobby online, but like I said, Etsy has tons. I think people use them for wedding and party favors. You know, in case you really do want to pop a few real ones on that shelf. 😉

  3. I love it! It looks so darling! I wish that I was as clever as you.

    1. Thank you, Briana. And trust me, this one was so simple. You could definitely do this.

  4. I think it's perfect too! It turned out so cute. I love the white and the glitter.

  5. This is perfect and I like yours better. Love the chunky glitter on them too. Very pretty. Bravo crafty girl. This is super cute. xoxo Kris

    1. Thanks Kris! Mine's petite, but sweet! xoxo

  6. That is as cute as cute can be, Kim! Just darling!!!

  7. I say.. you are so creative and fun.. and I am always learning from you. Thank you Kim for another fun idea.

  8. So so adorable, Kim, you did an amazing job creating your own version of the original!

    1. Thank you, Marie! I wanted to do it for a long time. Glad I finally got around to it.

  9. Umm Umm Ummm!
    I have never seen a, Star Fish Tree, before. I have a new crush! I think you are right, one is enough to satisfy with not over doing it.
    And of course I had to click on the "I live in a tiny house". I went down that Rabbit Hole and got lost looking at your transformations!! Unbelievable.........

    1. Thank you, Christine! I guess they're popular where I am due to the location and our proximity to the beach. They think everyone has coastal decor! I'm glad I was able to recreate one though...but yes, I many need more!! And thank you for your kind words about the renovations. It was a lot of work and let's just say I don't think I ever want to do that again! Ha!

  10. So cute, Kim. Just perfect for your little beachy cottage..Stay well..xxoJudy

    1. Thank you, Judy! It keeps me thinking about warm summer days for sure! xo

  11. You are so wonderfully creative.

    All the best Jan

    1. Thank you, Jan! I think I was just a really good copy cat with this one. Ha!

  12. I'm with Santa - the little tree is gorgeous. Such a brilliant idea, Kim, and a fun one at that.

    1. Why thank you, Amalia! I'm glad I was able to finally make my own.

  13. You made such a pretty coastal Christmas tree Kim! You did a great job and I love the look. It's just perfect for your cottage.

    1. Thanks Julie! This one really does make me smile. Enjoy the weekend!!

  14. Wow...that is so cute. I have never seen a starfish Christmas tree. Love it and you did so good with it. Thanks for coming by the blog and leaving such a sweet comment. I have always shot for and tried to make my blog fun. Thanks again.

    1. Thanks Pam! When I saw them in the store, I knew I had to make my own.

  15. Adorable!! So cute!! and easy which is what I like!! Thanks for the inspiration!!

    1. Thanks Debbie! This was a fun one to recreate. Glad you like it!

  16. Nope, Santa always knows best and if you want any pressies for Christmas it's a good idea not to argue with the man :D Plus the little starfish tree is such a stunner, she does need anyone stealing her light

  17. Please stop calling them starfish - they don't have fins, gills, or vertebrae. They are sea stars

    1. Yes, that does make sense. I've lived on an island my entire life and no one has ever called them sea stars...I guess starfish is a bit more romantic. Thanks for the insight!