For the simplest decoration idea, this Walnut Shell Christmas Ornament is so cute and easy to make. It’s also an easy and inexpensive project to do with kids! The best part about this ornament is that it is reusable year after year! Whether you make your own little clay additions like we did, or you use a ready-made embellishment, it's sure to be a fun addition to any holiday tree.
Walnut Shell Christmas Ornament
A walnut shell is a natural material, which means it has many uses for decoration and crafting purposes. One of the most common ways to use walnuts is in the form of an ornament. This craft can be made by painting or gluing small trinkets, figures or paper. When you bring these things together, you can create a simply beautiful walnut shell Christmas ornament.
This version uses modeling clay to create a rustic homemade mushroom to tuck inside the shell. I find this to be a perfect addition to a more natural or rustic tree, and I especially love that it fits into a fairy garden theme. Perfect to even hang in a fairy garden after the holidays! If you like that idea, you might like these other fairy garden accessories.
And of course, if you like this easy project, you might also like some of our other unique rustic ideas for the holidays. Things like a rustic yarn star Christmas tree ornament or even this beautiful rustic candle holder Christmas centerpiece. So many unique ways to bring the outdoors inside for your holiday celebrations.
What Can I Put Inside the Shell?
I love the idea of adding any small decoration inside of this walnut shell Christmas ornament. Any small little trinket works perfectly. I am using a mushroom that I made, but you could use a small Christmas tree or a small figurine of an animal, people, or anything like that. Below are a few small items I found on Etsy that would look fantastic in this!
- Miniature winter village scene figures
- Fairy garden clay mushrooms
- Miniature crystal mushrooms
- Tiny snowman figures
- Miniature Christmas presents
If you want an even more artistic flair, you can also paint a scene inside of the shell. How amazing would it look with a small scene inside of the nut? If kids are making this walnut shell Christmas ornament, you can let them take a crack at painting inside the shell. It is always fun to look back on childhood paintings and drawings.
Do I Need to Clean The Shells Before Using Them?
You will definitely want to clean the shell before using it. Since these had actual nuts inside, it's not as much about dirt or bugs as it is about removing anything that could rot or go rancid. Cleaning out the shell with a spoon or brush is a great option, but I like to also soak them to clean off anything not seen.
It is always best whenever you are using natural material that you clean it to remove any contaminants. You can use a bleach solution or a vinegar and water solution. Make sure to let it air dry well before using it. Cleaning the shell removes any bacteria or fungus that could cause the shell to decompose and become unusable.
Where Can I Buy Walnut Shells?
If you are skipping the natural walnuts and want to buy some you can be some online. Etsy has both real and fake ones. Amazon also sells fake ones.
If you are using real walnut shells and you want them to last, you can use varnish over the shell to protect it. Of course, just grabbing whole walnuts at the local market and eating the nuts then saving the
How Should I Hang This From My Christmas Tree?
You need to attach a string or a hook to the walnut shell in order to hang it from the tree. A simple bit of hot glue can secure string or twine easily, but you can also use a small nail or tack to create a little hole at the top to string it through if you prefer.
If you have a small hook, you can also secure it into the shell and then attach a string or cord to the nut. There are lots of ways to make this work, just make sure that what you use is strong enough to stay intact with the weight of the mushroom inside the nut.
- Walnut shell
- Red modeling clay
- White modeling clay
- Fake greenery
- Silver ribbon
- Hot glue gun
- Hot glue sticks
How to Make a Walnut Shell Ornament
Remove the nut from the walnut and clean out the shell completely so it is hollow inside and clean. Set this aside and let dry after cleaning.
Cut a small piece of red modeling clay and roll it into a ball, then flatten it into a circular shape.
Next, add 3 to 5 small dots of white clay to the top to look like a mushroom cap.
Roll another small piece of white clay into a log shape, then small the bottom to flatten so it stands upright.
Press the red top to the not flat end of the white piece to create your mushroom.
Repeat this with a mushroom for each ornament you want to make. Alternately, you can use any small figure you prefer that is already made.
Set aside your clay figures to fully dry for 24 to 72 hours or as directed on the package of the clay material.
Once the walnut shell has dried and is clean, glue a small bit of fake moss inside one shell.
Then, add a bit of hot glue, and attach the mushroom inside the shell.
Repeat this with all of the shells until you have them all complete as you desire.
Cut and tie a loop into string or twine then attach to the top of the ornaments with hot glue.
Hang from your holiday tree or attach to holiday gifts in place of a bow!
More Easy Christmas Ornaments
Of course, ornaments are a HUGE part of decorating during the holidays. So, this year you can make your own. If you like this rustic look, you can add it to your tree, or maybe something more traditional, or even a tree of ornaments made just by the kids. Whatever your style needs, below we have some great ideas to add to your tree. Make sure that you bookmark these, pin them to Pinterest, or print out the tutorials so they are handy when you are ready to craft again!
- Cute Cinnamon Stick Reindeer Ornaments
- Craft Stick Peppermint Candy Ornament
- DIY Paper Christmas Lantern Ornament
- Rustic Miniature Rudolph Wreath Ornament
- Stacked Rolled Paper Christmas Ornament
- Rustic Wood Slice Chalkboard Ornament
- Remove the nut from the walnut and clean out the shell completely so it is hollow inside and clean. Set this aside and let dry after cleaning.
- Cut a small piece of red modeling clay and roll it into a ball, then flatten it into a circular shape.
- Next, add 3 to 5 small dots of white clay to the top to look like a mushroom cap.
- Roll another small piece of white clay into a log shape, then small the bottom to flatten so it stands upright.
- Press the red top to the not flat end of the white piece to create your mushroom.
- Repeat this with a mushroom for each ornament you want to make. Alternately, you can use any small figure you prefer that is already made.
- Set aside your clay figures to fully dry for 24 to 72 hours or as directed on the package of the clay material.
- Once the walnut shell has dried and is clean, glue a small bit of fake moss inside one shell.
- Then, add a bit of hot glue, and attach the mushroom inside the shell. Repeat this with all of the shells until you have them all complete as you desire.
- Cut and tie a loop into string or twine then attach to the top of the ornaments with hot glue.
- Hang from your holiday tree or attach to holiday gifts in place of a bow!
To save time, use ready-made mushrooms or similar figures instead of making your own.
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Finished Project Gallery
Add your own unique figures to the inside. Mushrooms are a fun addition but you can definitely update this to more holiday-themed.
You can even add twine or raffia around the edge of the walnut.
Or some ribbon to match the overall theme if you want!