How to Make a Mermaid Shell Crown

by Mermaid Julie October 04, 2016

How to Make a Mermaid Shell Crown

There is nothing as enchanting as a crown covered in shells!

Every mermaid princess feels like a million bucks in one.

They are awesome with a mermaid costume, fun to do for a party, and beautiful in mermaid photo shoots!

And, the good news - they are easy and fun to make yourself!

The best part is, the options and varieties of crowns to create are endless...

In this article I will show you how to make your very own mermaid shell crown from the comfort of your mermaid den.

Let's dive right in!

What You'll Need

  1. Crown Base (Party Store Kind)
  2. Pipe Cleaners (Any kind)
  3. Adhesives (Hot Glue Gun w/ Glue, and Super Glue)
  4. Adornments (Shells, Sparkles!)

Shopping/Scavenging Time: 1-2 Hours
Make Time: 2 Hours

#1. Crown Base

All crowns start with a crown base. You can purchase one for about $7-$10 from any party store or costume seller. Try Party City online, there are lots! I had success online searching a 'princess party crown' and also have picked some up at my local party/costume store. If all the crowns are covered with disney princesses, that works too, you will be covering it up anyway!

Crown Base for Shell Mermaid Crown

Tip: Be sure the crown fits you or whoever the crown is for before beginning. 

Tip: A sturdy crown is best! Choose a crown that is made of hard plastic rather than a flimsy one so it will hold-up well once you weigh it down with shells and jewels.

#2. Pipe Cleaners

In order for your shells and jewels to stay stuck onto your plastic base, having some good gripping texture helps a lot! Pick-up some pipe cleaners, that you will use to wrap around the crown in order for everything to stick to it really well.

Pipe Cleaners for stick

#3. Adhesives & Glue

You're going to need a quick-dry glue or adhesive. 

I recommend using a hot glue gun, which can be picked up for very little if you don't have one. These just plug in, get hot, and then you feed glue sticks through the back and get hot gooey-endless-possibilty of stickiness out the front. LOVE THEM.

The reason a glue gun is so great is because it hardens quickly so you don't have to hold each shell for an hour while the glue dries.

Glue gun and shell crown in action

I also recommend some super glue, or other quick-dry glue that has a tiny applicator  for sticking on tiny jewels and sequins once the big items have been attached with the glue gun.

Any craft store should have a large array of glue guns and glues to choose from. Be sure you are stocked up on the hot glue sticks!

#4. Adornments

Next you need all of the goodies you will see on your crown!

Get your creativity flowing, anything is possible...

Here are some ideas on adornments for your crown and where to find them:

Shells and jewels


You'll need shells of course. The best shells are found at the beach (If you have access to a beach with shells). I do know how tough that can be...

If you don't have a closet overflowing with everything you've drug home from the beach, you can also easily find them at any craft store and online. 

I love the tall spiral shells for crowns, they will give your crown a very elegant and royal feel jutting up from the top. Scallop shells are great too! Any shells will do. Get lots of colors or stick with a color scheme. You get to choose and have fun picking matching or mis-matching different styles and colors of shells. 


Love some pearls on a crown! Get strands or single pearls to glue on. All colors, or one color - totally up to you!


Craft stores really know how to stock lots of sparkling things! Thankfully.

Get the flat backed jewels, sequins, chunky jewels, beads that sparkle, crystals, anything that catches your eye. Also, have a hunt around the glitter or confetti for anything that looks like it belongs on your crown.

Maybe you can dig these things up in your own craft closet without even needing to take a trip to the craft store, even better!

I love the little strings of sparkle too, usually meant for making jewelry. Those add a really beautiful dripping crystal/water look every mermaid loves!

Got everything?! Now you are ready to Make!

Step #1 Wrap Crown Base with Pipe Cleaners

First, plug in your glue gun so that starts heating up for step #2. Be sure you have some cardboard underneath, a little glue always leaks out.

Take one pipe cleaner and start at one end of your crown and begin wrapping one pipe cleaner at a time around the crown parts. This does not have to be done perfectly, it is just so your items stick really well to your crown. I don't recommend skipping this step!

Any type and color of pipe cleaner will do. I went with metallic ones in case anything poked through it would still look royal :)

  Pipe Cleaners Crown 

Wrapping pipe cleaners has just begun.

Wrapped and Ready for Glue Crown

Done! Two wrapped crowns ready for gluing on adornments.

Step #2 Start Gluing on Your Shells

Now you get to start gluing! I started right in the center, with the biggest shells first. Before I began to just glue on like crazy (which was hard to resist) I laid out the shells sort of how I wanted them on the crown.

Like.... this shell in the center, these ones next to it and so on. This way you have a little plan before beginning so you don't run out of something crucial to make your crown balanced.

DIY Mermaid Crown with Shells

Placing on the big ones first is key. Then you can add smaller ones around it. If you put the little ones in first, it might be hard to add your bigger ones in.

Keep gluing and until your crown is covered in shells!

Step #3 Adding Sparkles and Details

Add your sparkles, sequins and shiny things last into all of the little cracks and anywhere you want.

You may find the glue from the glue gun is too much, so use the super glue for gluing on the tiny things.

I love the look of the draped strands!

You can do crystals, or pearls or anything you find that looks pretty. Just attach one end near the middle and cover the ends with a shell or jewel so you can't see the attachment.

Have fun and go with the flow, your crown is going to be epic!

Final Mermaid Crown

My friend Jen is so gorgeous in this crown!!

Mermaid Crown DIY

Sparkle on Mermaid Queeeen!

Mermaid Julie

PS. If you make a crown... Email me a photo ( wearing it and I'll add it this page!!

Make Your Own Mermaid Crown How-to DIY

Mermaid Julie
Mermaid Julie


Seatail Founder and Lover of all things Ocean, Beach & Mermaid!

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