Nature Crafts – Beach Drift Wood & Broken Shell Rattles

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It is time for NATURE CRAFTS!! As you may (or may not) know, my two most favourite craft mateirals, are RECYCLABLES (such as TP Rolls) and Nature Finds. I love recycled crafts, as I love to “waste not want not” – i.e. make the most of the things we have around us. I love teaching my kids these values – something that others throw away, can be turned into something wonderful. And I love Nature Crafts, as I love how this brings us closer to Nature and our local environment. Also, I have a lot of my own very strong childhood memories of crafting with Nature (especially Autumn Nature Crafts!!!) and it is something that I want to pass on to my children. Today, we have a BEACH Nature Craft – to be honest, you can make it with other things too – but this Musical Instruments made from beach or drift wood and broken shells is just the perfect craft to actually do AT THE BEACH too. All you need is an additional elastic band…… and if you want to jazz up your drift wood first, you can either paint it or yarn wrap it. Today, we went for yarn wrapped sticks. Simply because we love the feel and texture of wool and how it contrasts to the smoothness of the drift wood. If you are decorating your sticks first, you probably want to complete this craft at home (rather than get sand all over your lovely wool).

Beach Wood Rattles - jazz up these broken shell & beach wood rattles with some colourful yarnThis post is part of our 20 Nature Crafts 101 – a collaborative nature craft “blog hop”. For 10 days, we will share with you one NEW Nature Craft per blogger and one of our favourite OLD Nature crafts. Today is my turn. My new craft as described above:


20 Nature Craft Ideas - this is your GUIDE to crafting with Nature, make this your first port of call when hunting out Nature Crafts 101

As to my “OLD” Nature Craft – it is so so soooooo hard to pick one. As mentioned, we love crafting with nature.. and when I last looked, there were 115 (!!!) posts in my Nature Craft category – there will be something there for every age group!

I think I will be cheeky and pic one that is kind of two crafts – the Nature Mobile/ Nature Windchime!

Seaside Windchime Craft from shells, stones and pony beads fall craft

Sea shell Windchime  Autumn Mobile

I pick BOTH of these, as the concept is similar – see what you can find locally and turn them into a decorative “hanging thing”. This is something you can do throughout the Seasons, in order to REFLECT the Seasons and really help your child understand their local environment and how things change. It is all about what materials YOU can find in YOUR area!!

Watch the How To Make a Rattle Video or follow the step by step photos below.

How to Make Driftwood & Shell Musical Instruments (Yarn Wrapped)

Driftwood and broken shell craft ideas

Materials – you will need

  • a forked stick and
  • some shells with “holes in them” (not totally broken)
  • an elastic band (though string or wire can be used too)

Beach Crafts - Yarn Wrapped Sticks & Broken Shells


  • then add some colourful wool (optional of course!)

How to Yarn Wrap a Stick

Beach Crafts - Yarn Wrapped Sticks Musical Instrument DIY


Yarn wrapping really is quite straight forward! The trickiest part is the part about securing your wool and changing colours.. and as you can see from our Yarn Wrapping photos.. it really isn’t too tricky at all!!!

Start off by making a knot!
Beach Crafts - Yarn Wrapped Sticks Musical Instrument DIY - changing colours


Start wrapping. The best bit is – you don’t have to be too neat – i.e. you are allowed to wrap yarn over itself. Just make sure that there is no wood peaking through, keep pushing the yarn down “Onto itself”.

If you want to change colour, simply cut the first colour and knot it to the next.

Beach Crafts - Yarn Wrapped Sticks Musical Instrument DIY - secure the knot


Then as you start wrapping secure ad hide the knot in place, by wrapping over it.. keep going until you have yarn wrapped the stick in your desired colours and the desired amount.

Beach Crafts - Yarn Wrapped Sticks Musical Instrument DIY - tie a knot on itself to finish


When you get to the end, simply loop the yarn through itself a couple of times – a bit like a know and the with something point (like your scissors) poke it in behind the existing wrapped parts. That is how easy it is!

How to Yarn Wrap Sticks and then turn it into a musical instrument craft


Once your Yarn Wrapped Stick is ready.. you head over to your shells.

Making Natural Musical Instruments using sticks and shells

Again, this is super easy. Loop your elastic around one end… stretch it.. and start threading your shells! If your shells have smaller holes, keep these in the centre of your rubber band, as the band will be most stretched here and fit through the holes best.
Making Natural Musical Instruments using sticks & shells


Then simply pop the other end of your elastic on the second fork of your yarn wrapped driftwood! Easy peasy indeed!

Beach Wood Rattles - jazz up these broken shell & beach wood rattles with some colourful yarnAnd there you have it.. and now we move onto to our second little driftwood musical instrument! So simple, so fun! We love it.

NOTE: if you ARE making these on the beach, please do not leave an rubber bands behind, as these may hurt local wildlife!

If you are joining in our Nature Blog Hop.. check out YESTERDAY’s and TOMORROW’s Nature Crafts:

Upcycled CD Cases - nature suncatchers bark and leaf painting

Upcycled CD Case Sun Catchers & more tomorrow from Tinkerlab

And more wonderful no knit yarn crafts here!