VIDEO: How To Make Christmas Ornaments Out of Shotgun Shells

by Clayton Edwards
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With these shotgun shell Christmas ornaments, you can show your love of the outdoors and your Christmas spirit at the same time. They’re cute, festive, and easy to make. You won’t break the bank making them, either. Chances are you’ve got everything you need to make them already.

We’ll teach you how to make a reindeer and a snowman from basic craft supplies and spent shotgun shells. First, we’ll go over the supplies you need then we’ll get into how to turn your old shells into Christmas ornaments.

There’s also a tutorial video from the official Outsider YouTube channel at the end of this article if you want to see what you’re getting into.

What You Need to Make Shotgun Shell Christmas Ornaments

The list of supplies to make both shotgun shell Christmas ornaments isn’t long and everything is pretty common.

  • Hot glue gun
  • Scissors
  • Paintbrushes
  • Pipe cleaners
  • Poof balls/ pom-poms
  • Googly eyes
  • Brown paint
  • Black paint
  • White paint
  • Orange felt paper
  • Black paper
  • Thin ribbon for the reindeer’s bow
  • Thick ribbon for the snowman’s scarf
  • The smallest buttons you can find
  • Most importantly, shotgun shells

Now that you have all of your materials together, let’s make some ornaments.

The Reindeer Ornament

First, you need to cut two holes across from each other in the top of the shotgun shell. You can do this with either a knife or your scissors. The easiest way to do this is to lay the shell on its side and slowly work the tip of whatever you’re using through both sides of the shell.

Next, you’ll feed one of your pipe cleaners through the holes and bend them into the shape of antlers. It doesn’t need to be perfect. Have fun with it.

Then, you’ll paint the entire shell brown. Before moving on, you’ll need to let the paint dry. Fun fact: it takes one cup of coffee for brown paint to dry on a shotgun shell.

Now that your paint is dry and you’re properly caffeinated, you can move on to the next step. Before you do, though, make sure your hor glue gun is plugged in and heating up. Then, take your white paint and create the deer’s chest. You’ll want to give this a couple of minutes to dry just so you don’t end up with a mess.

Now, take a few inches of your thin ribbon and tie a bow just above the reindeer’s chest. Snip off any excess and you’re good to go. That spent shell is already shaping up to be a great Christmas ornament.

Let’s put the finishing touches on the reindeer. At this point, you’re going to glue some eyes onto your ornament. Make sure to leave enough room between the bow and eyes for a small pom-pom. You will hot glue one of those between the eyes and bow to make the nose.

You’ve done it! Congratulations, you now have a shotgun shell Christmas ornament. On to the next one!

The Snowman Ornament

Do you want to build a snowman? Good! Let’s get started.

First, you’re going to want to paint the entire shell white. Depending on what kind of ammo and paint you’re using, you may need multiple coats. Just like last time, you will need to let this paint dry. If you’ve had enough coffee, white paint takes about one eggnog to dry. Bourbon is optional. If you’d rather streamline the process, you can set the shell aside and move on to the next step as it dries.

Next, we’re going to make a hat. Cut two circles out of your black paper. One needs to be bigger than the other. They’re going to be the top and bottom of the hat. Then, cut a rectangle out of the black paper. Roll it up and glue it so it stays. Attach the circles to the top and bottom of the cylinder you created and your hat is ready to go.

Now, set the hat aside and go back to the shell. Take the tiny buttons and carefully hot glue them to the shell. Do not glue them to your finger. Once those are in place, take a few inches of the thick ribbon and tie it above the buttons. Now the snowman has a scarf.

To make the snowman’s nose, you’ll need scissors and orange felt paper. Cut a small narrow triangle out of the felt paper and glue it on the shell. Be sure to leave room for the mouth between the scarf and the nose.

Finally, we’ll add the finishing touches. Glue on some googly eyes. Then, paint his mouth on with black paint, and you’re done.

You’ve now successfully made two shotgun shell Christmas ornaments. Take some pictures and share them with us on Facebook.

Outsider.com