Starfish Decor from a Christmas Tree Topper

Starfish Decor from a Christmas Tree Topper

While working on my recent Thrift the Look: Beach Cottage blog post, one of the most challenging elements to find was a large starfish. I didn’t want to buy a real/dried one from a craft store, so upcycling was my best bet. But I needed something to act as starfish decor, one way or another.

Upcycling ideas for a beach cottage or coastal cottage and coastal home decor from the thrift store by Sadie Seasongoods

It all came together when I found this Christmas tree topper. Could I upcycle this into a starfish?

Christmas tree topper or gold star tree topper at thrift for for upcycling into starfish decor by Sadie Seasongoods

It was a good size with a great shape (i.e., thicker in the center). It even had faux pearl beads on it like the bumpy nubs on a starfish.

Star tree topper that will be repurposed into DIY beach decor or tropical decor for a coastal cottage by Sadie Seasongoods

All I needed to do was remove the actual Christmas tree elements and give it a somewhat realistic makeover! This post contains affiliate links for your crafting convenience.

Upcycling a Christmas Tree Topper into Starfish Decor

At first, I wasn’t sure if this upcycling idea was going to be easy or not. I’ve never played around with a star tree topper before!

Upcycling a Christmas tree topper into starfish decor for a beach cottage or coastal cottage by Sadie Seasongoods

But I was pleased to discover that it opened up! I didn’t realize that when I found it at Goodwill.

Removing the lights from a gold star tree topper or Christmas star before upcycling into seashell decor by Sadie Seasongoods

That made it really easy to remove the Christmas lights (which didn’t work anyway).

Christmas lights inside a star tree topper that will get a thrift store makeover as a starfish by Sadie Seasongoods

Next, I used our Dremel tool to remove the coil at the bottom. I used our wire cutters to also remove the clips from inside that had previously held the light bulbs in place.

Star tree topper with the coil or spring removed for repurposing into tropical decor for a beach cottage by Sadie Seasongoods

And just like that, the star tree topper was ready for a beachy transformation.

Textured Spray Paint for DIY Beach Decor

I decided that transforming the gold star tree topper into something that looked “sandy” would be the best bet.

So, I used this stone effect paint / textured spray paint to get the sandy look I was going for.

Stone effect paint or textured spray paint to use on Christmas tree topper for starfish decor by Sadie Seasongoods

Admittedly, I used SEVERAL coats of this paint. But, I suspect it was because the star tree topper was mostly metal mesh. And that made opaque coverage with the stone effect paint a little more challenging.

But in the end, I was thrilled with the result. My starfish decor was coming together nicely and more easily than I could have hoped.

Repurposing a star tree topper as starfish decor or seashell decor with stone effect paint by Sadie Seasongoods

Next, I dabbed on some off-white paint (leftover from this jewelry box makeover) to the pearl beads. I used a small stencil brush to dab on the paint.

Adding touches of cream or off white to starfish decor or DIY beach decor by Sadie Seasongoods

I also lightly painted the “interior skeleton” of my starfish decor with the same paint. Just to give it a little more contrast and depth.

And that, as they say, was all she wrote.

Starfish Decor for a Beach Cottage / Coastal Cottage

In no time at all, I transformed a gold star tree topper into a starfish. And it was PERFECT for the beach cottage look that I was going for.

Tropical decor and starfish decor that started as a gold star tree topper from the thrift store by Sadie Seasongoods

If you read my Thrift the Look: Beach Cottage blog post, did you pay attention to the starfish decor? Did it look… “fishy” to you? (pun intended!)

Tropical decor and seashell decor for a beach cottage by upcycling a Christmas tree topper with textured spray paint by Sadie Seasongoods

The best part, though, is that you could TOTALLY do this to a working tree topper if you wanted a coastal Christmas tree. You would just skip the part with the Dremel and wire cutters – otherwise, the entire tutorial applies!

And if you enjoyed this upcycling idea for tropical decor or DIY beach decor, then you’ll love my beach vacation memory jars, too.

DIY Beach Decor or Ocean Decor in vintage mason jars for summer decorating by Sadie Seasongoods

Craft on!

S

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Comments

  1. Rita Corblies says

    A fantastic repurpose especially using stone paint. Your creative juices are always flowing.

  2. Amanda Lake says

    As always, your projects are beautiful. I love this starfish idea.

  3. Cheryl Bruno says

    It’s just lovely—awesome job! xxoo

  4. Hi Sadie, cute and not too difficult. I wanted to tell you I have dried coffee grounds saved up and toilet tubes & lint, I will be trying out a couple of projects from your last project listing, they were awesome. Thanks

  5. christinafayerepurposed says

    Hi Sarah! I am not even going to say it..well maybe I will….I have seen so many of these at my local thrift store, and you guess it! Left them sitting on the shelf. I am so bummed now. This turned out gorgeous! 🙂

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