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Looking for an art and craft idea? How about seaweed holiday ornaments?

If you are looking for a fun arts and craft idea, try playing with some seaweed. Why go to a craft store and spend all that money when you can take a walk to the beach instead? Thin seaweeds can be dried in as little as one day, and will keep for years as long as they don’t get wet.

Arrange any seaweed in a shape and dry, it’s that easy! If you wish to hang your art you can glue to a poster or poke a hole for a string.

To dry seaweed, simply arrange it on anything from trays to cookie sheets to screens. You can also dry large kelp by hanging them over railings or on laundry lines. Place them in a warm room, in the sun, or in a warm oven. Thick kelp can even be shaped with some coat hangers for a more elaborate configuration.

You can also press seaweed just as you would flowers. Here's how (for seaweeds less than 0.5 inch thick seaweed):

Materials:

  • seaweed
    shallow pan
    freshwater or sea water
    heavy paper
    wax paper or plastic film
    old newspapers

    cardboard
    waterproof marking pen

Fill the pan with water and place the heavy paper in the pan. Then place the seaweed on top of the paper and carefully lift out the paper and seaweed.

Layer materials in this order: cardboard, newspaper, heavy paper with seaweed, wax paper, newspaper, cardboard. Repeat this process with other seaweeds, placing them on top of the first. Then you can move the whole pile to a flat place and put some weight, like rocks or a few bricks, on top. Change the newspapers and wax paper daily (to prevent molding) until the seaweed is dry. Some seaweeds contain a natural adhesive that will keep them stuck to the paper--others may need to be mounted with some glue.

Know you local regulations

Before you take seaweed from the beach, familiarize yourself with local laws and regulations. For instance, in CA with a fishing licence you may take up to 10 lbs of seaweed, except from protected areas or protected species. Children under 16 don’t require a licence.