Seashell Decorating Ideas

I’m a collector of beautiful seashells, sea glass, and pretty much any other interesting things that I can find on the beach. Although we move a lot due to military life, we’ve been lucky enough to live near the beach for most of the last 20 years so we’ve accumulated a nice collection of ocean treasures. I keep most of the seashells and sea glass in jars and bowls that I have strategically placed around the house but every time I leave the beach with another handful of sea treasures I am reminded that I want actually to do something with these items. I started brainstorming some seashell craft ideas and thought it would be fun to share with you some ideas that I’ve found. You, too, might have a collection of sea shells waiting for their time to shine. 

The sea shell craft ideas I’m sharing here are great for anyone who loves a coastal flair but isn’t crazy about the super beachy/nautical decorating style. These ideas are stylish and whimsical. They also are great gift ideas, clever decorating pieces, and just overall wonderful DIY projects that will be a great addition to your home and decor.

seashell decorating ideas

Sea Shell Craft Ideas that Are Whimsical and Stylish

DIY Seashell Coasters

I sifted through a lot of seashell decorating ideas and this one is so good. This video tutorial on seashell coasters is really great. The clay used is simple modeling clay and is very easy to work with. These could be a really thoughtful gift for friends and family. Specifically, if you vacation together at a beach location, how fun would it be to take home some shells and make a coaster or a few for all of the attendees of the trip? I love this idea. You can personalize them by adding the destination and date on the back.

Decoupage Seashell Tray

I love these napkin decoupage shells. I don’t typically pick up large shells because I just don’t even know what to do with them. These are absolutely precious and so easy to recreate. You can use them as little trinket trays for jewelry in a bathroom or on a bedside table. You could also drill a small hole on top of the shell, tie some twine to it, and make a sweet little ornament. Again, these are really easy to personalize by adding dates or names.

Seashell Canvas

Wall art can be expensive and something like this could cost hundreds at Pottery Barn or somewhere similar. I have found that making your own wall art feels more personal and it saves you a ton. The repurposed canvas with seashells is a wonderful way to give new life to something you already have. Additionally, you can use my tutorial for how to create a large canvas to make something similar. You can get really creative with this by using seashells, sand dollars, sea glass, or even broken pottery pieces. You can also use the pieces sparingly or add more for a busier look. I can see this as a focal point in a living room, bedroom, or even dining room. It is a stunning seashell decorating idea.

Seashell Bookends

How brilliant is this? How often do we find oyster shells littered on the beach? I almost never pick them up because again, what am I going to do with all of these oyster shells? This pair of bookends is unexpectedly beautiful and so simple. You can do something similar with any group of large shells. Grab the tutorial here.

Seashell Ornaments

Imagine a coastal-inspired Christmas tree dotted with beautiful handmade seashell ornaments. It’s totally doable if you create some of these pretty pieces with the shells you have saved up. Similar to the coasters, these ornaments make wonderful gifts. You can even add a small photo on the back to personalize them. Such a sweet seashell craft if you ask me.

Seashell Wreath

If you have a hot glue gun and an abundance of clam shells then why not make a beautiful summery seashell wreath? This is another DIY home decor item that is simple to make yet, stunningly impactful. Your front door will look extra inviting with a seashell wreath adorning it but you can also bring the wreath indoors and place it over a mirror or a piece of art for a layered look. It’s a great way to spruce up the place for summer while being reminded of your relaxing time at the beach.

Seashell Wall Hanging

A seashell wall hanging or wind chime is such a sweet and delicate way to use your seashells or sea glass and display it in a special way. The mixture of shells, sand dollars, and sea glass creates a unique piece of wall art that you absolutely couldn’t just buy at the store. Additionally, how special is this as a testament to your vacation memories?

A Shell Vase Memorializing Your Beach Vacation

I love this idea. The creator calls it a memory vase and adds more trinkets than just sea shells but I love the idea of using plaster to bind together your favorite finds from a beach vacation. You may not want a houseful of these vases but creating one or two to put on a decorative shelf would be a great decor accessory that is meaningful.

Crystal Shells

I thought this was a really cool science experiment that doubles as a really cool decor item. If you have kiddos that enjoy experimenting then why not make some shimmery crystals on your shells to decorate with? Put them in a vase or jar or if you have a large shell you can crystalize it for a statement piece.

Seashell Tassels

I love decorating with tassels. Oversized ones are my favorite to hang on doorknobs. You can also hang them on lamps or vases. The options are endless. I saw this DIY seashell tassel idea and thought it would be a brilliant way to use up some seashells that you might have collected. Usually, there is an abundance of clam shells so this is something that you could easily make with items you find at a local craft store. Make sure you check out the tutorial.

Shell Shadow Box or Frame

gorgeous seashell specimen art
via Lauren Wells

I’ve always considered doing a specimen art piece like this but was unsure how it might turn out. This gorgeous framed shell art gives me many ideas of pieces I can make with the shells we’ve collected. With a bunch of glue sticks and a hot glue gun, you can create some really incredible art. If you want it to have a more polished finish you can have it framed professionally. I like buying frames from West Elm for a high-quality look.

Jar Full of Shells

You don’t have to do an elaborate craft to create a moment with your collection of shells. I always have jars of shells displayed all over my house. I usually bring shells home from the beach and add them to my jar or decorative bowl. Every now and then I’ll go through them and I might sort them so that I like items together. Another fun idea would be to label your jars and have one for each beach trip/vacation as a little moment from the trip.

Final Thoughts on Seashell as Decor

Seashells are not only beautiful, but they can also hold a special memory or moment for us. By incorporating them into our decor, we can keep those memories alive and add a personal touch to our spaces. Whether it’s creating stunning art or simply displaying a jar full of shells, these ideas show how versatile sea shells can be and how many fun crafts you can make with them. So next time you’re at the beach, make sure to collect some shells to bring home so that you can make some special treasured keepsakes.

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