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Decorate your home with found objects from the beach

Updated on September 13, 2014
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Using objects found on the beach as home décor

I have several décor items in my apartment that are created from oddments found on the beach. They add a touch of summer to any home, all year round, and are a permanent reminder of sunny, lazy days.

Every item we have has been hand-picked and has its own memory. Some people are very clever with crafts and use found objects from the beach in remarkably clever ways.

I'm not smart enough to do that but we still have some lovely displays that take only a few seconds to put together and can be changed as often as I want.We use pebbles, seashells, driftwood and coral, combining them with candles, glasses, flowers and other containers to make one-of-a-kind decor items.

What's more, these keepsakes have cost us nothing at all. I change them regularly - using the same materials - and we have a regularly-changing series of attractive home accessories that bring the beach right into our home. Every single shell, every single pebble, is completely unique.

Whenever we are at the beach, there's always something new to pick up to add to our collection. We live near the beach so it's easy for us - but if you only go to the seashore once a year, keep your eyes open for beautiful natural objects to enhance your decor.


Simplicity

This item is a branch from the very top of a beach palm. It has a fabulous shape and there are small, circular buds among the spikes. It looks great as it is simply placed in a container on the floor. Sometimes I switch out this vase - which I like because the circles echo the shape of the round buds - with another. A tall orange one I have looks great and brings out the color of the abstract painting on the wall. As the light changes, it casts wonderful shadows on the plain white wall.

Pebbles

I have a lovely dark wood rectangular bowl holding pebbles. It's placed in front of a mirror to get double the effect. Each pebble is completely individual. I change the look of this from time to time ... see below.

Pebbles gallery

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Source
Pacific Merchants Trading Acaciaware Oval Tray, 12-Inch by 5-Inch by 0.75-Inch
Pacific Merchants Trading Acaciaware Oval Tray, 12-Inch by 5-Inch by 0.75-Inch

This is the dish we use for the pebbles. It's actually a serving dish that I bought simply because I love the look of it as a decor item. It's too lovely to only be used as a serving dish so we keep it on display all the time holding our pebbles and coral collection.

 

Driftwood

We use pieces of driftwood as trays to display other beach finds. Sometimes pebbles, sometimes shells, in this case pieces of coral. See more below.

Driftwood and coral

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Sand and shells

This takes three minutes to make and is lovely anywhere in the home or as a small centerpiece for the dining table. Just almost fill a glass with sand from the beach, bury a tea candle in the middle and add a few seashells. Once the candle is lit, the shells glow beautifully.

Candle centerpiece gallery

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This is so simple but looks different from every angle.Be sure to use a glass that is heavy, so that it won't be knocked overThe shells glow wonderfully & if there's a breeze the glow seems to flickerAs the evening gets darker, the glow grows stronger.Because the flame is protected by the glass they can also be used outdoors.
This is so simple but looks different from every angle.
This is so simple but looks different from every angle.
Be sure to use a glass that is heavy, so that it won't be knocked over
Be sure to use a glass that is heavy, so that it won't be knocked over
The shells glow wonderfully & if there's a breeze the glow seems to flicker
The shells glow wonderfully & if there's a breeze the glow seems to flicker
As the evening gets darker, the glow grows stronger.
As the evening gets darker, the glow grows stronger.
Because the flame is protected by the glass they can also be used outdoors.
Because the flame is protected by the glass they can also be used outdoors.

Outdoors

This works outdoors as well as in the home and is lovely as a centerpiece on your table if you're dining outside on a summer evening. I use a circular glass container that is about six inches diameter. Inside that, I place a thin jar that I'd saved. It's just a little shorter than the container and I think it once held sea salt - appropriately. A herb jar is ideal. Put a regular household candle inside the jar. Fill the cavity with shells and light the candle. See below.

Vase and jar

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The shell as a bud holder

A find like this conch, can be used as a bud vase. You need a slim glass or plastic container that will fit inside the shell - something like a small test tube. I use a bottle that once contained essential oil. (I'm a bottle hoarder!)

Simple shells in glass

Shells can be simply displayed in glass and look terrific. This is a rectangular vase and every one of the four sides looks different. It look lovely displayed on a window ledge because it gets a different look depending on the light that's shining onto it.

Further reading

Matthew Mead Recycled Style
Matthew Mead Recycled Style

I love to decorate using found objects and to recycle things that I have around the home. It's fun to use them in different ways and you can change the look of your rooms quickly and easily. This book is by Matthew Mead who is the acknowledged master of this craft.

 

Glass containers

These have so many fantastic uses - not just for holding flowers. There is an amazing selection to choose from that can be easily bought online.

Buy yours online

We love to have seashore items that we've personally collected. But if you're not able to, you can still decorate your rooms with these items. They are available online at low prices.

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    • BritFlorida profile image
      Author

      Jackie Jackson 4 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @Ruthi: What a lovely idea!

    • profile image

      Ruthi 4 years ago

      I love both of the candle ideas and will be creating a couple of those for my long soaks in a hot oil bath. They will add the perfect relaxation touch!

    • BritFlorida profile image
      Author

      Jackie Jackson 4 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @Lynda Makara: That sounds lovely!

    • Lynda Makara profile image

      Lynda Makara 4 years ago from California

      Sometimes the simplest things make quite an impact. I once found a dead bare tree by the side of the road, took it home, wrapped it with Christmas lights and it became a pretty "night light" for my bedroom.

    • BritFlorida profile image
      Author

      Jackie Jackson 4 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @angelatvs: They really are very pretty.

    • profile image

      angelatvs 4 years ago

      Love the seashell candle! I have tons of shells that I have collected at the beach, I will have to try this one!

    • BritFlorida profile image
      Author

      Jackie Jackson 4 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @lesliesinclair: Thank you so much -'enchantment' is a lovely way of describing them.

    • lesliesinclair profile image

      lesliesinclair 4 years ago

      These ideas would all add a feeling of enchantment to decor and it's smart how you vary the presentations.

    • BritFlorida profile image
      Author

      Jackie Jackson 4 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @smine27: Thank you - it was fun :)

    • smine27 profile image

      Shinichi Mine 4 years ago from Tokyo, Japan

      Great and beautiful ideas here. thanks for sharing this wonderful lens.

    • BritFlorida profile image
      Author

      Jackie Jackson 4 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @SamanthaHaupt: It's cheap too :) They do look particularly lovely when light shines through them. Sometimes I stand the big vase in front of a lamp and they look really gorgeous. Thanks for visiting!

    • profile image

      SamanthaHaupt 4 years ago

      This is an excellent way to decorate your home! I love the beach and this is a great way to feel like I'm there all the time! I have shells in my bathroom, but I'll be adding some of these great ideas as well!

    • BritFlorida profile image
      Author

      Jackie Jackson 4 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @ghoststorylover: It's a beautiful way to decorate your home - and I love the fact that we have natural decor.

    • DreyaB profile image

      DreyaB 4 years ago from France

      These are lovely, and simple to make too. We used to be relatively close to the coast in the UK but we're at least 2 hours away now. It's one of the few things we miss. Great ideas.

    • ghoststorylover profile image

      ghoststorylover 4 years ago

      This is what I've been looking for. I have a lot of neat pebbles and shells that I brought home from the beach, but they're sitting in a box where no one can see them. I love the try that you can put your pebbles in!

    • BritFlorida profile image
      Author

      Jackie Jackson 4 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @DreyaB: Ah, now you've made me think of Whitby and Robin Hood's Bay and all those wonderful places. Thanks for visiting!

    • rking96 profile image

      Rick King 5 years ago from Charleston, SC

      I like this lens, especially the candle and shells in jars. We also live by the beach, so I will have to look closer for these items while we are there.

    • BritFlorida profile image
      Author

      Jackie Jackson 5 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @trying2Bhealthy: Thank you! It's such a fun thing to do and so very easy. Nevertheless it's wonderfully effective.

    • trying2Bhealthy profile image

      trying2Bhealthy 5 years ago

      Great lens! My favorite was the candle centerpiece. Awesome.

    • BritFlorida profile image
      Author

      Jackie Jackson 5 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @MelaniePaige13: Thank you for visiting!

    • MelaniePaige13 profile image

      Melanie Paige 5 years ago from Adelaide, South Australia

      I love the beach! I can already see myself decorating my very first home (when I buy one) with some of these ideas. Beautiful! Thank you so much for sharing :)

    • BritFlorida profile image
      Author

      Jackie Jackson 5 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @Flowerchild1946: Thank you - you live in a lovely area!

    • Flowerchild1946 profile image

      Carol Brooks 5 years ago from Florida

      I live in the Tampa Bay area and I love anything beach-related: shells, stones, driftwood, beach glass, bottles. I use them to decorate too. Lovely lens!

    • Judith Nazarewicz profile image

      Judith Nazarewicz 5 years ago from Victoria, British Columbia, Canada

      Just love your ideas! I have loads of shells and coral and artifacts we collected over the years and I've always thought of using them in some way in our home, but just never made my way around to doing it. Thanks so much for the awesome ideas!

    • BritFlorida profile image
      Author

      Jackie Jackson 5 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @flycatcherrr: Thank you so much!

    • flycatcherrr profile image

      flycatcherrr 5 years ago

      Your taste is exquisite and your photography does it justice. Lovely; just lovely.

    • BritFlorida profile image
      Author

      Jackie Jackson 5 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @MelanieKaren: Thank you :) Nature is a pretty brilliant designer! Not only are natural items beautiful, the cost nothing - I like that :)

    • MelanieKaren profile image

      Melanie Wilcox 5 years ago from Pennsylvania, USA

      very nice article with really great ideas :) -I didn't realize this was your article at first. haha -awesome job Brit! I decorate with found outside things all the time!. It's nice to see others do it as well. Bring Nature indoors with found special items that just called out to you is a beautiful thing. :)

    • BritFlorida profile image
      Author

      Jackie Jackson 5 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @JoanieMRuppel54: That will look gorgeous! I don't have a collection of sea glass - it never seems to turn up on Fort Lauderdale beach. Yours will look so lovely with a candle.

    • JoanieMRuppel54 profile image

      Joanie Ruppel 5 years ago from Keller, Texas

      I collect sea glass and use it and driftwood in many similar ways you have shown. But I never thought of adding a candle to my bowl of sea glass - thanks! Will be using this idea right away!

    • BritFlorida profile image
      Author

      Jackie Jackson 5 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @anonymous: So simple but so beautiful :) Thanks for visiting!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Beautiful...I love shells,pebbles and rocks from the beach and have several collections on display around our home...

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