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Beach and Coastal Decor

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No plans for a beach trip in your future?  Then create that beachy, coastal feeling in your home by pulling together a few things you may already have, including all those shells you picked up on previous trips to the coast.  Or you can find them at most craft stores.beach mantelImagine all of the soft colors associated with the coast, not the bright neon lights of the souvenir shops – the colors of the shells, the sand, the water, and even the sky such as a soft blue or turquoise makes a serene feeling like those days of you lying on the beach.  Different heights and textures add dimension and interest to your vignette.

My fireplace and mantel aren’t centered on the wall so I always like to use something tall to offset that and take your eye off the peak of the ceiling.  An old window works great for this and these can be found at most antique or resale shops.  A lantern doesn’t always have to have a candle in it.  Think about a large conch shell you brought home from a favorite vacation or cruise.  Shells are my favorite souvenir to collect.

Use a large wooden candle holder with a small starfish attached.  Pick out a colorful shell or starfish and attach with your low temp glue gun.  Place a small lantern on top to create a lighthouse look. 

A plant with always add the feel of nature, whether it’s live or artificial.  To add height, this was only about a 4” pot, so I used a mason jar turned upside down to fill in the bottom.  I just have to take it out about once a week to water.  By doing this, it eliminated the need to have a larger pot full of dirt, and to have to drill a hole in my bucket for drainage.  

The monogram on canvas was made last year for a Michaels event but here’s the details.  Coastal Monogram.   Hanging it with 3M Command Brand Picture Hanging Strips makes it fast to put up and no damage to the wall when I take it down.  If you want to hang your window, there are heavy duty Strips for this too.  Just check the weight limit.  Oh, and they have great hooks in a variety of sizes too.

Add other items such as small candles, shells, birds, and driftwood to complete your mantle.  This would also be a great look on a side board or buffet, could modify it for a tablescape, or even a table in your entry way.

See below for a version of the sand filled vase.  




Grab a piece of old wood which could be from a pallet, a fence, or even a new board which has been distressed to make it appear “weathered”.  Work with an odd number of candles, place these on your board, scatter around some shells and/or rocks and it’s done. beach plank centerpieceI also added a salt & pepper set I had picked up at Cracker Barrel.  These were bought last summer.  


beach name potIf you want your friends to get acquainted with others they may not know, consider putting a place card and seating those who don’t know each other, next to a new friend.  Plus this can double as their hostess gift.


Start off with a plain 4” terracotta pot and cover the drainage hole with either a little hot glue or just a piece of tape.  Fill with sand about 2/3 full.  Place a 2” pillar candle in the middle forcing it down into the sand just a little to secure it in place.  Trim the wick to ¼” and light for just a few seconds so it doesn’t have that new candle look.  If you don’t have a lighter handy, just use a magic marker or Sharpie on the wick to give it a “burned” look.beach name pot supliesCut a piece of brown craft paper approximately 2” x 2” and write the name with a marker.  Clip this with a regular clothes pin and place it on the edge of the pot. 

Fill in the around the edges of the candle with a variety of shells.



SAND FILLED VASEbeach filled vase

Using two matching vases, turn the first one upside down and glue the other one, right side up matching the bases.  I used a low-temp glue gun because by doing this, they could be taken apart later if needed.  **beach filled vase suppliesFill about 1/3 full with sand and place your candle down in the sand to set.  I used a 3″ pillar, but depending on the size of your vase, this can vary.  Fill in around the edges with all colors and shapes of shells.  

Can you see this being done for other occasions?  Remember that with doing this with taller vases, you do need to be careful that they aren’t too skinny or it will make it not as steady to stay upright.  

**To remove something glued together (glass items) with a low-temp glue gun, the easiest way I have found is to place in the freezer until it is very cold.  CAREFULLY use a knife to pry them part.  Go slow and easy so you won’t crack your vases.  

Play sand can be purchases at most hardware stores for about $4 for 50 pounds.  



beach tableSet the table and pretend you are sitting beach side at one of those little local restaurants.  

Layer your tabletop.  Think sand.  Start off with a linen or linen look tablecloth.  One of my go-to ones is actually an old linen look curtain.  Always be on the lookout at yard sales or thrift stores for your basic items like this, including white dishes.

Doesn’t burlap have the color of sand?  It’s always great to use on a table, either as a full cloth or even just a runner.  This can be picked up in craft and fabric stores at a great price.  If the edges aren’t finished, it will ravel, especially when washed.  If this happens, just do a little fringing around the edges.  

A placemat in a great color or even a wood tone and then a charger just keeps that layer look going.

Again, pull out any dinnerware with the soft colors.  A set of white dishes are a staple for entertaining.  You can always add your color with your accessories and centerpieces.  Think about picking up a set of luncheon or bread plates in a color to add to your white dishes. beach table settingI added a simple shell napkin ring which I have had for several years.  Tuck in another colorful shell just to add another touch of the coast to your setting.



A touch of nature is always needed to any table.  Most think about buying cut flowers, but next time consider buying a plant which can then actually be used after your event.beach natureThis is a Soft Caress Mahonia from Southern Living Plant Collection.  Check your local garden centers for their wonderful plants.  This one is actually for the shade and will bloom in the early spring and late summer.  

To use, I left it in the plastic pot it came in and placed it in a wicker basket.  I added shells around the top and fish netting to cover the edges of the pot.

Can’t you feel that warm breeze and smell of sea salt now?   



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I’ve included affiliate links to Amazon for you to find some products easier.  I may receive a small commission, but the price is the same for you.  It just helps my blog out.

Happy Travels, 


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    1. I try to bring shells back from each of our cruises. Hope you try something out in your own home.

    1. I grew up mainly in Arkansas and never even saw the ocean til I was 25. I’m still 6 hours away but love the beachy feel in my home more than the actual beach really. Thanks for stopping by. Hope you try some of the ideas.

    1. Thanks so much. I love just pulling things together I have on hand. Maybe that’s why my storage cabinets are too full. Come back often.

    1. Hello bright spot to my day – can’t wait to see you again in a few weeks. I literally dug that piece out of the trash. There were a few leftover pieces from a pallet my husband had trashed (how dare he!) thinking I might not see them. Easy and simple – that’s how I like to do it.

    1. Oh I’m 6 hours from a beach but I do love the beachy feeling of it, with all the soft, warm colors. Thanks for stopping by and hope you will add something to your home to get that feeling.

    1. Oh you must have an endless supply of things to use. A lot of mine are from cruises. I buy shells and decor for souvenirs instead of the typical stuff that would come home and get put away and never seen again. We hope to make a quick trip to the beach maybe in August. Thanks for stopping by.

  1. Those are beautiful! You’re a talented decorator. I would not even know what to do if I went to a dinner party that looked like that!

    1. Oh thank you – you are sweet. I have always loved doing tables and dishes. At one time I owned 23 sets of dishes, but I’m down to maybe 15 now. Ok – I’m obsessed with dishes. Hope you come back and check me out often. Thanks again.

  2. I LOVE these ideas 🙂 I live in Ohio, but my mom lives at the beach, so each time I visit, I try to bring home a few souvenirs for decorating. The plank/candle idea is awesome and very versatile! Thanks for the tip about the small plant/large planter-great to know.

    1. I’m about 5-6 hours from a coast so we don’t go too much. We have cruised the past 3 years so I always try to bring home things from there. We are going to St Maarten, St Thomas, Puerto Rico, and Grand Turk next year so I’m planning on lots of goodies then to bring home.

    1. Oh me too. I’m not really a beach person – don’t like sand, gets sunburn easily, and don’t like to get hot. But love walking on the beach early morning or late at night. We’ve done cruises the past 3 years so that’s where I get the shells.

    1. Oh thanks. I love decorating tables so that’s why it’s fun to have such as stash of stuff to pull from. The only thing I bought for everything I did was the sand. Thanks for stopping by.

    1. Thanks for checking it out. I love all the warm soft colors that can be used without it looking like a souvenir shop.

    1. Oh me too. I’ve always tried to add something in my dining room. I’ve collected shells on our cruises the past 3 years. Thanks for stopping by.

    1. I use them during the summer more in my dining room, but decided on my mantel this time too. I’m 6 hours from a coast but love bringing home new treasures from each trip or cruise.

    1. Thanks so much. My mantel isn’t centered which has always bothered me so I use something tall on one side all the time to balance it out. Windows are great to use in so many ways.

    1. Thanks so much. I love decorating tables. The simpler and cheaper – the better.

    1. Thanks so much. Sometimes the easiest projects can turn out the best. Hope you come by often.

    1. Oh thanks. It is a great combo, but think about anything you can use with the plank centerpiece. Fall will be here soon.

    1. Thanks. We were actually supposed to be leaving in the morning but it got changed and hopefully we can go later in the summer. A lot of these things can be purchased at any craft store, but I know it’s not as much fun.

    1. Nice to meet you too. We need to talk food sometime. I love the soft colors of the beach without creating that souvenir shop look.

    1. We were supposed to be leaving this morning and schedules got changed so we re hoping for at least a few days maybe in August. Thanks for checking it ou.

    1. Sometimes the best ideas can be the most simple. Hope you stop by again. Thanks.

  3. I am a big sea shell person I grew up around the ocean so its something I decorate with. I try to do one room in my home with that beach theme. My mom even did a seashell Christmas tree one year.

  4. these are all so pretty and such great tips. We live in the midwest so there are very few beaches by us – just lake beaches. My kids like to decorate with all the shells the pick up on our travels.

  5. Wow! I absolute love the beach and what a great way to bring the beach home with you. Thank you so much to listing how you put that beautiful table piece together. I have to really do that for my dinning table.

  6. I love everything beachy, these are such great ideas! I love how you made the plank centerpiece!!! I think these would also be great ideas for wedding decorations as well as in your house, they turned out amazing.

  7. These are all great decorating ideas. I love the sand filled vase and it would make a lovely centerpiece on my patio table.I will have to try some of these. Thanks for sharing these wonderful ideas.

  8. What a fun way to bring the beach to you when you can’t be there in person! We always bring back a little bit of sand from the beaches we go to so we can remember our time there. It’s fun to see how different each beach is!

  9. The tablescape that you created is so pretty – I love the blues and incorporation of the shells. That shell napkin ring is such a nice touch. I’ve always enjoyed the soft colors of the sea – the blues and greens.

  10. I grew up on the beach so anything that reminds me of that I love! I enjoy bringing the touch of nature inside and like your DIY decor with the shells! Picking special shells at the beach have lots of fun childhood memories of!

  11. I love beachy decor! I live in Florida and this is totally my style. I like the beach vases, and the plank too. I try to use a lot of nautical inspired colors like navy and turquoise. I also try to have distressed wood whenever I can.

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