Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Beach Combing for Home Decor-plus a Thrifty Thursday Reminder

When you're lucky enough to live by the water....or are able to regularly visit like me, even routine morning strolls yield great beach finds. Here are five easy ways to turn your treasures into striking accents.

1. On Display
Looking for a simple way to showcase your favorite discoveries? Create a seaside display atop a bookshelf, side table, or mantel. Highlight a single shell or a group. Just remember: When grouping your display, consider size, color, and texture.
You will find shells in jars all over my home. I just love the natural beauty of these shells. And they also remind me of some of my favorite places.

2. Custom Creations
Let your imagination run wild. Using your favorite sea hues, paint river rocks, sea stars, or shells in solid colors, polka dots, or stripes. We recommend acrylic paint because it's water-based and can be easily washed from clothes and skin.
3. A Memory Box
Combining a few shells with photographs, maps, postcards, and other memorabilia adds a personal touch to collecting. Use a framed glass table or wooden shadowbox to celebrate a favorite vacation, commemorate the summer, or remember a child's first trip to the beach.

My oldest son, Bama and I did this project when we lived in Sarasota. Bama was six at the time. We had the nicest day, combing the beach for shells and shark's teeth on Venice Beach (where prehistoric shark's teeth wash ashore in mass numbers) and then coming home to create our masterpiece treasure boxes using the treasures we found. * I do notice that I need to glue on more shark's teeth. Some of my lost through the years. My son spelled out his name with them.*

4. Time in a Bottle
When you must say goodbye to a favorite coastal destination, take a bit of the beach home with you. Simply fill an apothecary jar or bottle with sand, a few shells, and any of your favorite beach discoveries. Label the jar and keep it as a constant reminder of days at the shore. As you continue to travel, add to your collection.

My cousin Gina has begun to collect sand from different shores, along with small shells and has them put in bottles and categorized. It is quite an interesting display. It shows me, I need to travel more.

5. Shell Showcase
After years of beach combing, you may have an extensive collection. Display a vast assortment of finds in one stunning piece. With the help of a hot-glue gun, encrust a mirror, lamp shade, or picture frame by adhering your favorite shells in rows. Group them by size, shape, or color.

Another idea for a shell collage: Cover a Styrofoam ball with small shells uniform in color. When finished, these shelled gems look great on a table or grouped in a bowl. Tip: Poke a pencil into the Styrofoam ball to help you hold it while you're hot-gluing.
Here is just one of my shell collections. This is well cataloged in a tackle box organizer. My son, Bama, and I found all of these shells on our beach combs in Sarasota.

Beachside Collecting Tips
Always thoroughly wash, dry, and bleach your favorite finds.
Make sure to collect only abandoned treasures nothing alive.
Remember that some beaches restrict the removal of shells, so make sure beachcombing is permitted.

Now, you can bring a bit of the beach into your home to enjoy.

I want to remind all of you about Thrifty Thursday! I will post Mr. Linky on Wednesday night at 9PM so you can link up to the party.

What's Thrifty Thursday, you ask? For those that don't know, Thrifty Thursday is a show and tell of sorts. It is time for you to showcase your thrifty find. It can be an old find or a new one. It might be something that you found at a thrift store, a consignment store, flea market, garage/yard sale, antique store. It's it was a thrifty find, then it meets the requirements. I am not picky, It can be a great pair of boots & a killer vintage dress, jewelry, home decor, even fishing lures. It is your thrifty find. Tell me about it. Where did you find it? What is it? What do you plan to do with it or how do you plan to use it in your home? Do you want to sell it? Thrifty Thursday's are about the thrill of the hunt...and the treasure you found. show and tell!

****Be sure to grab a button and post it on your Thrifty Thursday post...and don't forget to come back and link either this evening or tomorrow so that every one can drop by your blog to check out your Thrifty Thursday post.*****


Kirby3131 said...

My mother had a big jar full of shells for so many years - I remember them clearly. My grandparents lived in Gulf Shores for years and had jars of shells and sand.

I like your collection - it's you!!

I'm thinking thinking thinking about thrifty thursday. I will succeed this week :)

KBeau said...

I love the beach, so I like your idea of bringing a little bit of it home.

Chandy said...

Leigh, I love #4! Great pictures to share today! Actually, I love them all! Happy Wednesday!

Bama Belle said...

LOVE the labeled jars of beach sands and shells! Wonderful, idea. I have guests in and out myself this week so I will be back full time next week! See ya then girl! Have fun

mom2boys said...

Love the pictures! These are some wonderful ideas.

I'm having a candle giveaway(Coconut Cove) scent.Would go nice with the beach theme.

Kimm at Reinvented said...

LOVE the jars of sand! But since we go to the Outer Banks every year, all of mine would say the same thing!

jennifer said...

I like using shells too! I have bowls and jars of them all around our house. My latest beach collection is driftwood and I have a bowl of it too.

countrymans said...

I'm just chiming in with the other gals. I love the beach and I love those natural finds. I have a Carmel inspired bathroom at home, where I have a few starfish setting on a bead board ledge. My family has a store that has those beach colors and I love using shells in the displays.

You've got such great ideas.. and you've got a wonderful blog. Thank you for sharing.

Laura @ the shorehouse. said...

I'm a bit late to the party...But I love that Bama Box! This post was chock-o-block with great ideas.

CouponAlbum said...

Great ideas for decoration! Beach style stuff is looking superb!!