Vacations to me mean lazy lounging on the beach. The sun, the sand and sea are the ingredients that provide memories of a vacation that can last all year long. These memories can even be the elements for a quick seasonal decorating change that will allow you to enjoy the surf and sand even after you arrive home.
You can easily give your home the fresh, breezy appeal of a cottage by the seashore by using seashells in your decorating. Bring home a bucket or two of shells in interesting colors, shapes and sizes, and use them in some simple projects.
Dress up a wooden mirror frame with a border of seashells. First, start with a flat-surface wooden frame. If the frame is unpainted, apply a base coat of latex paint. Allow the frame to dry completely. Next, plan your shell design. Shells such as white cockleshells, clamshells, striped and spotted rounded shells and large spiral shells work best in the design. For projects like these you can purchase seashells at local craft stores or online.
Hot-glue the cockleshells, textured side up, around the edges of the frame. Place the small ones on the inner edge, and the large ones along the outside. Next, glue striped shells between the cockleshells. Then, glue the spotted shells between the large cockleshells, dark sides up. Glue the large spirals at the corners, keeping the smallest point nearest the frame. Fill in crevices by gluing small shells, textured side down, to expose the shell interior for contrast.
If you were fortunate to unearth oversized seashells during your sunset walks on the beach, you can use them to create a fireplace mantel display. To create the feel of the beach, fill small beach pails or enamel buckets with clean sand and line them up across the length of the mantel. Tuck small strands of dried beach grass (if you brought that back too on your vacation) or a few pieces of ornamental grasses from the garden into the buckets. Scatter specimen shells and small shells along the mantel edge in front of the buckets. Finish the design with some whimsical seaside artifacts from around the house. Add a miniature lighthouse sculpture or a toy fishing boat to the mix. You can even plop in a few shells into the sand in the buckets to create that casual seaside feel.