join the pod
Get a dose of Vitamin Sea in your inbox each week + coastal-loving welcome gifts!
Hey seashell lover! Spread ocean love + sustainability by shopping our eco-boutique.
Sustainably made with recycled materials + always plastic-free packaging, they’re the perfect gifts for beach lovers:
your purchase has a porpoiseOur mission of global ocean education is made possible by your support of our eco-boutique
Ahhh the bliss of collecting seashells at the beach, with your toes in the sand and the sparkling water lapping at the shore.
But what to do with all those treasures you’ve brought home?
Well, you’ve come to the right place — Rett and I love to collect shells whenever we get the chance, and have come up with a few time-tested solutions for making the most out of your collection.
Having shells on display just makes us happy! So, we’re taking you inside our home and sharing some of our favorite ways to display and organize shells all year round.
Eco-friendly Shelling Tips
During my career as a marine biology teacher, one of the most fascinating things I loved to teach was just how these incredible animals (mollusks) make the shell themselves.
They start from a teeny-tiny microscopic being that secretes a shell over time!
To keep your shell collection as eco-friendly as possible (protect what you love):
- make sure that the shells you find are empty and aren’t alive (occupied by an animal)
- Soft-bodied animals (called mollusks) make the shells as their permanent homes.
- Hermit crabs move in and out of empty shells for protection.
- find your own shells instead of buying them in shell shops because:
- the animals are usually killed to get the shell
- some kinds may be endangered
- reefs may be damaged by harvesting
If you love beachcombing for shells, you’ll especially love our Eco Sun Shirts (UPF 50+)…
They’re 100% recycled + packaged with porpoise, not plastic:
Display Your Seashells
Since we originally posted this, we’ve added a few more ideas, so be sure to read to the bottom 🙂
Rett and I hope these ideas inspire you to get creative with your seashell collection!
1. Use a utensil organizer
We use an adjustable bamboo utensil sorter and love being able to add to each group of seashells each time we collect them. It keeps everything organized and beautiful, and also makes it easy to find the perfect shells for a craft!
2. Put them in a shadowbox
A shadowbox is great for using smaller, unique shells that can combine to make a beautiful piece of art. Check out the fan favorite Seashell Heart Shadowbox here.
It’s seashell sweetness inspired our Beach Bliss collection, so you can feel the beach bliss everyday (wherever you are!):
You can also get scientific and attach the shells to the shadowbox in rows and identify them with small labels underneath. We’ve always wanted to do this, and it may be our next shell craft!
And for more seashell crafts, check out our round up of 10 Seashell Crafts.
3. Use a hanging medicine cabinet or china cabinet
With glass doors, it’s a beachy way to display your seashells while keeping them protected and beautifully arranged. Plus, as an added bonus, there’s no need to worry about dust collecting on them!
We use one designed as a bathroom medicine cabinet. You could hang it on the wall, or stand it on a piece of furniture.
Just recently, we walked into our neighbor’s house and they’d transformed their china cabinet into a seashell display (instead of dishes)! It was so stunning and inspirational that we decided to do the same!
4. Put them into glass
We love putting shells into glass cylinders, vases, bowls, and lanterns! Glass jars or cylinders are a simple and beautiful way to organize them by type:
For our beach themed wedding centerpieces, we made a simple arrangement of glass cylinders filled with seashells, sand, and flowers, topped with a candle:
5. Play with baskets + bowls
Arranging seashells in baskets and bowls give such a rustic, seaside charm!
The shape of the long wooden bowl seemed to allow the shells to fall into place by themselves.
A gray wicker basket that hangs out in our kitchen is the perfect vessel for some of our most interesting, broken and well-worn shells.
And for the wire basket, we added some nautical rope, a jute ball, a large piece of resin (artificial) coral, and a sea star.
6. Make a seashell wreath
We love using shells for crafts, and wreaths are a fantastic way to freshen up your home. There are so many ways to arrange seashells on a wreath and it’s such a beautiful way to keep the beach close at heart!
We’ve got some tips for creating a seashell wreath here.
7. Make seashell ornaments
Why not keep the beach memories alive even during the winter holidays? We love adding a touch of coastal cozy to our Christmas decor. Simply glue a shell (or several) to an ornament backing or fill a glass ball with tiny seashells and sand.
Check out two of our coastal ornament DIY’s here:
8. Display them on a cake stand
We love using a cake platter or pedestal to display our favorite shells! Here are some of our most sea-worn shells with tons of character…don’t they just make you happy?
9. Organize them in divided boxes
Like the utensil organizer, a divider box is such a beautiful way to sort and organize smaller shells. We’ve also seen antique printer press trays used similarly, and absolutely love this idea too.
What are your favorite ways to display seashells? Reply with a comment below, we’d love to hear them!
We hope these ideas inspire you and help keep the beach close at heart!
Live with porpoise,
Eve + Rett
Want a dose of Vitamin Sea in your inbox each week? Sign up to join the pod (email list) here!
Disclaimer: All activities on this blog are intended to be performed with adult supervision. Appropriate and reasonable caution should be used when activities call for the use of materials that could potentially be harmful, such as scissors, or items that could present a choking risk (small items), or a drowning risk (water activities), and with introducing a new food/ingredient to a child (allergies). Observe caution and safety at all times. The author and blog disclaim liability for any damage, mishap, or injury that may occur from engaging in any of these activities on this blog.