/ / Put Shells in a Vase for a Fun Vacation Souvenir

Put Shells in a Vase for a Fun Vacation Souvenir

Collecting seashells on the beach is one of the most beloved vacation activities — but what should you do with all those shells once you get home? Turn those beautiful beach souvenirs into coastal decor by putting shells in a vase! Make this DIY seashell vase with your kids.

Greetings, Kenarry readers! Marissa from Squirrels of a Feather here, and I have been sitting on this fun DIY to share with you at juuuust the right time — right before beach season!

The idea for this DIY coastal decor vase came to me after a lovely beach vacation where we got tons of seashell necklaces.

Now, while I think seashell necklaces are pretty, I don’t think they are very practical — at no point in my life have I been getting dressed and thought to myself, “Hmmm, let me wear my seashell necklace today!

I didn’t want to get rid of them, but I didn’t want to keep them around for no reason either (I’m big into the KonMari method, after all).

Suddenly, an idea hit me! I could put those shells in a vase to make a fun souvenir to remember our trip!

And that’s how this DIY seashell vase was born.

DIY Seashell Vase - A Fun way to remember your beach vacation. A vase with seashells in it sits on a desk.

How to Make this DIY Coastal shells vase

Here are all the materials and steps you will need to know to make this DIY shell vase:

What you need: 

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It also helps to have items to place in the very center of the vase so that you don’t need as much filler to fill it up! I used empty applesauce jars, you don’t need to get too fancy.

Keep in mind you may need more or fewer gems and shells depending on the size of the cylinder vase that you select.

Additional supplies

If you want to make this a family activity like I did, you will also need:

  • Bowls for sorting
  • Trays for keeping things in place
  • Shoeboxes for additional sorting area


1. Gather the materials

Gather all your materials in one place for sorting.

Shells on a tray with glass gems

2. Sort the materials

This step is optional if you are making this a family activity.

Set out all the materials and have the kids begin to sort them into different bowls, separating by color and size (blue gems versus clear gems, and small seashells versus large ones).

My kids had a blast sorting the shells and glass gems out by color! Make a fun activity also educational!

Small boys sort glass gems and seashells into different bowls.
Sort like the wind!
Shells to put in a vase with glass gems.
All done sorting!

3. Fill the vase

After you have all the shells and gems sorted, it’s time to add them to the vase!

If you want to get that layered ocean-effect coastal vase to look like my vase, you are going to add the gems and shell in this order:

  1. Dark blue gems
  2. Light blue gems
  3. White/clear gems
  4. Large shells
  5. Small shells

Keep in mind that you don’t need as many shells and gems if you put some vase fillers in the very center — things like clear plastic cups, empty applesauce jars, etc.

Here is a picture of me adding an empty applesauce jar into the shell vase to require less filler; if you do it just right, no one will notice!

(I find it’s easiest to slightly tilt the vase while adding the fillers or put my hand down in there and add them GENTLY! The glass gems can break and things can shift if you just drop them in there.)

Putting filler in a seashell vase.

4. Finish up

Top any of the middle fillers up with the last of the shells and stand back to marvel at your gorgeous coastal decor shell vase!

Now you have a beach souvenir that doubles as home decor!

Shells in a vase on a dresser

What’s Next? 

If you enjoyed this DIY idea for putting shells in a vase, you might also enjoy these other great ideas!

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DIY This Pretty Pine Glitter Bottle

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