5 Ways To Display Beachcombing Finds

What to do With Beachcombing Finds

It is always exciting to come back from the beach laden with treasure, but what to do with it once home can be a challenge. I curse when I think of all of the beautiful finds that I have lost over the years, because I know if I was a bit more organised I would still have them with me.

 My main problem used to be that I would use the items I had found to dress the tops of my flower pots. This looks lovely, but unfortunately small finds can work their way down into the soil with watering, and disappear from sight and mind. I have lost a lot of fossils and minerals that way. When it came to changing the soil I used to just throw it away, going through all your old plant pot soil to find pieces of china, small minerals, and such is not much fun.

Nowadays I try to think of interesting ways to display my beachcombing and nature finds, this could be making them into a home decor item, a gift, jewelry, or just finding a nice way to organise and display my collection.

Display Pebbles, Shells, and Other Finds in Jars - An Organized Way to Display Beach finds

One of the cheapest and easiest ways to make a nice display of finds is with jam jars, mason jars, and various bottles. Even the most simplest of jars can look amazing when filled with sea glass, pebbles, or shells.

My grandmother used to have jars of sea glass and shells on the shelves in her bathroom, she used to put the sea glass in and then fill the jar with oil, the oil kept the sea glass and shells looking wet, like they were in the ocean. As a child these jars fascinated and delighted me and my siblings, and I have my own versions today.

I don't use oil in my jars, and my sea glass is pretty transient... I use it to make jewelry so only get to admire it for a short time before I use it. I have other jars though, I have a pebble jar, a mineral jar, and a fossil jar. They stand together with other nice things I have found on the beach.

Making Wall Art From Beach Combing Finds

This is a nice way to display nature finds, you will be surprised at the amount of visitors that will be interested in the different components of the display. 

This is a piece of driftwood that I've wall mounted, with various beach combing treasures tucked into it, and hung off it. The stars light up with a soft yellow glow, and the tips of the branches are actually a candelabra.

It's above my bookshelf, and on top of this are further displays from beach combing trips, including some framed shells and seaweed. I have these pictures propped against the wall, but am working on a much larger piece for the wall.

I have used contrasting colors, which make the shells 'pop' against the background, I used a glue gun to fix the shells to the corrugated card. These will be box framed as they are finished. With these I am just waiting to find a few more shells in each family, as this is how I am displaying my shells.

You can make similar pictures to display sea glass, small crystals, and other bits and pieces.

Making A Centerpiece Display From Beachcombing Finds

I like to use a large ceramic tray as a base for a center piece, place items until you find a look you like (like making a 3d collage). When I make a display like this I use some of my jars of pebbles and scatter shells and pebbles at the base of the jars, I add sea pottery, bits of dried seaweed, minerals etc.

If making a centerpiece for a table try to have the taller items in the middle of the display, with scatterings around the outsides. If making it for a bookshelf, mantel, or anything with a wall behind; have the taller items at the back. Odd numbers like groups of 3 and 5 objects look good together, as they look less contrived, and a mixture of heights and style of jar also looks good.

You could also do something crazy like what I've done in the pic with the crab shells :) Definitely a conversation starter!

Making A Mosaic 

This is a really lovely way to utilize all kinds of found objects, and actually very simple. You will need a base to mosaic onto (this could be a tray, tile, a large shell, bottle, a piece of MDF, or even directly onto furniture (my fave) PVA glue to fix the objects to the base, and grout. Oh and a nice damp cloth to clean any stray grout off.

Personally I love the classic type of mosaic that is all about flowing lines, the lines of grout are just as important as the pieces used to make the mosaic. This can be hard to achieve with different size and shape bits and pieces.

The mosiac in the picture is one I am making with sea glass, fossils, shells, bought terazza, and rhinestones for some added bling.

Make A Beach Themed Terrarium 

I have a few terrarium that I have made to display my nature finds, each focuses on a different habitat. For my beach terrarium I use a mason jar, some sand, tiny sea glass gems, small mineral pebbles and cute little shells
You can use any size jar, tank, or interesting piece of glassware. It is a really nice way to protect and display smaller items.

I use larger stones at the base of the jar and use them to map out my mini landscape. I pile the stones higher at the back of the jar and press the sand down towards the front. That way you will get a nice view into to terrarium and the treasure with-in.

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