Make a Beachy-Chic Shell-Covered Urn

Add easy-breezy beachy style to an indoor or outdoor space by crafting this custom shell-covered container. Fill with flowers or a potted plant to create a coastal-inspired centerpiece. 

DIY Sea Shell Centerpiece

DIY Sea Shell Centerpiece

DIY Sea Shell Centerpiece

Materials Needed

large neutral colored urn
assorted sea shells (collected on vacation or from your local craft store)
sand dollars in various sizes
hot glue gun and glue sticks  

Sort Shells

Sort shells before you start, grouping like shells together as it'll be easier to create designs on the urn using one type of shell at a time.

DIY Sea Shell Centerpiece

DIY Sea Shell Centerpiece

To keep costs down, buy shells in assortment packs-any craft store carries them. Sort them before you start, grouping like shells together as it’ll be easier to create designs on the urn using one type of shell at a time.

Photo by: Tomas Espinoza

Tomas Espinoza

Add Shells

Starting in one area of the urn, attach a row of a single type of shells using the hot glue gun. Place a bead of hot glue around the back of the shell then push it into place (Image 1). It helps to let the shape of your particular container and the shell dictate your design (Image 2). At the base of the urn, leave a little space, so the shells' edges don't chip off or scratch the surface of the table (Image 3). Remember to rotate the shells in different directions, both for visual interest and better coverage (Image 4). 

Add Sand Dollars

As you work, flip the urn upside down for better access to all angles of the surface when necessary. Add glue to the back of each sand dollar and push into place (Image 1), varying the sand dollars' size as you work. Tip: These flat shells work great on the container's flatter surfaces (Image 2). You can also flip the sand dollars facing in the wrong direction, depending on the shape of your container so that they lay flat — think of it like putting together a puzzle.

Fill In Empty Spaces

Fill in the nooks and crannies and camouflage any wayward globs of hot glue (nobody's perfect!) with the smaller shells (Image 1). Tip: This is the main reason we suggest going with a neutral colored urn so any gaps won't be as visible. Also, the smaller shells are useful as you get close to the top edge of the urn (Image 2).

Add Plants

Finally, fill completed urn with fresh-cut flowers or a potted plant. 

DIY Sea Shell Centerpiece

DIY Sea Shell Centerpiece

DIY Sea Shell Centerpiece

Keep Reading

Next Up

Make an Autumnal Apple Topiary Centerpiece

Put fall's bounty on display by making a topiary out of fresh pears or apples as a centerpiece for your Thanksgiving table or buffet.

Small Bathroom Decorating Ideas

Gather small bathroom decorating ideas, and get ready to add style and appeal to a snug bathroom space.

Shared Space Decorating Ideas

Not sure how to make a small space multifunctional? City-dwellers Sarah Raskin and John Kerl turned their bonus room into a guest bedroom/baby nursery with some smart decorating ideas and storage solutions.

Paint Color and Decorating Tips

Quick changes with paint make your home sparkle during the holidays and every day.

On TV

Shop This Look

Found a living space you love in HGTV's Photo Library? Get the look in your own home with products from Wayfair.

Follow Us Everywhere

Join the party! Don't miss HGTV in your favorite social media feeds.