Beach Terrariums

I’ve finally found a way to bring the beach home with me: by creating beautiful beach terrariums with shells and sand.

I was one of those kids who wanted to pick up every shell on the beach.We went to the same small beach and stayed in the same house every summer then. It was like a second home – one that stayed the same throughout all of the moves of my childhood.

One of my favorite summer memories is of gathering shells: waking up early when the salty breeze was still cool, walking barefoot on the wet grey sand while the sun came up, my red plastic bucket banging against my shins, the little fragments of shell crunching underneath my feet. I wanted to take them all home; no shell was too small or too fractured to escape my notice.

Mom tried to explain to me that the point of the hunt was to find the perfect ones, the big ones, the unusual ones, but I picked up everything. Afterwards I would wash them off in the cold ocean, crying if the waves stole any of them back, and then take them back to the beach house, to line them up on the porch railings to dry in the sun.

This summer, I sat in my studio and stared at my forest terrariums, and knew that I had to try making some with sand and shells.

Here’s some pictures of what I’ve created so far:

The first beach terrarium that I made featured a cast iron mermaid that I purchased at my local flea market, and had never found a way to use.

I love the starfish on this terrarium that I created in an antique blue mason jar.

I made this teeny tiny beach terrarium in an antique bottle that my boyfriend and I found in the woods. A wire covered in white plastic anchors a small conch shell into its cork.

These terrariums are currently for sale in my Etsy shop, but if you’d like to try making your own, I’ve also put up this simple DIY tutorial for them.


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