Jonathan and I make a point of collecting some sort of artsy keepsake from each of our travels and life journeys. While at first we aimed for local artists sketches or paintings – a hand thrown vase from Big Sur, a hand carved wooden jaguar from the Yucatan, decorative 18th century rooftop tile from the French Quarter in New Orleans – we’ve come to find that some of the most elegant and simplistic bookshelf décor and keepsake memories involve basic items that are free for the taking in nature. Driftwood. Succulent cuttings. Unique rocks. Or, our newest keepsake addition, seashells!
Since moving to Pensacola, we’ve had the pleasure of discovering a local beach on Gulf Breeze that is just littered with seashells.. ranging from giant sand dollars to extremely tiny clams and augers! (The tiny augers are my favorite. I always thought they looked like baby unicorn horns..)
We spent a couple of evenings after church, treasure hunting along the sandy white beaches for pretty shells to take home. I have no doubt that these sunny evenings, strolling along the beach, hunting for shells and playing in the sand with our baby daughter, will always be treasured memories of our Navy life and early days as a young family.
Once we filled a couple ziplocks with our booty, I purchased a large vase at the Dollar Store for, well, a dollar. And the tiny vials I found for 50 cents each at Hobby Lobby. After washing, drying and tossing my tiny treasures into their respective containers, voila! Instant beach décor. They look awesome on the shelf in my hall entryway.
We collected extras (along with some of the white Pensacola sand) to give to family and friends as keepsakes and Christmas gifts. The tiny vials can work as necklaces or keychains and the large vases work as table centerpieces, book ends or just beautiful shelf clutter. We made our vase and vials, and gifted some to about 5 family and friends as Christmas gifts, all for under $5. It’s cheap, it’s thoughtful and it’s ridiculously easy chic decor.
So whatcha think? Pretty, no?