Where to Buy Seashells, Driftwood, and Nautical Craft Items to Decorate Your Home

by dustytoes

Nautical decor is popular, not only for those who live at the ocean, but for anyone who wants to bring the beach into their house.

If you live at the side of the ocean or close enough to visit often, your home may be easy to fill with nautical decor such as seashells, driftwood and beach glass. For others, the love of the beach means items must be purchased, and it's not always easy to find places that sell starfish and seashells for decorating.

Anyone, living anywhere, can spread the feel of being at the shore throughout the place they call home if they know where to look to buy the best seashells, driftwood, and craft items that come from nature. Browse the internet for ideas and instead of spending a lot of money for a beautiful item, consider making it yourself.

The Basics For Decorating With Seashells

With these items you are armed and ready to get your decorating on!

starfishFrom what I've seen in pictures and online, most seashell decorating takes place by gluing shells onto something, or having something glued to them.  So first and foremost you will need a good craft glue or a hot glue gun.

Sometimes holes are drilled into the shell so it can be tied to something.  A Dremel rotary tool can help with those projects (link below).

Of course, you will obviously need some seashells.  Decide what size shells are needed for your particular craft or how you'd like the end product to look.  Also decide on a color scheme.  If you want a natural look, using the shells as they look in nature is the way to go.  Some seashells are found in nature with a blue, pink, purple or red colors and you may be able to find some to buy in the color scheme you want.  Shells can also be painted, covered in glitter, or shellacked.   They can even be crushed or broken into bits for certain crafts.

Other sea life to consider when crafting in a nautical theme are starfish, sea urchins, sand dollars, crab shells, horseshoe crabs, crab claws, beach glass, driftwood, air plants, beach sand, coral, sponges and sea fans.

Decide if You Want Items For Crafts or as Stand Alone Decor

It's not as difficult to find ideas for crafting with seashells as it is to find the actual seashells and other items needed to make them.  Bags of small shells are fairly easy to find, but larger seashells are another story.

If you want a large nautilus or conch shell, it may be hard to find them for sale since some seashells (and the mollusk living inside) are now protected due to the fact that so many people want them.

Here are some ideas for buying online:

  1. Websites that sell only seashells and nautical items.  Try to find out if they have a good reputation for selling quality shells and are honest about shell size.  I have never purchased shells online, so I cannot vouch for any of them.
  2. Seashell forums sometimes have threads where members will list shells for sale.  
  3. Amazon
  4. Ebay

You may also find seashells, starfish and urchins at your local craft stores,  and lesser quality items at dollar stores

Buy Real Starfish at Amazon

U.S. Shell, Inc. Starfish Mix
Only $13.99

Buy seashells on eBay

1 lb Large Indian Ocean Shell Mix Seashells Beach Cottage Deco...

Time left: 3 days, 5 hours
Current bid: $11.99  Place bid

Tiny Mixed Craft Shells 1/4" Seashells 1000+ Sea Shells Crafts...

Time left: 1 week, 1 day
Fixed price: $6.99  Buy It Now


Time left: 1 week, 5 days
Current bid: $12.95  Place bid

Pictures of Seashells - Beware

Read the description carefully so you will get what you really want.

If you collect your own seashells you have the best advantage in knowing exactly what you have for size and color.  When buying seashells online be sure to read the description and pay attention to the actual size of the shells.  Photos can be deceiving and you may be expecting some nice big, beautiful shells for a project, but when they arrive they could be smaller than you imagined.

The group of shells linked below advertise the shell sizes as 3/4 inch to 3 inches.  

Seashells, Starfish, Sand Dollars and Sea Urchins

Find many types of shells at Amazon.
Caribbean Assorted Seashell Mix - 3/4in. - 3in. seashells - 2 POUNDS

I have a blog about collecting and identifying seashells.

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Spanish Moss and Air Plants Are Symbols of The South

Air plants are little living bromeliads that don't need dirt to survive.

spanish moss

Big trees draped in Spanish moss are a symbol of the south. I had a lot of big, live oak trees, with their sprawling branches, in my yard when I lived in Florida.

At one time we had a couple of goats and they loved to eat the moss. It was such a treat for them. We'd just reach up and pull it off and they would gobble it up!

Those of us who don't live in a warm climate won't see this moss on our trees, but it can be purchased relatively inexpensively. The bags of moss may look small, but pull it apart and you'll find that you have plenty for draping over some driftwood or adding to a wreath.

Air plants also can be found on the big trees of the south and the plants can be quite large. The trouble is that they are up high and hard to get to. The nice thing about an air plant is that it does not need dirt. Just give it a squirt of water now and then to keep it alive.

Driftwood Can Be Decor or Added to Aquariums

piece of driftwood on a beachDriftwood is wood that has washed up on the beach.  It doesn't have to come from the ocean, but nice driftwood will be smooth from rolling in the sand and surf. 

It could have come from trees, their roots, branches, or items made of wood that were lost at sea.  It could also come from old wooden boats that have sunk.  

Natural driftwood takes the shape of the tree or roots and is loved for it's unusual shapes.  It can be used in many ways to decorate, either on it's own, or as a base for adding other items from nature such as shells, air-plants, Spanish moss, and silk flowers.

If you want natural driftwood in the shape of a downed tree or big branch, there are online places where it can be ordered, but smaller, natural pieces can usually be found at any pet store that sells fish and aquariums.  Driftwood looks great in a fish tank and is used in exotic animal cages for iguanas, lizards and snakes to climb on.

(Photo credit: Pixabay)


Find Pieces of Driftwood on Ebay

Tree bark Cave Aquarium Ornament Decor Drift Wood Trunk - FISH...

Time left: 3 weeks, 5 days
Current bid: $14.95  Place bid


Time left: 8 hours, 51 minutes
Current bid: $5.00  Place bid
Fixed price: $8.00  Buy It Now

New Zilla 10" ~ 12" Authentic Malaysian Natural Driftwood Fish...

Time left: 4 weeks
Fixed price: $11.77  Buy It Now
Updated: 06/05/2015, dustytoes
Thank you! Would you like to post a comment now?

I hope this page will help you beautify your home in a nautical style.

ologsinquito on 10/07/2013

These are great resources for people who don't live near the ocean. We have relatives in the Midwestern United States and every time I see them they remind me of how much they appreciate the ocean, when they can get to it.

dustytoes on 04/08/2013

The best place to get shells is the beach for sure!

georgettejohn on 04/07/2013

Years ago my son and I went to Galveston for a week. I brought back a suitcase of shells and made a lamp out of them for him. Great article!

sheilamarie on 03/20/2013

I have a seashell collection, but I haven't made anything with them. Some of the shells sit in a bowl in my bathroom.

dustytoes on 12/13/2012

I bet her home is beautiful. If I lived close enough to the beach I would have to become crafty I think.

2uesday on 12/13/2012

I have a friend who lives near to the sea and she has decorated her home with this theme and it works really well, as a nice fresh looking interior decor.

dustytoes on 12/09/2012

I never used my shells to decorate. We just collected them and they sat in a bucket or jar!

sandyspider on 12/09/2012

Great ideas. When I use to live by the ocean I would gather seashells and then decorate them.

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