Here’s a way to keep oceanside memories close even when you’re landlocked: Make a seashell planter using a terra-cotta garden pot. The materials are simple: just the pot, some sanded grout (available at craft stores such as Michaels and A.C. Moore) and hot glue, and the shells.
For that last item, you can scour beaches at low tide, dip into your own collection, or buy a bunch at a craft store or online (large bags go for under $20). Then arrange your seashells in either a symmetrical or a random pattern—either way can look beautiful.
For this project, plan on a few hours start to finish, and then let the planter dry for about a day before adding flowers or plants to it. Because hot glue dries so quickly, it’s the best way to keep shells from slipping before applying the grout; the grout goes last. You might think of using a paint stick to spread it, but ultimately fingertips work best.
Materials to Make a Seashell Planter
- terra-cotta pot
- assorted seashells
- hot-glue stick & gun
- sanded grout
- towel or rag
Instructions to Make a Seashell Planter
1. Decide on a design and arrange your shells accordingly on the floor or a table. Make sure you have enough shells to cover your pot.
2. Glue the shells to the pot in the pattern you’ve chosen. Hot glue sets instantly, so you’ll need to work fast, but if you make a mistake, just pry the shell off gently and the grout will cover any glue stains.
3. Following manufacturer instructions, gradually add water to the grout powder until it’s the consistency of thick mud.
4. Apply the grout, spreading it evenly over the entire pot and pressing it into the crevices to surround each shell fully. Don’t worry if some shells are coated with a layer of grout–it’ll wash off.
5. Let the grout set about 20 minutes. Then, using a damp rag or towel, gently rub down any rough or bumpy areas; make the entire surface even, with no sharp edges. Gently rub grout off seashells, too.
6. Let the pot set for 24 hours—then plant with flowers, herbs, or a combination for colorful summertime cheer.