Easy Sea-Inspired Home Decor

Posted by on July 2, 2012

This season I found several beautiful bottles at one of my favorite home furnishings stores. Mixed with bright silver lanterns and mercury glass accessories, they added just the right nautical note for summer decorating.

Beachy Bottles

But at $20 to $40 each, the prices were too rich for my blood as they say. Topped with artificial corals, they had basic shapes and were not functional, just decorative. After spending too much time looking for similar corals to top my budget-minded versions, I remembered my personal collection of beachy finds – not just shells, but small bits of coral, broken sand dollars and the various things that wash up on the beach. The only item I purchased for this collection of sea-inspired accessories was a small flask-shaped bottle with cork; I had everything else on hand.  Total price: 99 cents at Michaels craft store.


  • Empty bottles
  • Jute twine
  • Decorative sand
  • Shells, sand dollars, beach finds

1. Wash and dry the bottles, removing any labels. Rub off any adhesive residue with a cotton ball soaked with rubbing alcohol. Here I used an olive oil bottle, a Thai chili sauce bottle and a purchased flask bottle. Keep the caps or corks intact. (Here I painted the cork with white craft paint, but it can be left natural depending on the look you prefer.)

2. Decide what sea item will be displayed on which bottle, keeping in mind the principles of balance, scale and proportion. I loved the shape of the sand dollar piece on the small flask bottle and thought it gave the bottle the look of an expensive perfume flacon. I chose a beach-claimed fragment that seemed to resemble a perching bird for the chili bottle. For the tall olive oil bottle, I found that a piece of hollow driftwood (purchased a few years ago from a craft store) fit the mouth of the bottle quite snugly and was the perfect height to compliment the bottle.

May June 2012 088

3. Wrap 1 to 2 inches of the bottle neck with the jute twine, securing each end with a bit of hot glue. For the chili bottle, I wrapped the bottle cap as well, winding the twine in concentric circles on the top of the cap.

Sea finial

4.  Attach the topper ornament with hot glue.

5. For the small flask, I filled it with decorative sand and carefully placed small shells and a tiny piece of driftwood inside.

Sand Dollar finial

6. Display your creations together or with other beach-inspired accessories and finds. Here I styled it on a silver tray with a layer of decorative sand, an interesting piece of something I found on the beach and votive that I decorated with more twine and a small shell.