One shell of a vase

Tray decor with beach themed vase

Predictable, but fun – sea shells are the perfect environmentally friendly vase filler.

skip to vase ingredients

We are fortunate enough to make a yearly trip to the beach just after school ends. Now that my kids are older, they aren’t as interested in the usual beach activities of making sand castles and digging up sand crabs. But looking for shells is still a favorite (at least for my daughter … for now … I know the days of her just sunning herself on the beach are coming faster than I’d like).

When my son was just old enough to participate and we started this activity on these trips, I was always looking the “perfect” shell. The whole, unbroken shell with no holes or chips. But my kids, they didn’t care. AT. ALL.

At first, I resisted. “No … let’s find another one. One that’s not broken.” And just like kids do, they wore me down. “But Mom, I like it. Look it has this pretty purple on it.” “But Mom, it’s got this cool stripe.” And after a while, I stopped resisting.

Now each day we bring back at least 20-30 shells. We do pare down to about 40-50 before going home just because space is at a premium in the back of our SUV (we have one of the smaller ones and I keep joking that we need to rent an Escalade just to go to the beach). However, our criteria for selection isn’t perfect. It’s whatever feels special to us.

So as predictable and possibly boring it may be, this summer’s Reduce and Reuse vase filler is shells. Not perfect ones. Any and all of them.

Below are the ingredients for this month’s vase (here’s how to make the “base” used for each Reduce and Reuse vase). This month, because it reminds me of the ocean, I opted for a blue candle instead of the usual white.

  • Blue candle (any blue one would do), at home, $4.99
  • Sea shells – free (DON’T buy them from the store at the boardwalk!)

Now (for those paying attention) you will notice that I haven’t let completely go of the perfection thing. I put the “almost” perfect ones on the edges, facing out on top of the others. I’m working on the letting go part. 🙂

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