What Are the Different Types of Seashell Decor?

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  • Written By: Judith Smith Sullivan
  • Edited By: Susan Barwick
  • Last Modified Date: 08 November 2019
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Seashell decor is a very popular theme and medium for creating decorative objects. There are basically two types of seashell decor: decor which uses actual seashells in its construction and decor which uses images of seashells. Seashell themes are often found on printed artwork, wall paper, borders, and fabrics, but any object can be designed using the the seashell for inspiration. Other decorative objects may use an actual seashell to create an aesthetically pleasing design.

In some cases, seashell decor is made simply by arranging seashells for display. In this case, the seashells serve no practical purpose but are used as accent pieces. They can be free or mounted. For instance, a special collection may be stored in a shadow box and hung as artwork. Alternatively, seashells can be gathered in a bowl or basket to act as a centerpiece.

Another common use for seashells is to attach them to a practical object to enhance its visual appeal. Seashells can be attached to a plain picture frame, lampshade, throw pillow case, and many other objects. They can be left in their natural state or embellished with stain, paint, or glitter. The seashells may be the main focus of the piece, or they may act as accent pieces to another theme, like a season or holiday.


Some objects use the shape of the seashell as a practical function. For example, using a conch or other large shell as a planter is very common. Alternatively, some designers create artificial seashells on a larger or smaller scale so that it is more suited to a practical use, like a seashell shaped champagne cooler or glass seashell beads.

Seashell decor that uses the image, not the actual object, allows individuals to use a seashell theme when the actual shells are not appropriate. For instance, towels do not lend themselves to being decorated with seashells, as that would impair the purpose of the towel. Similarly, sheets and blankets cannot be decorated with the actual shell.

Instead, the image of the seashell can be printed on these items. Not only does this broaden the decorative uses of seashells, it allows for a mix of media in the design. Having seashell decor with different textures adds visual interest to the overall aesthetic design of a space.


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