How to Create Seashell Covered Flower Pots

If you have visited the beach recently, chances are you brought back a bag or two of collected seashells. Seashells are a wonderful natural craft material, available in a wide variety of shapes, colors and sizes. You can use some of your seashells to create beautifully decorated flower pots to use on your patio or inside your home. This craft is easy to do, inexpensive and will produce beautiful results. You might even want to make some extra seashell flower pots to give as gifts.

Materials You Will Need

  • Terra cotta flower pots (larger pots are easier to decorate)
  • Assorted seashells (smaller sea shells tend to work best)
  • Packaged grout mix
  • Tile adhesive
  • Spoon, old butter knife, or wooden Popsicle sticks
  • Sponge
  • Several soft cloths
  • Acrylic or polyurethane sealant

Applying the Seashells

Protect your table or work surface with old newspapers or an old vinyl tablecloth. Lay your shells out so that you can see the colors, sizes and shapes that you have. Affix the seashells to the surface of the terra cotta pot using tile adhesive, arranging them in a visually pleasing fashion. You can arrange them in a specific pattern, or simply create a random design. Once you’ve applied the larger shells, you can fit smaller shells or shell pieces in between to create a more interesting look. Allow the tile adhesive to dry completely overnight or according to the package directions.

Applying the Grout

Mix up a batch of grout according to the package directions, using an old bowl or disposable container. Use an old spoon, butter knife or wooden Popsicle sticks to work the grout down in between the shells. Be sure to fill in all the cracks and crevices so that the shells are secured to the flower pot. If necessary to create an attractive look or smoother finish, you can cover some of your shells completely with the grout. Allow the grout to set up for approximately 10 to 20 minutes, or the time specified on the package. Use a damp sponge or a damp cloth to carefully wipe away the excess grout, exposing the shell surfaces. Be careful while wiping off the grout so that you don’t knock any of the seashells off the pot. Continue wiping the excess grout until you like the look of your flower pot. You can either expose most of the seashell surfaces or leave them covered with more grout, depending on the look you are going for. Be careful not to remove too much of the grout from between the shells while wiping. Once you are happy with the look, let the grout dry for 24 hours, or the amount of time specified on the grout package. Use a soft dry cloth to remove any grout haze from the exposed surface of the shells. Use a paint brush to apply an acrylic or polyurethane sealant to the entire outside surface of the flower pot. If you plan to display your seashell flower pot outdoors, make sure the sealant you use is recommended for exterior use.

Senior staff writer Jessica Ackerman of, writes award-winning “How To” articles on contemporary metal wall art.

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