Bringing Beauty to Unexpected Places

Beauty is giving life to a few old Styrofoam balls as the center of a new project.

Beauty is knowing that a project is always more fulfilling when it involves your 3-year old son.

Beauty is displaying seashells picked up on a recent beach trip along with Dollar Store moss.

Beauty is realizing there can never be enough Dollar Store moss. Or seashells. Ever.

Beauty is combining your son’s sterling silver cup with his father’s sterling silver baby spoon unexpectedly into a vase of natural elements.

Beauty is a hurricane vase filled with a few of the things that remind you of those you love.

And sometimes, beauty is seeing your child’s own creation and realizing that maybe there is more of you in him than you ever imagined.

Watch out Eddie Ross. You’ve got a Zachary Thomas waiting in the wings.


You can easily recreate your own “beauty”:

1. Find a jar or vase you’d like to use and add a few pieces of foam for filler. I stacked mine on top of each other with a craft stick, but hot glue would work, too.
2. Fill the vase about 1/3 full of moss.
3. Add a layer of shells and push a few of them down in front of the moss. If you can’t visit a beach or a costal town tourist shop this summer, check your thrift stores and craft stores for shells.
4. Add another layer of moss.
5. Add more shells and top with unexpected items such as old sterling silver pieces, ceramic bird statues, small mirrors, broken dishes or vintage costume jewelry. Just keep all of the items in the same color scheme.
6. Add a little more moss, just for good measure.
7. Step back and admire the beauty.

Filed Under: Decorate Your Home

About Lindsay Ballard

Lindsay Ballard is a former college mascot turned political geek turned DIY fanatic who is conspiring to live in a Technicolor dream world. Her designs are bold and graphic, while her spirit is fun and full of color. Lindsay chronicles her projects and design ideas here at Makely, where she shares daily tutorials and inspiration. Lindsay lives outside of Austin, Texas with her husband (Tom), children (Zack and Emma) and dogs (Jack and Duke).


  1. Absolutely gorgeous, truly.

  2. Beautiful! Thanks for the tip about the foam fillers–I wouldn't have thought of it. Your son did a great job too! :)

  3. Beautiful! I love the idea of sticking in a few treasures to make it truly special.

  4. Having filler in the middle is a brilliant idea. I wouldn't have had time to think of that because I'm too busy looking for seashells to actually fill the 2' jar!! duh.

  5. Tins and Treasures says:

    I always enjoyed creating things with my girls. And, they will have memories that last a lifetime. Have a terrific Thursday ~Natalie

  6. Ooooh, it's awesome! It so YOU and so personal and gorgeous. Love it… Sentimental items in there are perfect. I'm thinking of spending a day down in Newport at a few beaches I know of – I used to find such pretty sea glass there when I was at Salve Regina for college!

  7. Beautiful! Love the whimsy of it.

    If you had the resources at hand, you could also coat those styrofoam balls in glue and sand and let it show just a bit.

  8. GeraldineMander says:

    This makes me want to return to Padre. I bet Z could make quite a sand midget!

  9. How pretty!

  10. Wonderful project. I love the addition of something unexpected- the silver pieces. What fun with your son.

  11. Oh my Lindsay – your collection of pretty shells mixed into the moss is fabulous! And what a great idea to display special little things inside too. Thank you for the inspiration!


  12. Love this project – I'm going to put a link in my organizing blog – We are talking about beachy crafts today! Thanks for the great idea. (I also love your shell frame)

  13. Love it! I will try my hand at it after vacation. TFS!

  14. {Bellamere Cottage} says:

    I love it! And, the unexpected always makes things interesting….great idea!


  15. Definitely a jar of goodness. Love the sea shells and moss mingled with the silver pieces.

  16. What a great project! Thanks for the directions that followed! I especially like the silver spoon and cup mixed in! :O)
    Sincerely ~ Tricia Anne

  17. I love it! The silver is such a fun and meaningful idea. I'll be linking.


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