Setting a Coastal Themed Seashell
Table of Contents
Let your guest enter into a romantic, shabby chic themed, seashell Christmas tablescape through a door decorated with a gorgeous seashell wreath which you have made yourself.
Create a seashell Christmas tablescape if you live near the ocean or if you are miles away from the beach, but have been dreaming of beach combing for seashells this winter. Either way….. why not decorate this year’s tablescape with a white, tone-on-tone, shabby chic, coastal seashell Christmas theme?
I was born and raised in Hawaii, living there most of my life. Collecting and decorating with seashells has alway been part of my lifestyle. I loved collecting them when I lived in Hawaii and I love that I can look at them now and be transported back home, if only in my mind.
I greatly admire the intricate and delicate beauty of seashells. They always give me pause for thought as I study in awe their magnificent designs.
You may already have a seashell collection from a beach vacation packed away in a box gathering dust. Pull that box out of the closet, dust them off and use them in this beach-inspired, shabby chic Seashell Christmas Tablescape.
An Elegant Shabby Chic White Seashell
Seashell tablescape decor can have an air of elegance when paired with silver and crystal pieces in a vintage shabby chic style. I think they go together beautifully for winter scene tablescapes while bringing visions of warmer weather on a day dreary with gray skies and freezing temperature. They add life, warmth and light to a room while the wind of a white-out blizzard shrieks outside.
On this page, I am sharing decorating ideas for a seashell Christmas tablescape. We are using white and aqua colored table linens, seashells and Christmas ornaments, with white and aqua tableware to create our Coastal Themed Seashell Christmas Tablescape. Mix in silver, crystal, and fine china to bring elegance to the table while making the tablescape sparkle in the candlelight.
Cindy, from My Romantic Home Blog, created this fabulous vintage shabby chic seashell Christmas tablescape in 2008 and it is just as fabulous today as it was then. She has a white distressed table where she placed a blue and white toile table runner. An ornate sterling silver tray was placed on top of the table runner to hold the tablescape centerpieces.
I have chosen to go with a more coastal feel when recreating Cindy’s elegant seashell tablescape design idea. Rather than using a vintage style blue and white toile table runner with white Battenburg cut out lace placemats, we will use the teal blue coral design of the quilted table runner featured below.
Blue Coral Design Quilted Table Runner
with Scalloped Edge
by C&F Enterprises, Inc.
Using the soothing color and design inspired by the ocean, this blue teal coral table runner is the foundation of the Coastal Seashell Christmas Tablescape we are redesigning. It is also reversible to a seashell and starfish pattern!
Reversible Blue Coral Design Quilted Placemats
An ornate, antique sterling silver platter is placed upon the table runner as the next layer in our tablescape. The platter will house the candle sticks and the white tiered stand.
Silver Plated Baroque Footed Tray with Handles
by Elegance Silver
Use any large sterling silver tray you already have in your servingware collection to hold the 3 tiered cake stand and candles centerpieces.
If you don’t already have one, this large silver plated baroque pattern tray is an affordable piece which is perfect to use for this Christmas tablescape. It is not as expensive as sterling silver so it won’t break the bank.
It is a piece that you will find many uses for all year long. I like to use my sterling silver trays to serve sliced turkey or roast beef during holidays and special occasion dinner parties. They also come in handy when I need an elegant buffet table to serve cold hor’d oeuvres or canapes at a cocktail party.
Silver Plated Serving Trays
If you can afford to purchase a high-quality sterling silver tray, keep in mind it is worth the money as you are investing in the future of your heirs. I treasure the sterling silver that I inherited from my mother and grandmother! I have already passed down many of my pieces to my own daughters as I don’t entertain as much as I use to and they entertain frequently.
Note: Always remember, although these silver plated trays are not sterling silver, they need to be cared for as if they are sterling. They should be hand washed and hand dried. Store them in an anti-tarnish silver cloth to prevent scratches and tarnish.
Another idea for our centerpiece tray is to use a seashell framed mirror on the table instead of a silver tray, like the two I am featuring next.
White Palm Springs Seashell Mirror
Substitute a gorgeous seashell mirror for the sterling silver serving tray as the tablescape’s focal point. It fits right in with our seashell theme. Having a mirror on the table to use as our centerpiece base will increase the light and warmth in the room by reflecting the candlelight.
The tray that you chose to use will be the focal point of the tablescape and will set the mood of the table. Sterling silver and crystal for a shabby chic Old World elegance or beautiful natural seashells for a more casual and whimsical beachy affair sprinkled with an eclectic elegance to keep the night magical.
Biscayne White & Brown Seashell Mirror
Cindy placed an antique shabby chic 3-tiered stand in the center of her silver serving tray. Is doesn’t matter if you have chosen to use a silver tray or a tray encrusted with seashells, either will look fabulous as the base for the 3-tier white metal stand I found on Amazon.
This 3-tier stand suits our eclectic, elegant seashell themed tablescape perfectly, and is a close match to the one that Cindy used for her elegant tablescape. It has strands of clear glass beads draping around the decorative metal patterns on each tier along with large glass crystal-like hanging bead accent pieces.
White Metal with Glass Beads 3-Tier Cupcake Stand
An alternative to the 3-tiered shabby chic cupcake stand just featured, are these elegant white cake stands. They will make a fabulous statement as the focal point on our seashell Christmas tablescape. Set each cake stand, one upon the other, in the center of the silver platter to achieve the look of the 3-tiered cake stand in Cindy’s romantic starfish tablescape design.
White Iron and Glass Cake Stand 3-Piece Set
These cake stands have white scroll metal frames with glass base inserts and are decorated with clear glass beads and tear drop dangle accents for added elegance. I like having the three separate stands to use as needed for other events, too.
Once you have decided on the white stands you will be using, the next step will be to decorate them. Here are suggestions for filling each tier.
- Decorate by surrounding each tier with seasonal evergreens as the first layer.
- Nestle seashells, starfish, sand dollars, and Christmas ornaments in the evergreens on each tier.
- I would use a mixture of aqua, ice blue, silver and white Christmas ornaments.
- Drape strands of faux pearls and crystal garland for additional elegance and sparkle.
Cindy places a crystal candlestick holder on each side of the 3-tier stand. I found this gorgeous Waterford crystal seahorse candlestick that will look awesome with this coastal theme. You will have to get 2 of them to put one on each side.
Waterford Crystal Seahorse Candlestick
Waterford crystal is made in Ireland and is some of the highest quality crystal made in the world today. Any time you invest in quality crystal, consider it an investment in the future of your heirs.
This stunning crystal seahorse candlestick is a perfect match to display on any coastal tablescape. Used alone and they will catch the candlelight like a crystal prism reflecting the light around the dining room like magic.
Retro Crystal Candlestick with Crystal Bobeche and Prisms
This gorgeous crystal candlestick is another beautiful choice to place on a silver tray, gracing each side of the 3-tier shabby chic metal stand. It is an exquisite piece of crystal, but you will need to purchase two candlesticks to be able to place one on each side of the tray. The attached crystal bobeche and hanging chadelier crystal prisms will catch the light of the candles reflecting so wonderfully you will feel the magic of Christmas spirit surround you and your guests.
Victorian Chandelier Crystal Shabby Chic Taper Candle Holder
If you find yourself with champagne taste on a beer budget and just cannot afford any crystal pieces as of yet, this acrylic Victorian style shabby chic candle holder is an affordable alternative. It will look elegant among the seashells and the cut of the acrylic beads will still catch and reflect the light into a dazzling show around the room.
Elegant Bobeches Candle Rings
with Dangling Chandelier Crystals
To make the taper candleholders look even more elegant, I would add a bobeche chandelier style candle ring to each, like the ones featured next, for an Old World elegance. This is an idea Cindy used by adding them to her crystal candlesticks on her tablescape design.
Gold Rim Glass Bobeche Candle Ring with 6 Dangling CrystalsTwo Unique Acrylic Bobeche Candle Rings with 6 Acrylic CrystalsCrystal Clear Acrylic Bobeche Candle Ring with 6 Acrylic DiamondsBobeche Set with Aquamarine Teardrop Chandelier CrystalsPlastic Bobeche Set with Faux Pearl and Acrylic CrystalsGlass Bobeche Candle Ring Set with 6 Acrylic Crystal Prisms
A bobeche is a glass ring which is was originally created to be placed at the top of a candlestick holder and used as a candlestick protector to catch the melted wax drips.
Please be aware that some of the bobeches featured above are acrylic and I DO recommend using them with FLAMELESS tapered candles as they will melt if a candle is allowed to burn down. They are more for decorative purposes rather than catching candle drips. Only use crystal or glass bobeches to catch the drips of live candles!
I think decorative bobeches are a wonderful addition to a crystal taper candlestick holder. They increase the degree of elegance and romance to the design of the candlestick for any special occasion setting.
White Seahorse Pillar Candle Holders
Set of 2
If you have decided to go with a seashell framed mirror for the tablescape centerpiece, then this pair of white seahorse pillar candle holders will make a lovely table accessory. They fit in beautifully with the coastal seashell theme.
Victorian Hurricane Lantern Pillar Candle Holder
A stunning Victorian style pillar candle holder with an antique-style floral metal band will dazzle your guest with the drop crystals adding an elegant Old World charm to this seashell inspired tablescape. Remembering to keep the balance of the tablescape, one pillar candle holder should be place on the table at each end of the centerpiece tray to keep a mirror balance.
As an alternative candle set, these tall aqua candle holders will coordinate beautifully with the white tablescape pieces and the colors of the ocean found in the Christmas ornaments and in the table settings featured below.
Aegean Blue 3-Piece Candlestick Set
A lovely selection of seashell patterned candles made by Biedermann & Sons who have been in the decorative candle business since 1956. These candles will look beautiful placed on the Aegean Blue 3-Piece Candlestick Set. It is a set of 4 candles giving you an extra candle to use elsewhere in your home. It would be lovely placed on a shabby chic pillar candle holder like the one featured above and placed in the guest bathroom.
Ivory Seashell Pattern Pillar Candles
Set of 4
Randomly place any extra seashells, sand dollars and starfish on the silver tray. Surround the candle holders and the 3-tiered stand centerpiece with seashells in a random but attractive order. Stand back and have a look at your handiwork. Using your decorator’s eye, rearrange, add or remove items to create a more attractive display.
If you don’t have your own seashell collection you can buy starfish and seashells in bulk.
Spray the starfish and seashells with spray adhesive and dust them with glass glitter so they will sparkle in the candlelight adding Christmas magic to the tablescape.
Purchase silver spray glitter to add a slight silver dusting of glitter to the seashells. This spray gives a light shimmer effect, but it doesn’t work as well as Fairy Dust Glass Glitter, if you want to make a bolder glitter statement. When you really want Christmas seashells to boldly sparkle in the candlelight, use the Fairy Dust Glass Glitter. You can dust it as light or as havy as you like.
Sand Piper Seashell Pillar Resin Candle Holder
The distressed beachy look of this white seashell-inspired pillar candle holder is an ideal addition to this shabby chic romantic tablescape. Get a pair to place next to the Victorian candle holders. They are available in several heights so you can select what you need for the sixe of your table.
Blue or Yellow Seastar
Flameless LED Pillar Candle with Timer
Your guest will never know at first glance that these candles are not wax candles. They come embellished with genuine seastars and seashell inlays and are available in blue (shown) or yellow.
We mustn’t forget the tea lights and votive candles to create additional shimmer, glimmer, and sparkle to the Christmas tablescape. Choose your pieces according to the style of seashell decor you have chosen. Casual and whimsical, yet elegant, with a seashell mirror as the centerpiece or a shabby chic Old World elegance with the antique style silver platter and crystal candlesticks as the centerpiece.
Beach Glass Tea Light or Votive
Handmade Candle Holders
Set of 2
Gorgeous handmade aqua sea glass tea light or votive candle holders. They are ideal for an aqua and winter white seashell themed Christmas party or event.
Small Glass Aqua Starfish Tea Light Candle Holders
Adding these small starfish candle holders randomly about the table will add to the evenings ambiance and the color is perfect to coordinate with the blue teal placemats and runner.
I do recommend using flameless tea lights, just for safety sake, as live tea light candles can be a fire hazard if left to burn or if unwittingly knocked over.
Add Seashell Christmas Ornaments to the tablescape, to the mantle and to the Christmas tree. If you have a crystal chandelier hanging over the dining table, I would hang seashell ornaments from the chandelier. Why not hang some crystal snowflakes for additional shimmer and sparkle too? What an eclectic match! Awesome!
Pearly White Coastal Seashell Christmas Ornaments
Set of 4
These seashells are a creamy white polyresin with a pearlized finish. Included are 2 seashells, a seahorse, and a starfish.
Margaret Furlong Dancing Star Ornament
Margaret Furlong is a reknowned artist well known for her art inspired by the sea and designed for the soul. This whimsical dancing starfish brings joy to the soul when you catch it dancing in the Christmas lights.
Margaret Furlong Morning Star Ornament
Margaret Furlong designed this coastal seashell inspired star the year her daughter was born. It wasn’t introduced until the next year’s Christmas. This little seashell star brings joy to the heart when you see all the detailing Margaret put into her creation.
Margaret Furlong Star in the Night Ornament
Magical when hung from a Christmas tree, as if the tree lights were radiating from the porcelain as it twirls in the tree boughs. Imagine how wonderful it will look in your coastal tablescape. Get several to nestle into the evergreens on the 3-tiered stand, hang on the Christmas tree, and to decorate the mantle and dining room sideboard.
Silver-Plated Knobby Starfish
Add a splash of shimmery seaside style with this silver plated starfish. Mix it in with your seashell collection and Christmas ornaments, on a 3-tiered cake stand, in a large decorative clam shell bowl, or just lay it on the table and leave it all year long.
Seashell Seastar Christmas Ornament Decorations 30-Pc Set
Antiqued Teal Blue Glass Ball Christmas Ornament
Luna Bazaar Vintage-Style Wave Mercury Glass Ball Ornament
Baby Blue Pearl Glass Ball Christmas Ornaments
Set of 8
Any of these Christmas ball ornaments can be mixed in with the blue, white, ivory and silver ball ornaments you may already have in your Christmas ornament collection to decorate the cake stand centerpiece. Mix up the colors in a random order along with the seashells and make that display look fabulous!
If you have a lot of seashells you might want to fill the 3-tiered cake stand centerpiece with just seashells like Cindy did in this photo and in the video below.
That’s it for today. Tomorrow we will finish this tablescape with an Elegant Coastal Seashell Christmas Table Setting. Be sure to come back and look for it.
In the meantime…..
Keep Calm, Keep It Frosty, and Pretend You’re at the Beach While Having a Very Merry Christmas!