Light up a table with this sand-and-shell centerpiece. Use candle adhesive to secure slender tapers to the bottom of a clear glass vase. Carefully pour in a few inches of sand, then arrange shells on top. Besides refracting the candlelight for added ambience, the vase will protect the flames from breeze.
A string of beach treasures casts a dreamy glow on a patio or porch. To get the look, decorate a string of small white lights with clean, dry shells. Tape a 2-foot section of lights to your work surface with bulbs lying flat. Apply a thin layer of epoxy along the hinge edge of a shell, and press into place at the base of a light. Repeat for each bulb. Let dry about five minutes before continuing with the next section.
A half shell was good enough for Botticelli's "The Birth of Venus." Can humble condiments require more? Four clam or scallop shells make a summery set of salt-and-pepper dishes. First, run four shells per set through a dishwasher, secured in the silverware caddy. For the base, turn two shells topside up, and hot-glue them together at the hinge. Glue together the other two shells; then lay them face up and crosswise over the base, and glue.
Substitute the usual plastic shade of a night-light with a shapely beach treasure. Look for shells with a flat surface that you can glue. Sea biscuits, scallops, and sand dollars all work well. Rinse the shell clean or soak in a bucket of water containing a capful of bleach until the shell just turns white. After letting the shell dry completely, apply epoxy glue to a night-light clip, and then press onto flat part of the shell. When dry, attach to socket.
You can use oversize shells to bring a touch of the seashore -- and a romantic atmosphere -- to an evening at home. We used "lion's paw" shells (Lyropecten nodosus), available inexpensively from online auctions and souvenir shops. Fill a shallow tray with sand, arrange pairs of your prettiest specimens, and place a votive candle at the center of each pair (leaving room for the flames to flicker safely). Set the tray on a low table, and enjoy a quiet drink on the patio.