Foraging on the Beach

Powerfully uplifting

I decided to revamp my bathroom using feng shui.  Using a compass I found the feng shui bagua (energy map) of my home. This map told me the decorative suggestions for each room.

As a result I’m using the earth element colours shades which include brown, yellow, and orange. Along with elements such as seashells and candles.

For those who don’t know what feng shui is it originates from China and shows you how to optimise the energy in your home and environment.

To find out more about feng shui and your own bagua areas try The Spruce website which I found invaluable ;


Candle Holder Search

I decided upon a candle holder with a seashell design for my bathroom because it would cover two of the required feng shui elements.

Deciding to go to the shops at my closest seaside resort I went to see what I could find. Amazingly the only shell decorations they had included plastic shells! This seemed crazy because the beach was only a hop skip and a jump away. 


The Beach

Itching for a walk on the beach I did this before going home. Being January the beach was lovely and quiet. I walked right to the sea’s edge because I couldn’t wait to hear the sounds of the sea. I find the sea so powerfully uplifting while at the same time calming.

Walking on the beach made me realise I could make my own candle holder! I started picking up shells from the beach and found most of them washed up within the seaweed. Although finding and picking them up as they wash up on the beach is much more fun!

Beach Ethics

I ensured that there were no sea creatures attached to or inside the shells. If in any doubt I throw them back into the sea.

My haul

Inner Child

When I go to the beach I like to bring out my inner child. I do this at the waters edge seeing how close I can get to the water before the waves catch me. Its particularly fun when collecting shells which have just been uncovered by a wave on the beach. I dash in quick to get them when the wave recedes and run back quickly with my trophy before a new wave crashes in and covers my feet.

I was doing well avoiding the waves this time but then my feet started to sink into the wet sand covering my walking boots. This made me laugh – great fun!

Your inner child is the playful side of you. Connecting to mine makes me smile, laugh, and happy. We all have an inner child connect with yours and have some fun!

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Preparing the shells.


Firstly I cover and soak the shells in a bowl of warm water with a good squirt of bleach for a few hours. I repeat this process three times. 

Then I soak them in warm water with a squirt of washing up liquid a further three times. I do this until the water runs clear and no sand remains in the bottom of the bowl.

There are many suggestions out there to clean shells but this worked to take away the smell of the sea. I wouldn’t suggest bleach if the shells are going to end up anywhere near animals.


I cover my draining board with kitchen roll and place the shells on top until dry. When dried the shells may appear dull.


Using an old toothbrush I scrub the shells reaching into all of their nooks and crannies.


Using a fresh cloth I pour a small amount of baby oil onto the cloth and rub this gently into the shells. The baby oil can be found for a reasonable price in most supermarkets.  I buff each shell into a nice shine.


Natural Design

Inserting shells into different shapes and sizes of glass vases I looked for the perfect candle holder design. Unfortunately nothing looked or felt right. Even displaying them in different shaped and coloured bowls didn’t hit the mark.

I thought about adding craft sand. Then I remembered how beautiful the shells looked in a pile after they had been polished. I decided to make a design just with the shells and took some of the larger shells into the bathroom.

Piling the shells on top of each other I decided that I loved the more natural look.  I put a couple of flat shells on top of the two piles I  had made and found that they were perfect for holding tea candles.

When I made two designs that I was happy with I stuck the shells together with Gorilla Glue where they touched each other. This was tricky and I needed gloves to stop the glue from sticking to my skin. Holding the shells together for a couple of minutes I then left them to dry fully. I  decided placing them on a piece of cardboard would be best in case the glue leaked onto the table I was using.

Glue puffed outwards as it dried so I used a toothpick to gently push the glue back out of sight. I didn’t want the glue ruining the final effect.

Gorilla glue is amazing and I use it for many craft projects and DIY around the house. It is very strong and bonds stone, metal, ceramics, glass, foam, and now shells!

Here is a link to show the Gorilla Glue that I use;

My candle holders


Please share your own creations I would love to see them.


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