DIY Summer Flower Arrangement with Seashells and Hydrangeas

Create a flower arrangement and centerpiece for your table incorporating seashells. This easy tutorial adds some seaside charm and interest to your glass vase, in addition to a decorative way to conceal your flower stems.

Happy Monday! I’m joining my blogging friends to share some floral inspiration and Monday Morning Blooms!

You’ll find the links to my flower-loving friends’ blooms at the bottom of this post.

We’re celebrating summer with seashells for this week’s MMB edition!

I used my favorite ‘vase within a vase’ method for flower arranging. Start with two vases, a smaller one, to nest inside a larger one.

For this arrangement, I filled the walls between the vases with shells, using a combination of some I purchased over the years and sand dollars found on a family trip to Harbor Island.

Fill your inner vase with water for your flowers, no more than about 2/3 full, to prevent it from spilling over between the walls of your vase.

Add floral preservative to your vase water to prolong the life of your flowers. Floral preservative packets usually come with grocery store flowers and / or the floral department usually has some packets you can help yourself to when buying flowers. If you don’t have any floral preservative, you can make your own with this easy formula.

I used a combination of limelight hydrangeas from the garden and white hydrangeas and snapdragons from the grocery store.

To add some additional shells to the arrangement, bamboo skewers were tucked in among the hydrangeas. . .

Shells were placed on top of the skewers. The starfish is lightweight and easily rests on the hydrangea blooms, propped against the stems of the snapdragons.

Whelk shells, found at North Carolina’s Portsmouth Island, provide mini vases for hydrangeas.

My hubby fishes at Portsmouth Island twice a year, and there times when you can find hundreds of large whelk shells washed ashore on the beach.

This pillow washed ashore from the *aisle* of Target. ;)

If you can’t get away to the beach, bring the beach to you. ;)

Visit my talented blogging friends to see their blooming inspiration this week:

Pam at Everyday Living

Lidy at FrenchGardenHouse

Shirley at Housepitality Designs

Thank you for your visit, sharing with:

 Metamorphosis Monday

  53 comments for “DIY Summer Flower Arrangement with Seashells and Hydrangeas

  1. Cheryl
    August 5, 2019 at 6:19 am

    Love, love, love, love, love.

    • Naomie Moore
      August 5, 2019 at 6:56 am

      Wonderful tutorial! Your shells and sand dollars are just beautiful, not to mention the outstanding hydrangeas. All of the floral and shell displays are to die for, my favorite things. Thanks for sharing! 🐚🌞💖

  2. August 5, 2019 at 6:34 am

    Mary, This is simply stunning. I love how you filled your vases with shells and centered the sand dollars. Thank you for the easy tutorial, you make me want to try this myself with my cast off collection of shells! Happy Monday!

  3. August 5, 2019 at 6:43 am

    I’ve collected so many seashells over the years, and I’m always looking for new ways to decorate with them. I’ve never thought about adding skewers to a flower arrangement and topping them with shells! What a great idea! Hydrangeas are also a favorite of mine. I’ll definitely be borrowing your ideas!

  4. Bonnie Morgan
    August 5, 2019 at 6:48 am

    Mary, Your arrangement is dazzling! Your tutorial is great. Using tiny shells at the bottom works so well and placing the sand dollars around the top is so artistic and eye-catching.
    Everything is just right including you setting and as always your amazing wit such as the “pillow just washed ashore from the isles of Target!”
    So enjoyable!

  5. Carol
    August 5, 2019 at 7:41 am

    Now I know what to do with all the shells I have collected over the years…thanks!! I love your creative containers!

  6. August 5, 2019 at 7:55 am

    Beautiful! And it really looks like you are at the beach!

  7. August 5, 2019 at 7:59 am

    I so love it when you create an arrangement using your “vase within a vase” method. Such beautiful shells found on the beaches of NC. Now I know the name of the large “conch like” shell that my Sweetie found. The sand dollar makes such a statement front and center of the vase. I always love the fact that you are able to use flowers from your garden to create such beautiful and ever so charming floral arrangements. Just love the entire seashell vignette from the table to the pillows. What a fabulous way to greet your guests on the porch with the most wonderful summer decor of flowers and shells! Such a treat to enjoy and be with my blooms friends today! Happy Monday and happy August Mary!!

  8. Sandra Brown
    August 5, 2019 at 7:59 am

    Beautiful! Everyone’s is beautiful!

  9. August 5, 2019 at 8:16 am

    Mary, I always enjoy your vase within a vase method of flower arranging…it is perfection. I love the whelks used as mini vases, you always think outside of the box and your creativity is a treasure trove for all of us. The pillow that washed ashore is perfect for our theme. Hopefully you will get some rain, we are having pop-up showers all around almost daily! I love sharing MMB with my friends. Have a wonderful day❤️

  10. August 5, 2019 at 9:25 am

    I always live your vase within a vase method, Mary, and your seashell 🐚 design is exquisite! It’s always such fun to search for shells while at the beach, and then putting them to use is a reminder of the happy time. Love this! 💕

  11. Kathy
    August 5, 2019 at 9:40 am

    Beautiful arrangement. I just brought in some limelight hydrangeas but just put them in big glass vase and put them on our hearth in the family room. So delighted they are lasting after conditioning them per your instructions.

  12. Debbie Holman
    August 5, 2019 at 9:48 am

    Great idea! I will start collecting shells again so I can make this a permanent arrangement is our cottage on the beach!

  13. August 5, 2019 at 9:56 am

    Mary, I left a comment and it was there, now it seems it disappeared. Would you check to see if it went to spam?

    • August 5, 2019 at 10:03 am

      Hi Pam, it did…I don’t know why that keeps happening. Have a great Monday! 🐚🌸

  14. Deb
    August 5, 2019 at 9:58 am

    I love the vase within a vase! So many ideas come to mind and yours is amazing!

  15. Alyson Cutshall
    August 5, 2019 at 10:13 am

    Absolutely gorgeous. My 2 favorite things: the beach and hydrangeas! 💕

  16. anne
    August 5, 2019 at 10:47 am

    Absolutely beautiful! Thank you for the tutorial. I have so many bags of shells I’ve collected from the beach. I think I will give this arrangement a try. Have a wonderful week, Mary.

  17. Debbie
    August 5, 2019 at 10:53 am


  18. August 5, 2019 at 10:58 am

    I love your “vase within a vase” creations, they never fail to entice. Your shells are beautiful, found on the beaches of NC. Your garden flowers can’t help but be happy in such a charming floral arrangement. Your porch is so welcoming, it says “summer” all over, and anyone fortunate enough to be there with you will enjoy your flowers and shells. Mary, it’s always my blessing to be with my Monday blooms friends! Happy Monday and a gorgeous and very happy August!

  19. August 5, 2019 at 11:14 am

    Oh Mary! I LOVE LOVE LOVE this!!!! Can’t wait to try!

  20. Virginia Nelson
    August 5, 2019 at 11:15 am

    Mary, your arrangement is so beautiful. You never cease to amaze and inspire me!

  21. Clara
    August 5, 2019 at 11:15 am

    Mary, this is stunning! I will be pinning this. I’ve got to find those tiny seashells at the bottom, I have the others. I love the bamboo skewers with seashells, what a great idea! Oh, to sit on a porch and enjoy this lovely bouquet with iced tea & a cool breeze would be so lovely. Have a great week Mary! Clara ❤️🐚

  22. Linda Hovgaard
    August 5, 2019 at 11:20 am

    Mary you are so clever and talented! I cant wait to create something similar at my coast house this weekend. I have a lot of hydrangeas in my yard but I gotta get those nesting vases. Thank you so much for yet another amazing beautiful tutorial and post!

  23. August 5, 2019 at 11:25 am

    Mary, yet another clever and very pretty arrangement. The sea shells add a great summer touch, even for those of us inland. I’ve not visited the others yet, but their photos have me eager to pop over to see each one. Happy Monday!

  24. August 5, 2019 at 11:30 am

    So very lovely! Thanks for brightening my Monday morning.

  25. August 5, 2019 at 11:49 am

    I love very much your art of beauty that you share with us, trying to make our lives to be more pleasant, more lively, more colorful. I also love little Lola, I can’t wait to see her anytime, so I send her many kisses on her nose like a black olive! Thank you to share with us all these things that make us happy!

  26. Ellie
    August 5, 2019 at 11:55 am

    Thank you for these beautiful seaside arrangements, absolutely stunning……………I’m running to get supplies now. And thank you for ALL the wonderful inspiration you provide.

  27. August 5, 2019 at 11:59 am

    Stunning arrangement I pinned it!
    Have a great week,
    ps. please share over on my site at YTS blog hop.

  28. Virginia
    August 5, 2019 at 12:12 pm

    Perfectly Beautiful!!! I love anything to do with seashells and have lots of them from beach combing. Do you remember the Rice Planters Restaurant in Myrtle Beach? They also had a wonderful gift store. I bought a lamp there about 45 years ago and filled it with shells, which I enjoy to this day. I will definitely try to duplicate your beautiful arrangement for my kitchen island. Thank you so very much for the tutorial and inspiration.

  29. Michele M.
    August 5, 2019 at 12:17 pm

    Stunning, Mary!

  30. Marcie
    August 5, 2019 at 12:30 pm

    Gorgeous arrangements! It would cost an arm and a leg to buy these pre-made. What a great idea. I live in the desert, but there’s always the dollar store to gather up these items.

  31. Rita C.
    August 5, 2019 at 2:21 pm

    Love your arrangement of vase within vase and use of the skewers among the blooms, Mary. Believe it or not, I brought every single shell I ever collected along with me from house to loft. There’s just something about the treasure hunting, cleaning and memories of the trips that kept me from discarding them. Never mind the precious storage space they consume.
    How very clever of you to have found an ‘aisle’ in Target with seashell pillow forms! lol

  32. August 5, 2019 at 6:06 pm

    Exquisite and fresh!

  33. August 5, 2019 at 6:08 pm

    I like the mix of materials Mary! Very pretty and summery:@)

  34. Terri
    August 5, 2019 at 6:23 pm

    Mary, thank you for the summer floral inspirations. Simple, but so lovely.

  35. Linda Stolk
    August 5, 2019 at 6:33 pm

    I love this idea, especially your added touch of skewers with shells tucked into the arrangement.

  36. Sue
    August 5, 2019 at 6:36 pm

    Very pretty Mary!

  37. Gail S
    August 5, 2019 at 7:58 pm

    Hi Mary, I love this floral arrangement!!! Awhile ago you posted that you use Alum to help keep hydrangeas fresh. My nephew is getting married and my sister is doing all the flowers for the wedding. I was wondering if Alum helps with all different kinds of flowers or just hydrangeas?

    • August 6, 2019 at 1:05 pm

      Hi Gail, Yes, alum will help force water up the stems of the flower. Depending on how far in advance she’s making her arrangements she might want to spray them with Crowning Glory to reduce moisture loss through the petals and / or leaves. She might want to experiment first to see how much to spray.

  38. Françoise Deschamps
    August 6, 2019 at 4:06 am

    Très jolie composition pour une table estivale.
    Bonne journée

  39. August 6, 2019 at 8:41 am

    Absolutely gorgeous!

  40. Kathy Vause
    August 6, 2019 at 11:55 am

    Love it Mary. I am getting ready to go visit my sister in Seal Beach and have been struggling with what to take her. I am going to use your design, but with silk flowers for her coffee table. Thanks for the great idea.

  41. August 6, 2019 at 12:38 pm

    This is just so pretty—and the hydrangea shades go so pretty with seashells, wonderful tutorial!

  42. Cyndi Raines
    August 7, 2019 at 1:49 am

    Oh, be still my heart! Love, love, love this! So pretty Mary! I love the beach and these shells are precious treasures. What an awesome way to display them! Will do this for sure! ❤🐚❤

  43. Jo
    August 7, 2019 at 12:22 pm

    Absolutely lovely! Hydrangeas are one of my favorite flowers. I always use seashells to decorate my home in the Summer. Thank you for this great Summer floral design!

  44. December 5, 2019 at 8:00 pm

    Thanks for this blog. I learned a lot from this blog. I love flowers so much. Thanks for these tips you post for us. What a beautiful flower designs and arrangement. I hope you can teach me flower arrangements like that so that I can use it if there is an occasion in our family.

  45. January 2, 2020 at 7:11 am

    Hi Mary, perhaps I should make my startup with a warm floral thanks to you for your excellent summer arrangement Though I am a stranger here for the first time, I was extremely pleased getting through your sweet arrangement details. In fact, I was a bit more thirst for learning some new ideas about preserved as I am working on the same platform. Just scrolling my mouse pointer down on the google SERP and the post came to my prompt notice. Simply clicked on and discovered me into your amazing DIY summer flower arrangement zone. It was one of the best lovely tours ever. The idea of adding seasides substances in the flower vase was very innovative and beauty enhancing inspiration too. I totally enjoyed the description and images also. Expect more article like this one. Love it girl..

  46. Juliana Redento
    July 18, 2020 at 12:27 pm

    Beautiful Creations! I would use the craft organizer for my candy buffet business. It would be great to carry those smaller items I need to decorate the table with, and the necessary clips, ribbons, scissors, name tags, etc. I have pinned the image of Hydrangea with the Sand Dollar. I enjoy following your posts, your florals are amazing!

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