A few years back I found a big basket full of seashells at a local thrift store for R40 ($2.30). Before you could say Sponge Bob Square Pants those beauties were paid for and on their way home with me where they sat in a corner like naughty children waiting for inspiration to strike. Sad, dusty, and alone. And then I had a mini brain wave. Quite literally 😀 You see, I made myself a miniature seashell garden.

Making a teeny, tiny garden always puts things into perspective for me, and this miniature seashell garden is probably one of the smallest we’ve made so far. Come see how we did it while we share tips on what plants you to use and how to prepare your seashell. #ACraftyMix

Isn’t it cute? There’s even a teeny, tiny picnic table under the tree for when the fairies need to take a well-deserved break.

Making a teeny, tiny garden always puts things into perspective for me, and this miniature seashell garden is probably one of the smallest we’ve made so far. Come see how we did it while we share tips on what plants you to use and how to prepare your seashell. #ACraftyMix

The seashell I used is 11cm x 7cm (4″x 2.5″) so I had to think carefully about how to lay her out. But I love a challenge and small spaces always put a sparkle in my eye while my brain goes into overdrive.

Making a teeny, tiny garden always puts things into perspective for me, and this miniature seashell garden is probably one of the smallest we’ve made so far. Come see how we did it while we share tips on what plants you to use and how to prepare your seashell. #ACraftyMix

Okay, before I share how to make a miniature garden in a seashell, be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or Instagram. And don’t forget to subscribe so you’ll never miss a post!

What you need

  • Medium to large seashell
  • Twig
  • Reindeer Moss
  • Suitable plant. I used Thyme
  • Glue
  • Tablespoon
  • Drill and small metal drill bit
  • Jewelry wire (optional)

What you need to make a miniature seashell garden

How to make a miniature seashell garden

As with most planters, the first thing you need to do is make sure there’s adequate drainage, otherwise, your plants will get waterlogged and die. To make the drainage holes I used an ordinary drill with a small brad point (Lip & Spur) drill bit.

A Brad Point Drill bit works well to drill through shells

To stop the drill bit from slipping, put a piece of masking tape on the bottom of the shell where you want to drill. Go gently and don’t use force and you should be fine. If you’re worried, practice on a broken shell to get the feel of it.

Place masking tape on the shell before drilling

For a shell this size you only need two to three small drainage holes.

Make 2 - 3 small drainage holes at the bottom of the shell

Since this little medium shell was destined to become a miniature garden of sorts, I want to add a small tree. I had two choices; I could either put the tree slap bang in the middle of the planting area or to one side. I chose the second option. You can skip the next bit if your tree is going in the middle 😉

Position a twig with a few side-shoots on the shell and eyeball how much you need to sand away to make it fit.

If your tree is going on the side of the shell sand it down a little so it fits snuggly

Use jewelry wire and waterproof glue to attach the twig tree.

Use waterproof glue to attach the twig to the shell

Wait for the glue to cure completely before moving on to the next step, which is adding a suitable plant.

What can you plant in a seashell?

Making a teeny, tiny garden always puts things into perspective for me, and this miniature seashell garden is probably one of the smallest we’ve made so far. Come see how we did it while we share tips on what plants you to use and how to prepare your seashell. #ACraftyMix

Nothing says fairy quite like Sagina subulata ‘Aurea’ or Scottish moss. It’s a bit hot here in South Africa since this one-inch tall plant prefers cool, moist conditions. She’ll thank you for giving her a shady spot to call home and loves a regular misting.  

One of my all-time favs for a miniature garden is Thyme. Most varieties have teeny, tiny fragrant leaves and is drought-tolerant. Don’t overwater thyme.  If the soil is dry to the touch, you can give her a few drops. Over time this easy-care, leafy carpet will spill over the edges of the seashell adding a whole new dimension of cuteness. I used White Thyme in my seashell garden.

Another beautiful spiller is Baby Tears (Soleirolia soleirolii ). She loves small humid spaces, so if you want to pop your seashell miniature garden under a cloche, she’ll thrive.  

And if Baby Tears aren’t your thing, you can try Baby Toes. This succulent isn’t fussy about how much light it gets. You can also add one of the smaller echeveria species. Just remember to use a well-draining potting mix and don’t water too often. Two more succulents worth mentioning are String of Pearls, which will spill over the edges, and the slow-growing, but striking Zebra Haworthia.

Last, but definitely not least, are air plants (Tillandsia) genus. Tillies don’t need any soil, since they absorb moisture from the air through minute scales on their leaves. Slow-growing, they need light and a weekly dunking to keep going.

How to add plants to a seashell

Seashells are hardwearing and should last a lifetime as a planter, as long as there’s adequate drainage and the plant is suitable for small spaces. To assist with drainage, I added a small amount of coconut fiber.

Add a tiny bit of coconut fiber to the bottom of the shell

Gently subdivide your Mommy plant and shake as much of the loose soil from the roots. Handy tip: a tablespoon makes a great spade ;- )

A tablespoon makes a great spade when planting in small areas

Pack the soil in as tightly as you can, especially towards the back of the seashell. You’ll be surprised at how much soil they can take.

Fill the shell with well draining soil

Carefully place your plant inside the shell and fill it with more soil.

A tablespoon makes a great spade when planting in small areas

Trim away any scraggly leaves or dead bits with clean craft or nail scissors.

Planting in a seashell

Put a dollop of glue on the end of the twig tree and add a clump of reindeer moss.

Put a dollop of glue on the twig and add the moss

Pop a small picnic table and chairs under the tree and you’re all done.

Making a teeny, tiny garden always puts things into perspective for me, and this miniature seashell garden is probably one of the smallest we’ve made so far. Come see how we did it while we share tips on what plants you to use and how to prepare your seashell. #ACraftyMix

You can find a whole bunch of ideas for tiny little handmade things to add to your seashell garden here. Just adapt the tutorials to fit the size of your shell.

Making a teeny, tiny garden always puts things into perspective for me, and this miniature seashell garden is probably one of the smallest we’ve made so far. Come see how we did it while we share tips on what plants you to use and how to prepare your seashell. #ACraftyMix

Have you planted anything in a seashell? I’d love to hear about it.

Making a teeny, tiny garden always puts things into perspective for me, and this miniature seashell garden is probably one of the smallest we’ve made so far. Come see how we did it while we share tips on what plants you to use and how to prepare your seashell. #ACraftyMix

If you like the idea of making a miniature garden in a seashell, don’t forget to pin it for later.

Making a teeny, tiny garden always puts things into perspective for me, and this miniature seashell garden is probably one of the smallest we’ve made so far. Come see how we did it while we share tips on what plants you to use and how to prepare your seashell. #ACraftyMix
Making a teeny, tiny garden always puts things into perspective for me, and this miniature seashell garden is probably one of the smallest we’ve made so far. Come see how we did it while we share tips on what plants you to use and how to prepare your seashell. #ACraftyMix

Oh, and if you’re looking for some of the things we used, we’ve got you covered. Disclosure: Clicking on the links below, means we may receive a commission from Amazon. But don’t worry it won’t come out of your pocket, and it helps us make more amazing crafts to share with you 😉

US Shell, 1 Piece, Murex Ramosus Sea Shell, 7 to 8 Inch Size
Sale Super Moss (21708 Reindeer Moss Preserved, Chartreuse, 2oz, 80.75 Cubic inch (in3) Bag (Appx. 2oz)
Gorilla Clear Grip Waterproof Contact Adhesive, , 3 Ounce, Clear, (Pack of 2)

And if you prefer to buy rather than DIY, then maybe these beauties will appeal.

Sun-E 5.5 Inch Blue Conch Ocean Series Ceramic Base Serial Set Succulent Plant Pot Cactus Plant Pot Flower Pot Container Planter with Drainage Hole Gift Idea 4 in Set(Plants Not Included)
VP Home Snail Shell Fairy Cottage Solar Powered LED Outdoor Decor Garden Light
Totruning Halloween Snail Skull Sculpture,Garden Statue Figurine,Gothic Decoration,Snail Patio Figurine Crafts for Mini Fairy Garden Fish Tank Ornament (Yellow)

And as always, wishing you a wonderful, crafty week filled with lots of love. Thank you for popping in for a visit.

Made with love by a Crafty Mix