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.
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.
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.
What you need
- Medium to large seashell
- Reindeer Moss
- Suitable plant. I used Thyme
- Drill and small metal drill bit
- Jewelry wire (optional)
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.
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.
For a shell this size you only need two to three small drainage holes.
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.
Use jewelry wire and waterproof glue to attach the
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?
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.
Gently subdivide your Mommy plant and shake as much of the loose soil from the roots. Handy tip: a tablespoon makes a great spade ;- )
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.
Carefully place your plant inside the shell and fill it with more soil.
Trim away any scraggly leaves or dead bits with clean craft or nail scissors.
Put a dollop of glue on the end of the twig tree and add a clump of reindeer moss.
Pop a small picnic table and chairs under the tree and you’re all done.
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.
Have you planted anything in a seashell? I’d love to hear about it.
If you like the idea of making a miniature garden in a seashell, don’t forget to pin it for later.
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 😉
And if you prefer to buy rather than DIY, then maybe these beauties will appeal.
And as always, wishing you a wonderful, crafty week filled with lots of love. Thank you for popping in for a visit.