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Coastal Tray Decor with Seashells

By Rachel

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Last Updated on April 23, 2024 by Rachel Granholm

Bring the ocean into your home using this coastal tray decor with seashells!

I’m grateful to be joining 13 creative and talented ladies today on a ‘Summer on a Tray’ blog hop hosted by Katherine from Katherine’s Corner. For my part on this blog hop, I put together a ocean themed tray using a vintage platter, pretty shells and a few other vintage decor pieces. Join me for some mid-Summer decorating and this coastal tray decor with seashells!

If you found your way here from Life as a Leo Wife, welcome and thanks so much for coming by! Wasn’t Niki’s tray just lovely?!

I’ve had a deep affection for the ocean my whole life. Many vacations have taken me to Florida, the Carolina coast and Hawaii. For me, when I’m near a body of water, especially the ocean, I feel an overwhelming sense of peace. The salty air is immensely calming and the waves soothe my soul.

Living in the Midwest, ocean-themed decor is not what I usually gravitate towards, even though I would love to. So, for me, this coastal tray was super fun to put together.

I gathered some vintage decor that I already had, mainly in blues and greens, to create a pretty coastal tray that still fits in with my Minnesota roots. I’m excited to share this one, so let’s get right into it!

Coastal Tray Items Used

Coastal Tray Decor with Seashells

The Base

Let’s start with the base. This is the item that is going to hold everything.

It doesn’t necessarily need to be a tray. It could be a basket, a platter, or even a plate!

a vintage handled platter

For this display, I chose to use this vintage white and green round platter. I found this at a thrift store recently for just $1.00!

I thought this piece was perfect for a coastal tray without being too beach-y. Here in Minnesota, turquoise or aqua don’t exactly go with the area, but green and white fit in perfectly.

a vintage green and white platter on a table

Main Decor Pieces

Since this platter is on the smaller side, I chose to use three main pieces of decor. These items help to set the theme and color scheme for the tray as a whole.

First, I placed a small ironstone plate near the back of the platter.

two vintage plates used for a coastal themed tray

This is to help give definition and dimension from the platter itself.

Then, to bring in the vivid blue color of the ocean, I placed a large blue Ball jar on top of the small plate.

a vintage blue jar used for a coastal themed tray

Next, to tie in the whites, greens and blues, I placed this cutie vintage creamer to the left of the jar.

It’s an unexpected item for this platter but it somehow just goes!

a small vintage creamer used on coastal tray decor

Tray Accessories

Next, I added in many accessories.

These are the decor items that bring movement and texture to the vignette as a whole.

To bring in the look and feel of seaweed, I placed this trailing greenery stem in the blue jar. I just love how it spills all over!

faux greenery in a vintage blue jar

Then, to usher in some sand-like softness, I placed a vintage linen napkin on the left side of the platter.

The beige color of it paired with the blue glass transports me right to the beach!

a vintage linen napkin used on a ocean themed tray

Next, as a nod to all of the beautiful creatures of the ocean, I placed a green glass sea turtle in the front.

The sea turtle has always been my favorite animal. I have a small collection of miniature glass turtles so I thought this was the perfect way to showcase one of them!

a green glass turtle used on a coastal tray decor

Now all that’s left to add are seashells!

This jar is full of shells that I’ve collected from various Florida trips over the years. The purple coral and intact sand dollar are two favorites that I wanted to use on my tray.

jar of collected seashells

I didn’t really follow a rhyme or reason for placing shells on my tray.

Sifting through the jar, I placed some of the larger ones near the back.

seashells on a coastal tray for Summer decor

I think that, by placing them in groups of 3, the tray itself feels cohesive.

a sand dollar for a coastal decor tray

I also layered some shells on the backside of the tray.

Depending on how the tray is placed on a table, the shells can be seen from any angle.

shells on a vintage platter

Finished Summer Tray

With that, my coastal tray is complete!

I’ve said it so many times but you truly don’t need to do much to create a beautiful display for an affordable price. I did not purchase anything new to use for this tray. I simply sorted through decor that I had at home and combined it into a pretty seaside vignette.

a coastal tray for Summer decor

My best advice for creating seasonal decor displays is to shop at thrift stores for pieces to use. You can find so many lovely items for under $3.00!

You will be able to use those items year after year, enabling you to outfit your home for the seasons on a budget.

a seaside vignette with seashells

For more in-depth ideas on decorating with a seaside theme, you can check out my post all about Vintage Coastal Home Decor Ideas!

Next up on the tour is Sarah at hyacinthforthesoul.blogspot.com. Be sure to continue the Summer blog hop and head over to see her nautical tray!

Closing Tidbits

I truly hope this coastal tray decor with seashells gives you some ideas on how to easily decorate your home in a seaside theme! The ocean makes me incredibly happy. It’s so important to decorate your home with the things that make you cheerful!

You don’t need to follow trends or do what is most popular in the home decorating realm. Follow your heart and your home will always feel like a special retreat.

Be encouraged to ride the waves, finding peace along the way.

signature from The Antiqued Journey

Leave me a comment! Do you like to decorate with an ocean theme during the Summer months? I love hearing from you!

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Just click the red button in the left corner!


a vintage blue jar with faux greenery for a coastal themed tray

If you are new here, I’m Rachel, the blogger and content creator here at The Antiqued Journey. I’m so happy to have you! I invite you to stop by the ‘about me’ page to get to know me a little more. Here on the blog, you will find loads of inspiration for decorating with vintage and antique decor, simple DIY crafts and many thrifting adventures. If that interests you, I invite you to sign up for my e-mail.

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Other Tray Tour Posts to Enjoy

a Spring tray decorated with vintage decor
Spring Tray Decor with Vintage Jadeite

a basket full of a vintage fall decor and acorns
Vintage Fall Basket Vignette

a green velvet reindeer with faux trees on a Christmas tray display
Christmas Vignette with Velvet and Pinecones

Summer Tray Blog Hop

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34 Comments. Leave new

  • Hi Rachel, what a beautiful coastal inspired tray! Of course, I love your vintage accents and the beachy color palette is simply lovely! Blessings, Cecilia @My Thrift Store Addiction

  • HI Rachel, I love the nautical themes because we don’t see these often in Colorado

  • MaryJo Materazo
    July 18, 2023 11:07 am

    Rachel! I love your tray. The seaweed greenery is perfect and I love your collection of sea shells. That sand dollar is fantastic. Also I’m loving the new thrifted plate with green accents. You find the best stuff always. XO- MaryJo

    • Rachel Granholm
      July 18, 2023 11:26 am

      Hello! Thank you! This one was super fun since ‘coastal’ is not a typical theme here in the Midwest 🙂

  • […] The Antiqued Journey […]

  • Hi, Rachel! The colour accents on your tray just paint the perfect tones of a summer seashore scene, lovely!

  • You have captured the feel of the beach in such a pretty way Rachel! The color of the jar immediately takes you away, and the greenery adds a wonderful texture contrast to the shells, soft napkin and glass. Simple yet elegant and lovely, you’ve brought the beach home to enjoy!

    • Rachel Granholm
      July 18, 2023 1:27 pm

      Hi Jenna!
      Thanks so much!! I’m so happy that my tray evoked those ocean vibes for you. This was super fun to create!! Thanks so much for stopping by today and for your lovely comment. Hope you are having a great Summer!

  • Katherines Corner
    July 18, 2023 5:09 pm

    Your tray is lovely and that sweet green turtle is such a fun touch to your lovely tray. You have a wonderful shell collection. I’m definitely feeling like I need to play in the water right now. Thank you for joining in the fun xo

  • Rachel we must be long lost soul sisters! I love your coastal tray and that little turtle may just be my favorite!

  • Debbie- Dabble
    July 18, 2023 8:49 pm

    Your Coastal tray definitely makes one think of the ocean…I spent my Summer vacations as a kid and later on once I got married at the Jersey shore!! I loved the beach and the ocean but as I got older and was diagnosed with auto immune disease, I developed a low tolerance to heat and humidity and have a really hard time in the Summer…It has been years since I was able to go to the beach but I have fond memories and your tray brought back many of them so Thank you!!
    Great touring with you!!

    • Rachel Granholm
      July 18, 2023 9:39 pm

      I’m so glad my tray brought back such fond memories, Deb. That’s so nice of you to say!!

  • Sandra @ Dinner at Eight
    July 19, 2023 9:59 am

    Rachel, this is a lovely way to invoke c oastal scenery. The beige color definitely reminds me of beaches and I love the addition of the sea turtle. The greenery as faux kelp is a clever idea! It’s been fun joining you on the tour.

  • Linda Primmer
    July 19, 2023 10:39 pm

    Rachel, your coastal tray is lovely. Love the green turtle. This makes me feel like I want to visit the ocean. The seashells are lovely. A pleasure joining you on this fun blog tour.

  • Such a fabulous tray and festive blog hop, Rachel! If memory serves I think you have a family member that lives in FL so it’s fun to see how you celebrate the memories you’ve made near the water. I love that your tray has a coastal vibe and it’s also perfectly you. Hugs, CoCo

    • Rachel Granholm
      July 21, 2023 9:13 am

      Thank you! Yes, we have an uncle that lives in St. Petersburg! This was super fun to create because I do adore the ocean and just don’t get enough of it, you know?!

  • […] share on my leg of the tour. I hope that you have enjoyed my summer trays. Our next stop is over at The Antiqued Journey with Rachel, and you’re going to love her tray! We hope that you will continue the tour to see all 14 […]

  • Niki | Life as a LEO Wife
    July 22, 2023 6:39 pm

    I love this tray! The greenery does look like seaweed. Finding sand dollars has become more rare down here on the Gulf Coast over the past few years. When I was little we could find tons. Just wade out about waist deep then dig your toes in the sand and you were guaranteed to find one or two each time. I haven’t found one in years, but I don’t go in the water that often. However, my son doesn’t find them either, so they might’ve died off and become rarer!

    • Rachel Granholm
      July 22, 2023 8:44 pm

      Hi Niki!
      thanks so much! This tray was so much fun to create since I don’t get to decorate in the coastal style here in the midwest.
      I love looking for shells when I’m in Florida…it’s so much fun!! Fun touring with you!

  • Hi Rachel! This is such a pleasing arrangement. I love all the vintage layers! It’s perfect for summer!

  • […] how too thrift for vintage books coastal tray decor with seashells […]

  • Barbara at Mantel and Table
    July 25, 2023 6:49 pm

    This is the perfect coastal tray for the midwest Rachel! I love how you included the colors of sand and beach plants, and that turtle is just darling. Thanks for the inspiration – it’s always great touring with you!

  • Just wanted to pop by again and let you know that I love the colors you selected! You did a great job in putting this vignette together. Also I share your belief that you don’t need to spend a lot of money to create a beautiful display.

    • Rachel Granholm
      July 27, 2023 8:46 pm

      Thank you!! It was fun to be able to use these colors and themed decor since I don’t really do coastal here in the Midwest!

  • […] is a very different type of decor for me. Living in the Midwest, I don’t typically decorate with seashells. However, due to the neutral palette of it, this cloche vignette blends in seamlessly with the blue […]


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Rachel from The Antiqued Journey blog

Hey! I’m Rachel!

I’m so glad you are here! Old things are my jam. Antique malls and thrift stores are my happy places.

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