Shelling Out Some Fun: Large Shells for Dining Table Decor

Published July 19, 2012

Even though summer is winding down we can always hope for a nice, warm September. It’s nice to take advantage of dining outdoors and enjoying the last few days of warm, summer evenings. If you are planning a picnic or outdoor soiree on your patio this weekend why not take the time to put together a seaside theme for your table. Living in Vancouver allows us the opportunity to gather seaside shells, and other ocean-themed items for our homes. Of course if you are in a pinch and don’t have time to hit the beach, shells of many sizes and shapes can be found in craft stores here on the North Shore.

Lions Paw shells are wonderful decorating tools for our homes. Everything from framing them as art for the wall or using them for our dining tables.  These shells may be found in craft stores as well as home décor outlets here on the North Shore. For this idea the lions paw shell is used with tea lights to create a simple but very effective centerpiece for a coffee table or dining room. If you cannot find the large, Lions Paw shells then simply use another variety of large shell. Any large shell will suffice. Battery operated tea lights are available at craft stores and floral supply shops such as West Van Florist.



  • 4 Lions Paw half shells (or other large shells)
  • Sand or fine gravel
  • Long, rectangular serving platter
  • Craft Glue or Glue Gun
  • Tea lights (2 varieties..the battery operated and the standard candle type)


Pour the sand into the rectangular serving platter. This is where you will display the shells.

Glue two half shells together by using your glue gun or craft glue and attaching them at the narrow, bottom end. The best way to do this is to place the glue on the edge and then place a small item inside the two shells to support them while they dry. Let dry for 4 hours or more. Once the shells are adhered together remove the item inside and replace it with a small white battery-operated tea light.

Another alternative idea is to simply insert the shells into the sand on their edge and place a candle variety tea light inside.

Remember to illuminate your tea lights before your guests arrive for a soft glow.