Surf’s Up! Beach Vacation in a Volkswagen Bug!

Welcome to the 452nd Tablescape Thursday!

A couple of weeks ago I made a trip into Atlanta to do a bit of shopping. While there I stopped into the Lenox Square Pottery Barn where I saw these cute, shell napkin rings. I didn’t buy them that day, but the more I thought about them, the more I knew I wanted to add them to my collection of napkin rings since I love setting beachy-nautical style tables on the porch during the spring/summer months. (Shell chargers below are available here: Shell Chargers.)


I picked up 8 of the shell napkin rings at my local store a week or so ago, and they were the inspiration for this week’s tablescape.


We’ve been having glorious spring weather. It got up to a toasty 84° on the porch today and it felt wonderful! I had both fans going and loved getting outside and playing on the porch. Whenever I share a photo that shows the Summer Breeze sign I have hanging here on the porch, I often get questions about where I purchased it.

I found this one in a local antique store, but they are available online here: Summer Breeze Makes Me Feel Fine. They come in 48 colors as shown in the photo at that link. I’m not sure what color mine is but I think it’s probably “Baby Blue” or “Light Blue.” It has held up well here on the porch these last nine years and I still love it. I can’t imagine the porch without it. Screened porches are all about the breezes, minus the mosquitoes! lol


I decided to break out the shell chargers I made a couple of years back for this week’s beach-themed table.


They were made with shells found on a trip to Captiva and Sanibel Island many years ago. I filled in as needed with shells and sea glass found in Marshalls and HomeGoods.


You’ll notice a little red car in some of the photos. I couldn’t decide if I wanted it in the centerpiece or not, so you’ll see it in some pics, but missing in others. I have a feeling it will show up in more places this summer.


The wine glasses are each decorated with a single shell. I made those years ago by drilling a teeny hole in the shell and using jute rope to attach the shell around the stem of the glass.


The shell napkin rings were available at Pottery Barn here: Shell Napkin Rings. If they are no longer available, you may still be able to find them in one of your local PB stores.


I’ve had the plaid napkins so long, at least 9-10 years, so I don’t remember now where I found them. It may have been Steinmart since I purchased some beach china from there around the same time. The colors always make me think of the beach: blue skies, aqua-blue ocean and the color of the sand which can be so different depending on the beach.


This cute, little Volkswagen Bug with a surfboard and suitcase on its roof can be found here: Surfboard Volkswagen Bug. It’s a much prettier red in person (as you can see) than it appears online. Online it looks kinda washed out.

I pulled out my Warren Kimble “Coastal Breeze” salad plates for this beachy tablescape. You can still find this older pattern on eBay sometimes. I just found some here: Coastal Breeze.



If you’re interested in shell chargers, you’ll find some pretty ones available here: Shell Chargers. Or make your own following this tutorial: DIY Shell Chargers.

Nautical Sailboat flatware is always a favorite to use with these sailboat plates or any nautical table settings.


This adorable, sailboat flatware is so much less now than when I purchased it. Now it’s only $25.44 for 4 place settings! It’s so perfect for summer! Would also be great for a lake or beach house. It’s available here: Sailboat Flatware.


The blue wine glasses are from Pier 1 a few years back. They have similar glasses available this year here: Wine Glasses.

The glasses decorated all over with Adirondack chairs were from Dollar Tree, I think.


Here’s a better view of the Adirondack covered glasses.


Hope you enjoyed this beach-themed table setting. It has me longing for a beach trip this summer! I’ve always dreamed of visiting Martha’s Vineyard. Wonder if it’s too late to find a place to stay for a few days this summer.


Pssst: I post almost daily to Instagram. Follow Between Naps on the Porch on Instagram here: Between Naps On The Porch.

Looking forward to all the tables linked for this week’s Tablescape Thursday!

Tablescape Thursday

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  1. Wowee, I love this, and nit just because I think I need a vacation. That VW and those glasses with Adirondack chairs are adorable! Of course, your handiwork on the chargers still impresses me, and everything you’ve added (the wine charms) and now your napkin rings. Great, great summer table.

  2. Susan, your Tablescape makes me want to book a beach place! I love your new napkin rings, they are perfect with your shell chargers. The sailboat salad plates are colorful and make me dream of boating on the lake many years ago. I went to Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket last fall. We absolutely loved both. You should try to make it , if possible! Thanks for hosting the party!

  3. Hi there, long time follower here–I love your blog! Here is my question, and perhaps you have covered this in other blogs so bear with me. You have so many beautiful things, how do you keep all your stuff organized so you know to pull it out when the season or holiday is coming up? Could you do a piece on what your storage area looks like and how best to keep a record of all of your “stuff”?

    • I’d love to see how/where she keeps all her stuff, too!
      Do you borrow some for picture time from friends, or is it all yours?
      If so, that’s quite the collection!
      Love this table, btw.

    • Thanks, Maribeth! I really don’t have a good organization system for everything…just have thinks stored in various closets. I was thinking recently that I need to reorganize and try to group “like” things together, would make it much easier.

      You can read more about where I store everything here in my FAQ section. Just scroll down to the bottom where I address questions about Tablescape Thursday:

  4. Such a fun table. Everything coordinates so beautifully. The little red VW Bug adds just the right punch of color. I love the Adirondack glasses. Perfect!
    Fill those pretty blue wine glasses with some frozen margaritas and let the relaxing begin!

  5. This table is a true work of art – love the red car in the pictures! It shows a lot of work, inspiration, and creativity!

  6. Antoinette says

    Hi Susan, I love your nautical table setting! I particularly love the blue wine glasses and it all works together with the seashell napkin rings, the dishes and even the silverware! It looks perfect down to every little detail; it’s obvious that you’re very detail oriented and you have a knack for this and I think you would make a great set designer! I’m in the process of building a new home in a Southern coastal town and for the very first time, I will have a screened back porch and I am so looking forward to using it!

    • Thanks, Antoinette! Oh, how I would love to do that, although I’d probably never sleep for searching for just the right pieces, 24/7. lol
      You are going to LOVE your porch! They ruin you though, because now you’ll never want to be without one! 🙂

  7. This tablescape makes me say, aaaahhh Summer! You did a nice job bringing out the blue sea glass in the chargers with the plates and glasses etc. And those napkins–pale blue and green for late spring into early summer. Plus tans and beige for late summer into early, early fall.

  8. Susan,

    Looks beautiful! I think I am going to try to make the shell chargers using your tutorial.

    Hubby and I have been busy building a hard top gazebo on the deck. What a project, but am looking forward to spending a lot of time out there this summer.

    Have a wonderful day 🙂

  9. Such a lovely table, Susan! I can almost hear the waves crashing! Dollar Tree does have the cutest glassware, don’t they? My favorites ever I got there were the old Libbey lemon slice tea glasses. I do love these with the adirondack chairs! I wish they would repeat those. We had no trouble getting a place to stay at Martha’s Vineyard in May, but I don’t know about later in the summer. May is a good time to go before the hoards of visitors descend. We found the quaintest hotel/motel place with individual cottages. They were lovely inside. If we ever go back, we’ll stay right there again. The ice cream there is delicious, too!

  10. Charlotte says

    This table makes me want to go to the Beach too! I love the blue color of the wine glasses and the sea glass in the chargers, so pretty.

  11. Love, love, LOVE this tablescape Susan! You’ve inspired me to make my own shell chargers and I LOVE the pops of red and blue throughout. Wish I could find those blue adirondack glasses! You always inspire me to set my table! Thank you!

  12. So cute! It is a lovely thing that you have fun with tabletops and also share them with us. I am very appreciative of your efforts. I have never lived where beach themed decor is a thing, but have a few dreams of a home right on the ocean. In the meantime I should think up a mountain theme table since we face beautiful Rocky Mountain views here. Ideas welcome 🙂

  13. Susan, everything is so soft and breezy that I feel as if I’m sitting surf side. The shell chargers are one of my favorite accessories you’ve created. Love the pop of blue sea glass that picks up the beautiful color of the glasses on your table. No beach house in our future, but this table is making me long for a trip to sandy shores.
    Thanks for hosting!

  14. The dollar store is perfect for theme specific stemware and I’m hoping to find some beach themed ones also. I love your shell chargers and will refer back to your tutorial and make my own. My daughter insists that I have too much tableware and that I shouldn’t buy any more. Ha, that’s not happening anytime soon! Your lovely table has be in a coastal kind of mood, thank you for hosting and for the inspiration!

  15. Now I want to go to the beach, and if I could pack everything in it, I want to take a red VW bug. (Years ago, I owned one, but it was a convertible, so I couldn’t have packed stuff on the top.) Beautiful tablescape, and I love the idea of the little shell attached to the wine stem. Can’t believe you got those cute Adirondack glasses at the dollar store. Thank you for hosting.

  16. Renee Cook says

    This is all so lovely, Susan! Aqua is one of my favorite colors for summer and it’s especially pretty surrounded by white. Your chargers are stunning and I remember when you made them. Every time you show them, I’m wowed all over again.

    I, too, loved your Summer Breeze sign and ordered one last year. Mine has the cottage white background with teal lettering. My laundry room has no windows, so I painted it a bright teal with white cabinets and appliances and it looks very cheery. I enjoyed this little break from house cleaning today. Thanks for sharing!

  17. This has to be my favorite table setting. Love the nautical/beach theme. Everything looks amazing and very creative. This setting is relaxing and the colors make me super happy…just like being at the beach on a sunny day. Thank you!

  18. I love the surf board topped red VW! And yes, you NEEDED those shell napkin rings! Thank you Susan!

  19. Cynthia Raines says

    Love the beach and anything that speaks of it. This table is lovely. I have 4 shell chargers made and still 2 to go, am determined to get them done soon, but have been really busy in the yard. Next rainy day, I’ll have to start. 🙂 One of Michigan’s motto’s is the “Blue Water Wonderland” and this reminds me of our beautiful Great Lakes and our beaches – can’t wait to go and jump the waves! 🙂 (Really cute VW – I thought of your shirt! lol)

    • lol Cyndi, I did too…especially with that suitcase on top! Ha! Wow, you making great headway on those chargers! You’ll have them finished in no time and can enjoy them all summer. 🙂 Love the motto! One of these days I’m going to see Michigan. My son and dil visit friends there every summer and love it!

  20. bonnie morgan says

    Great tablescape. I love everything and remember when you made the chargers because I was so impressed. I am not a DIYer except arranging flowers. I am too impatient.
    It’s amazing this is the 452nd TT! That is quite an accomplishment! Pat yourself on the back several times.
    Thanks for the party.

  21. This is very timely as we will be leaving for vacation at OBX in just one month! Hard to believe it is coming so FAST! Your table is perfect and I wish I had the whole thing to take with us:) I have shell napkin rings that I LOVE! Never saw the adirondack chairs, I would have gotten some too! Have a beautiful weekend!

  22. You had me at “Beach Vacation!” Nothing makes my ears perk up and my heart start to race like incorporating beach-related items into my decor. And I LOVE how you keep it subtle and serene! I don’t know how I missed those darling adirondack chair glasses when they were sold at DT — I’ll have to keep my eyes open to see if they make a return. I did purchase the sweet sailboat flatware when you posted a link for it last summer — they are the perfect addition to our summer table! Thanks for sharing your beach-like getaway! Love it!

  23. Love all your beautiful table settings. You just gave me some ideas for some white dinner plates I have that have a slight shell imprint around the edges. Love the colors.

  24. Juanita in OH says

    This table setting is divine. I LOVE the napkin rings, napkins, chargers, salad plates and glasses. Everything is perfect! TFS.

  25. Linda Nixon says

    We are leaving for our annual trip to Cape Cod next week. We usually make a day of it to Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket. We enjoy Nantucket better. I will think of you while there. Cape Cod and Charleston are our two favorite places. We stay in Dennisport a sweet little town in the upper part of the Cape. The little towns are just perfect one after the other. Chatham we watch the seals, thousands of them and shop and antique. My brother hates shopping and he says he wants to see the sites. I told him that is the sites, antiquing and shopping, that is. Ha. See you on the Cape. Remember the old song Old Cape Cod. You can listen to it on you tube. I love it. Oh yes I can’t forget the lobster at Spankeys Crab Shack in Hyannis. Brunch on Sunday at Brax in Yarmouth. Meet you there.

  26. bobbi duncan says

    Susan, I love the colors in this table setting–so summery. Your glasses match perfectly with the sea glass on your beautiful chargers. I have seen quite a few shell chargers over the years, but none come close to the beauty of yours. I remember when you made them, and the time it took to place everything just right, but the outcome was well worth the effort. Stunning! Oh, how I wish we had your porch. I love sleeping out on a porch, drifting off to all the night sounds of summer. Hugs!

  27. I stopped at TJMaxx a couple of days ago, they had some seashell napkin rings and I did see a jar of shells and beach glass but it was a pale blue, not nearly as pretty as the pieces in your chargers. I’m going to the beach in July so I decided to collect shells there and make my own napkin rings. I’ve never found any beach glass, but there’s always a first time, right?

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