Shell & Sea Glass Chargers for Beach Inspired Dining

Welcome to the 381st Metamorphosis Monday! Wish I had a porch update to share with you, but unfortunately due to the off-and-on rainy forecast last week, the flooring company wasn’t able to come out and re-varnish the porch floor. So frustrating when every day predicts rain (except on the weekends when they don’t work) and half the time, it never materializes.

Okay, on to something more productive. This weekend I decided to get back to work on the shell and sea glass chargers I started working on early last September. I had to kinda psyche myself up for this project because having made shell chargers before, I know it’s a lot of hours of just sitting and poking sharp little shells into place.

If you’re new to reading BNOTP, I first became interested in making shell chargers when I came across this listing several years ago on eBay. I had planned to bid on these awesome shell chargers until I realized the bidding was going way higher than I was willing to pay. They ultimately sold for $233.49 (including shipping) for 6 chargers! Yikes!



Having lots of shells from a beach trip many years ago to Captiva and Sanibel Islands, I attempted to make my own shell chargers. I purchased a few additional small shells to fill in the gaps and here’s how they came out. In the end, each charger contained approximately 231 shells! My final cost to make six shell chargers was $27.

Shell Chargers for Nautical Table Settings


You’ll find the tutorial for making these chargers here: Make Shell Chargers for Summer Dining.

Pottery Barn Knockoff: Shell Chargers
I’ve really enjoyed using them in beach themed tables over the years. (Tablescape can be viewed here: Nautical Tablescape with Shell Chargers and Fish Flatware)

Shell Chargers for a Nautical Table


Since making those, I’ve always wanted to make them again, but this time incorporating in a bit of blue sea glass.

David Carter Brown Driftwood Plates with Shell Chargers & Shark Flatware


Here’s my progress after this weekend. You can see the one I completed last year on the bottom row in the center. I would have made more progress this weekend, but unfortunately, I ended up having to remove all the large shells from two of the chargers and completely redo them. Somehow I got off in my shell count and I’m just picky enough that it was driving me crazy!

After plucking off all the shells and redoing two of the chargers, my fingers were too sore to continue, but I’ve got a good start on them now. Warning: Shell count can vary if you get too absorbed in another activity like watching YouTube unboxings!  Warning No. 2: YouTube unboxings can be bad for the pocketbook! 😉

Shell & Sea Glass Charger Plates for Dining


Warning No. 3: Sea glass is REALLY glass and it will cut you if you get distracted while plucking off a stray glob of hot glue and your finger scrapes up against it!

I think I may need to purchase some more of the teeny, tiny filler shells I used last time. I’ll know better after I start filling in some of the chargers. Looking forward to sharing these in a beach-themed table with you this summer, hopefully sooner than later!

Beach Charger Plates, Shell & Seaglass


Update: This morning I took the finished charger out onto the front porch to take a photo in natural lighting. The colors really show up nicely in natural light. Oops, I see a little spot that needs a shell. Ha! Update: You can see all six chargers completed in this post: Beach/Nautical Table Setting with Sea Glass Chargers. You’ll find my original, detailed tutorial for making shell chargers here: Make Shell Chargers for Summer Dining.

Shell Charger Plate with Blue Sea Glass


Looking forward to all the wonderful Before and Afters for this Metamorphosis Monday! If you are participating in Metamorphosis Monday, please link up using the “permalink” to your MM post and not your general blog address. To get your permalink, click on your post name, then just copy and paste the address that shows up in the address bar at the top of your blog, into the “url” box for InLinkz.

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  1. Your chargers are beautiful, Susan and frankly, I like them better than the PB ones. Hope your fingers are all better…I guess art comes with a price! 😉

  2. Susan, your chargers looked great, and will also look terrific with the sea glass. I have collected sea glass for years, and have only a very slight pile to show for it. Did you purchase that sea glass? I bring shells home each time we travel to the beach. Sanibel is probably the best, but this past week while we were in Naples, we drove to Marco Island, and their beaches are filled with a lot also. Much to my surprise, MANY smaller conch shells along the beach had living creatures in them! We don’t usually visit that beach, were just checking it out, so not sure if that was anomaly or not.
    Thanks for hosting us each week. Your blog is always a fun place to visit.

    • Oh, have to keep that in mind. I was so shocked when we visited Sanibel and Captiva and saw all the shells. The only beaches I had ever gone to before that, had very few shells.
      I found the blue sea glass in Marshalls last summer. They always have shells but that was the first time I had seen sea glass in there.
      Thanks, Rita!

  3. Your chargers look amazing! I really like them with the aqua sea glass. Hope those fingers heal quickly. 🙂

  4. I remember the last ones you made, they were so pretty… these with the sea glass are lovely as well! I spend most of the summer on the Maine coast, and though the shells there are quite limited, they do have a lot of those beautiful purple mussels with iridescent inside the shell… I’ve got to start saving them and make something like this. Thanks for the inspiration. Thanks too for hosting this party!

  5. The addition of the blue sea glass is genius! I LOVE them. Gotta unpack all the seashells I’ve been collecting for years. Thanks for the party!

    • Thanks, Cristina! I never knew what I would do with the ones I collected but I’m glad I saved them all those years now. Glad you’ve saved yours, too!

  6. The sea glass chargers are going to be so lovely, as was your original set. Looking forward to your tablescape featuring them.

  7. I love the addition of sea glass Susan! Your patience is admirable, I was inspired to make a shell charger when I read your original post several years ago, but I only made one and use it in my centerpiece or to highlight a dessert, I didn’t have the desire to make any more! Thanks for the party today, 381, wow!

  8. Susan, how do you clean the charger? I LOVE THEM!!!!!

    • Thanks! That’s a great question, Karen. So far in using them, they rarely get anything on them. If anything does get on them, it can just be wiped off with a damp cloth since they are just shells.

  9. I absolutely love your original shell chargers and they are prettier than the Pottery Barn ones. I like the blue sea glass mixed in, too. Now if I can just have enough patience to make a set for myself! Enjoy your posts so much!

    • Thanks so much, Linda! You can do it, just gather the shells together and find some really good movies to watch. lol That’s what I did last time. You’ll find yourself on a roll. 🙂

  10. Linda Page says

    You never cease to amaze me. Your natural talent and designer’s eye do you proud. I love these chargers and the blue sea glass really makes them outstanding. Just hope you have lots of fingertip bandaids for not tiny knicks and cuts from the glass and shells!!! Can’t wait to see a tablescape using these chargers. Saw the orthopedist this morning and although my ankle is healing nicely and my foot fractures have completely healed, there is still a bit more healing that needs to happen before I can ditch the boot. So I have 2 weeks more to wear it but can take it off several times a day and wear a tennis shoe in the house. Plus I have exercises to do to strengthen my ankle and foot for the next 2 weeks. Diane and I are going to NYC in Dec but I will make sure to stay away from stairs!!! LOL

    • Thanks, Linda! Sounds like you are making awesome progress! That’s great! What will you guys be doing in NY? Sounds like fun! I bet it’s amazing at Christmastime!

      • Linda Page says

        We will be there for the lighting of the Christmas tree in Rockefeller Plaza, two Broadway shows, Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, tours through areas surrounding NYC (Greenwich Village, Bronx, Soho, Chinatown, etc), Radio City Music Hall Christmas Spectacular, Sondheim Theater for Carol King musical, 9-11 Museum & Memorial, Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir performance. I think we have 2 afternoons to do whatever we want. I have not been to NYC since I was about 9-10 yrs old!!! I only remember Radio City Music Hall.

  11. Suzanne Melson says

    So, Susan, where did you get the plate….fresh clams, crabs, and oysters? Love the blue sea glass btw.

    • Thanks! I bought those on eBay a while back. Click on that link for the table setting and it will take you to the table where I give the name of the pattern. I think they are by David Carter Brown…if I’m remembering correctly.

  12. I’m thinking I’d like to play off your chargers with sea glass and mussel and clam shells. I will have to start gathering.

  13. WOW! The devil (or is it God??) is in the details!! Just beachy-keen!! franki

  14. These chargers are really lovely, Susan…exquisite in fact! But I am still trying to imagine the patience you have to do all this craft…well done.

    • Thanks so much, Paula! It’s like a challenge and I have to follow through once I start. I keep envisioning the finished product…motivation! lol

  15. Elena Wortman says

    Your sea glass charger plates are just beautiful, Susan, great job! Have a wonderful Monday.

  16. I love the chargers, Susan! The sea glass adds the perfect summery touch! Thanks for hosting!…hugs…Debbie

  17. Marlene Stephenson says

    They are turning out to be very pretty. Now am anxious to see table setting.

  18. Those are FANTASTIC! I’ve never seen chargers like these before and you make them look spectacular with your tablescaping finesse. J’Adore!

  19. I can not imagine the time, patience, and pain that goes into these chargers, but nicely done!

  20. Thanks so much for the party Susan! Your charges look great!

  21. I wish I was good with my hands and then I could do things like these pretty chargers!

  22. Love your chargers, Susan. The sea glass adds that extra sparkle. As always, thanks so much for hosting.

  23. bobbi duncan says

    Susan, I fell in love with your first seashell chargers (which I thought looked better than the store bought ones) and am crushing on the second set now. I love the color of the sea glass and thought that such an innovative idea. All I ask is that you please send me some of your energy, girl!!!!! You never cease to amaze me with all your artistic creativity. It really is a joy to see what you come up with, and your postings have, for a long time now, become such an integral and fun part of my days, so thank you sooooo much. Hugs!

  24. Hi Susan. Thank you so much for the chance to link up today. 🙂

  25. Cyndi Raines says

    Hi Susan. They are sure are turning out pretty. I love my 4 chargers with the beach glass but my glass is worn smooth so no cut fingers. I still have 4 more to make. I didn’t get to them this winter like I thought I would. We were blessed to have a very mild winter (in comparison to the last 2) so I wasn’t as house bound. I will probably get them done when we have the hot sticky dog-days of summer and I need air conditioning. lol By the way I didn’t count my shells, just filled in around the rim of the charger. Thanks again for the inspiration, I’ve received many compliments!

    • I wish this glass was more worn down…that would be a bit safer for crafting. 🙂 That’s a good idea, Cyndi, you don’t want to miss one moment of the beautiful spring weather we are having right now.

  26. Those look great! Love the color of the sea glass in them. Do you have Dollar Tree stores where you live? I have seen Sea glass for sale in them off and on.

  27. Thank you for hosting, glad to join. 🙂

    The chargers are such a great knock off!

  28. Wow, Susan, these chargers with the sea glass are, honestly, pieces of art! They could be wall hangings! Absolutely beautiful! I can’t wait to see your table. Bravo to you for your talent and perseverance (and, I might add, pain endurance!) You are tooooo much! Rosie

  29. wow Susan you have “out-done” yourself, these shell chargers are incredible, love them.

  30. wow Susan you have out-done yourself, these shell chargers are incredible, love them

  31. Bernadette says

    I’d like to ask where did you find that wooden seagull. I’ve been looking for one like that.

    • I think I found him in Marshalls. I’ve picked up several there over the years. HomeGoods is a good place to find them during the spring summer months, also.

  32. Renee Cook says

    Just beautiful, Susan! The little pops of color make such a difference!

  33. Such a cool project from a fellow shell lover! The project has bonuses: you get the memories of all the beach combing every time you use them, and you know that they shells were sustainably procured. Shells and your chargers are so fascinating!

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