DIY Nautical Dec(k)orations

Brad and I are preparing to clean, fix and stain the deck on our new house, which inspired me to share a project from last summer that didn’t make it on the blog yet.

I can’t take credit for anything you’re about to see, all the credit goes to my crafty and talented mother-in-law. She has the cruise bug worse than anyone I know and is drawn to all things nautical. This is the woman who made a cruise-themed Christmas tree for their living room.

At the beginning of summer last year, she was anxiously anticipating an upcoming cruise so she decided to deck out their deck with some awesome handmade nautical items (please tell me someone else appreciates all the ways I can use “deck” in this post). I’ve linked to her inspiration with each item as well.

If the sea calls to you as well, prepare to be inspired!

Project 1: Mosaic Tile Board

This project was very time consuming. It was inspired by the logo of her favorite cruise line. They traced out the design they wanted on cement board. They broke up the white tiles for a shattered look in the background and used the blue glass tiles to create the design. Scoring and cutting tiles is easier than you might think with hand tools.

Project 2: Rope Signs

My MIL made two signs with things spelled out in rope. These were definitely simpler than the mosaic. Rope can be made into scripty cursive or shaped into printed text and can say pretty much anything. Ahoy, beach, sea, cruise, etc are pretty easy ones to do.


Project 3: Seashell Clock

This one is as a simple as gluing shells to the frame of an existing clock or a little more difficult if you’re making a frame for a clock. A bit or rope or ribbon can be used to finish it off.

The same concept can be applied to making seashell picture frames.


Project 4: Lighted Timbers

This one was actually a DIY present given to my MIL by a friend. They took landscape timber and cut them at different lengths for a staggered look. These were painted an a wash style for subtle coloring, but you could paint them stark white for a beach cottage feel or stain them dark to be more rustic. They bored out hole in one end of each to place solar path lights. Higher up lights could potentially cause lower lights not to turn on if they’re powerful enough, so consider not lighting every timber. The timbers were secured together and adorned with netting and shells.

Project 5: Shell and Sand Candle Holders

Wine glasses are becoming more and more popular for holding candles and when bought on the cheap are much more affordable. For these candle holders, place shells and/or trinkets inside each glass then add some sand, she used colored sand, but natural would work as well. Seal the top of the glass by hot gluing a piece of sturdy material like cardboard or wood. You can wrap ribbon or twine around the base for a finished look and top with a candle. Bonus: Twine wrap the base of the candle for a stronger look.

Project 6: String Art Anchor

This one takes a fair amount of patience. Take your board background – it could be flat, a piece of fence or built out of reclaimed pallet planks – then either trace your design or lay a print out of your design over the background. Pound small nails at regular intervals around the shape. Leave adequate nail body available for wrapping string around it.

To see inspiration photos and tutorials, check out this Pinterest board.

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