3 decorations to make after a trip to the beach

For many people, one of the highlights of summer is visiting the beach. Whether you live in a coastal town or have a sun-and-sand vacation planned for the upcoming months, spending time by the water is an amazing way to enjoy the lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer.

Once you're at the beach, there are a bevy of activities you can engage in. From swimming in the salty ocean and building sand castles with your grandchildren to reading an exciting book and taking long walks, it's hard to grow bored of afternoons at the shore.

When you're strolling along the crashing waves, perhaps you comb the sand for interesting shells, sea glass and aquatic creatures. This year, consider using some of your beach finds for easy do-it-yourself crafts to bring a bit of the shoreline to your home.

What can you create with a handful of shells?What can you create with a handful of shells?

Coat rack
This project from House & Home requires a piece of driftwood, a bit of hardware and mild construction skills. Look for driftwood or a branch from a nearby tree that's long, thin and strong enough to hold several clothes hangers. It's best if the hangers can hook around the wood easily so you can take items down and hang them back up without a hassle. You're going to suspend the branch from the ceiling to create additional hanging space outside of your closets.

The source suggested painting the branch a solid color, but it would also look beautiful if you leave the wood natural. To install your clothes bar, buy two eye hooks and two screw anchors, then break out the hammer and the drill. You'll also need to purchase some chain link. Determine how low you want your coat rack to hang, multiply the length by two and buy two pieces of chain that size. Put the hooks in the ceiling, far enough apart that each end of the branch will be supported. Use the screw anchors to secure your eye hooks, then slip both ends of the chains onto them to create loops. Rest your branch on the chain loops and voila, you made a unique coat rack from beach driftwood.

Wall art
Find a sizeable piece of driftwood and two to four large shells to create fabulous wall art for your house. The best shells for this type of wall art are large, visually interesting and unbroken. Craft blog Gingerly Made explained that Gorilla epoxy glue is sufficient for attaching the shells to your driftwood. Before you begin assembling the wall art, wash the shells thoroughly to remove sand and germs. Wipe the wood down with a disinfecting cloth as well to prepare the surface.

"Wash the shells thoroughly to remove sand and germs."

Put a bit of glue on one shell and press it firmly against the wood. When it seems to be well-fastened, repeat the process for the other shells. Give your project plenty of time to dry before you stand the piece of wood up. When it's complete, hang it on the wall in your home for a beach cottage feel. 

Wind chimes
If you love collecting tons of seashells as you walk down your favorite beach, this is the perfect craft for you. Craftbits.com has instructions for creating a wind chime out of any type of shell you might find. In addition to an expansive selection of seashells, you need fishing line, scissors, glue, wax paper and a small piece of driftwood. Make sure you thoroughly wash the shells with soap and water to kill any bacteria.

Cut several lengths of fishing line, with a bit of variation to create a more dynamic final product. Lay the string out on wax paper and attach shells with small dabs of glue. It will take some patience, but it's important that the glue dries completely before you proceed to the next step. Fasten the strings to your piece of driftwood with a bit of space between them. They should be able to collide when the wind blows, but shouldn't be touching when the chime is just hanging stationary. Finally, attach a loop or hook to the top of your wind chime so you can hang it outside and enjoy its beautiful sounds in the summertime breeze.