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DIY: Scalloped Shell Centerpiece

Written by Christy Husley of Camp Makery & Colonial House exclusively for Have and Hold. 

DIY: Scalloped Shell Centerpiece

If I wasn’t in love with summer before, this Richard Taylor Scallop Shell Bowl that’s spilling over with a living garden has me totally feeling it. I decided to grab my sister, Amanda, who shares my same deep rooted obsession with plants and pretty for a visit to the seaside shop we both adore, Viola’s Market. Confession. Katie Bostick, our stylist from Viola’s Market calls herself a little “Mama Earth” (With a big laugh!) has been doing this for years. “For as long as I can remember really,” she said with a shrug. “I don’t think about it I just feel it… do it.” So she showed us her tricks.

DIY: Scalloped Shell Centerpiece

Sarah DeShaw Photography captures this whole little number all in a way that passed my wildest dreams and it has everything to do with their team’s incredible eye plus marshside workspace, expert advice, pretty Pottery Barn Shell, and laughter the only way sisters know how. I knew this piece would be a whole new level of gorgeous fun; a whole new level of summertime chic.

From start to finish, I’ve watched Katie have her way with these plants so much that you can’t help but be in awe. And here’s what she told us:

DIY: Scalloped Shell Centerpiece

Moss pins
Cement Richard Taylor Scallop Shell Bowl
Potting soil
Spade or fingers
Plants in different textures and shapes.

Step 1: Pick your plants. Different textures, shapes and sizes look great. Think tall, trailing and beautiful. “Succulents are easy especially for first timer’s,” Katie says. Ferns and grasses are low maintenance, too. Always use fresh product, work with a local grower or specialty flower shop to get your blooms. Grocery store plants are usually old, not properly handled and not native to your area.

DIY: Scalloped Shell Centerpiece

Tip: To make a unique design uses lots of elements. It’s the key to this type of design.

Step 2: Add your soil. Pour it in to make a healthy foundation. Porous soil is great. And, you can even add Styrofoam peanuts to aerate if you like.

DIY: Scalloped Shell CenterpieceDIY: Scalloped Shell Centerpiece

Step 3: Plant your picks. Start with the largest plant which will give you a strong focal point to build from. Turn the plant upside down in your hand to remove it from the pot, pulling off the pot. Then, put the roots in your bowl of soil. In the case your selections are prickly, wear gloves.

Tip: Loosen the root ball of the plant. It will help them get established quicker.

Step 4: Set the mood moss. Mood moss will finish the artistic look as the trick is to pack it right atop the soil and around the plant bases. According to Katie, “the real secret is saturating your moss with water beforehand.” Dip it in the water and squeeze it like a sponge. Moss halts evaporation. So less watering required.

DIY: Scalloped Shell Centerpiece

Steph 5: Place & care. After the wedding party, the piece will live on and one. Our piece contains succulents which adore bright light. Moisture can be added to the soil every two weeks or so. Katie’s golden rule? Do not over water! Pay a little attention to the soil, she insists. “Ignore these babies,” she says. They’re independent little souls, leave them alone and stop over watering them!” If properly maintained, it will last for years to come.

Living plant centerpieces are super easy to put together. The plants wind, weave and grow together creating works of art oozing texture, color, and beauty that are perfect for any wedding event or place in your home. They make great gifts, favors and centerpieces. It’s personal, sustainable, and not only gorgeous they look stunning atop every single al fresco table on docket! The possibilities are endless. Don’t you think? This piece works fabulously on outdoor dining tables. Actually, it can be left right outside to thrive throughout the season.

DIY: Scalloped Shell Centerpiece

You know how much I love details. Making a living centerpiece alongside an expert, your sister, your friends or all by yourself is totally doable, simple and elegant. I did it. So can you! In fact, you’ll have such an absolutely lovable, approachable, and opulent point that is a crazy interesting high. Guests will be smiling, admiring, (and probably touching!) throughout the affair you are planning.

DIY: Scalloped Shell Centerpiece

Concept: Lauren Weems, Camp Makery 

Planning: Amanda Griner Currier & Christy Griner Hulsey, Colonial House

Photography & Styling: Sarah DeShaw

Floral Design & Plants: Katie Bostick, Viola’s Market

Location: St. Simons Island, Georgia

Pimento Cheese: Callie’s Biscuits,

Signature Cocktail Recipe: From the Kitchen of Azure Rountree

You May Also Like: How to Make a Driftwood Lantern Centerpiece


Wow! I love this piece! So inspiring, and unique! We don’t have a Pottery Barn locally so I will have to hunt for a similar vessel, but I am still in love. This would look so great on our large table!! thank you!

oh my goodness, i agree with you totally. Team Sarah Deshaw is a virtuoso. and, those blushing brides in the flowers. i think, they’re my favorite flower ever!

Beautiful work, as always by Christy Hulsey & Colonial House of Flowers! A special thank you to Pottery Barn for sharing my cooking page:)

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