How to Make Nautical Decor as an Arts and Crafts Project

October 25th, 2012

Trips to the beach are great family experiences that bring the entire family together in a fun and relaxing atmosphere.

In a modern world where everyone is constantly distracted by a barrage of emails, texts and Facebook updates, the beach represents an opportunity to unplug from the modern world and get back to nature, even for just an afternoon. Traditionally, children spend beach time building sand castles and playing in the surf, and will often end up collecting interesting sea shells they find during play. This is an origin of a rather time honored question: what to do with the fruits of your little beachcombers’ labor? Look no further, as Handcrafted Nautical Decor’s got the answer.

The first, and perhaps most obvious, final destination for these treasures of the deep is jewelry. While shells must be professionally drilled, (they’re rather fragile) it’s a fairly easy venture, and many types – such as clamshells – actually have holes naturally, making them the first choice for stringing and making necklaces. Elastic is most preferred these days over traditional string and cord, and a simple purchase made at any craft store. While bracelets and necklaces are the most apparent selection for jewelry creation, earrings are just as easy; all that’s required are the proper findings – usually jump-rings, posts, and detachable hoops – ranging from sterling silver, to silver-plated and gold-plated. Solid gold is available, but understandably pricier. Sterling silver remains among the most popular.

Most shells require a small buffer to keep the pieces from clanking together, and this is a simple fix via seed beads: which are very small glass beads with tiny holes and come in a wide variety of colors, including shades of silver and gold, and many neutrals. Spacer bars are a step-up from the much more economical seed beads, and considerably more ornate, but provide greater detail to the overall piece.

And, whatever your styling, you’ll need some crimps and terminators – though, don’t worry; these guys will just terminate the ends of the elastic or cord, rather than mercilessly hunt you down. Like the other findings, (which is really just a fancy name for accessories needed to create jewelry) they’re readily available in anything from stainless steel to sterling and gold-plated.

A hot new number is a sand dollar choker; talk about your bling, but these dollars make sense. First, the sand dollars require a thin coat of a heavy preservative, like a shellac. Then they’re simply threaded through the top and bottom holes to where they’ll lie flat against the mid-neck. And, as usual, finished off with crimps and terminators. Seed beads or spacer-bars are again desirable for this design, as well as rondelle and flat ornamental pieces to accent the shells.

If jewelry’s not your thing, there are other ways, of course – such as bedecking your home. Starfish, for example, are beautifully mounted against a plain background and placed in an artbox or hung display case. There are many colors and styles to choose from as well as fabrics and textures. Or, for an even simpler one-two combination, dried driftwood with mounted starfish, barnacles, and even seahorses might be up your alley.

Whatever your pleasure, all that’s required are a few trips to the craft store or frame shop, and a bit of assembly time. Am I missing something? … Oh! The beach!

Happy hunting!

HND Nautical Decorating ,

New Line of Handcrafted Beach Decor Launched

October 9th, 2012

Cancel Christmas! Actually, no. Don’t do that. But cancel your Christmas shopping plans!
A new line of Handcrafted Beach Decor just got launched. In fact, it’s even got its own website: As Tom Cruise said while accepting Scientology’s Medal of Valor, “You better know… and if you don’t, go and learn it! But don’t pretend to know it.”

Indeed, Mr. Cruise, we’d all better go and learn this new line of beach decor products, for this line of decor has hundreds of different products and new ones are being added everyday. So let us take Tom’s advice and actually “learn it!” by looking at just a few of the wonderful beach decor items available.

Well first off, unless you actually live at a beach, you need to give your guests some inkling that you had a strategy in choosing your decor, so that they understand that the beach chairs in your game room aren’t there simply because you got a good deal on them. Which you will, by the way, but they don’t need to know that! Therefore, to clue your guests in that your placement of beach decor in a given room was intentional, why not place a beach related sign or two? You know: “Life’s a beach”; “Paradise Found”; “Relax.” Any of those signs will clue your guests in that, despite the fact you live in Duluth, Minnesota, your guests have arrived at your very own beach house.

Artwork also goes a long way towards creating a scene. How about “Shore Birds on a Wooden Piling” or a beautiful school of metallic fish? Placing the scenery that one would expect to find at at a beach helps complete the picture that the sign and the decor will evoke. Speaking of decor, let’s take a look at some.

Mounting a <a href=""life ring on the wall is not only a great compliment to a beach themed room, it also comes in surprisingly helpful if you house gets unexpectedly flooded and you never got around to taking swimming lessons. Glass nautical floats not only compliment your theme, but are simply beautiful pieces of glass art in and of themselves. For that matter, a triple glass float is even better and a better value. But maybe you’ve got a different scheme going for your room, well Handcrafted Beach Decor has all kinds of floats, bouys, nets, and nautical props to deck your walls with boughs of beach folly. Fa la la la la.

And don’t stop at decking out the walls, let’s put some furniture in this bad boy. How about we start with a bookcase that’s rather unique to the handcrafted line, for this one is made out of a boat. You’ll be the only person on your block with a bookcase that also doubles as a lifeboat in case of emergency! But that’s not all, Handcrafted Beach Decor has all kinds of kinds of furniture to choose from: bookcases, cabinets, chairs, chests, display cases. They’ve got enough stuff to transform your TV room into the set from “Lost” and more items are being added every day.

So bookmark and starting picking out your favorite items. Chances are, they’ll be a sale coming along soon. That’s right folks, a winter sale on beach decor so you have it right when you need it… at Christmas.

HND Nautical Decorating

Handcrafted Nautical Decor Sited at Dana Point’s Tall Ship’s Festival

September 5th, 2012

Strange tides are brewing in California this weekend. Dana Point hosts its annual Tall Ships Festival – and you’d better believe Handcrafted Nautical Decor will be in attendance! In fact, you’ll get the chance to meet the man behind the magic: Richard Norris himself, designer and master builder for Handcrafted Model Ships. Hip, hip, huzzah!

Picture of a life ring

Hang on – let me take this clamshell from my ear. I thought you said you’ve never heard of the Tall Ships Festival. Oh, you did? (Uh, listen, landlubber; don’t say that out loud or you’re likely to be keelhauled by a band of drunken pirates, m’kay?)

For the uninformed, the Tall Ships Festival is the nautical and maritime enthusiast’s answer to a renaissance faire. You’ve got folks in elaborate costume re-enacting fearsome sea battles, rare artisans and hula dancers (yes, hula dancers!) all to help you recapture the glory days of the famed Age of Sail.

Whaddaya mean I’m missing something? We’ve got scantily clad ship wenches, bedecked captains and other naval warfare, uhhh, crafts?

Just kidding. We know what you really want to see at a Tall Ships Festival:

Tall ships!

Rest assured, there will be a wonderful array of beautiful tall ships, all for your viewing pleasure. Some to be re-enacting those aforementioned naval battles, and a cannonade. (Don’t know what a cannonade is? Just one more reason to go to the Tall Ships Festival this weekend!) And, of course you can bring the whole family. More the merrier!

The Tall Ships Festival is designed to entertain both the young – and the young at heart. But we better not hear that you didn’t come and visit us while you were there. That’s right – Handcrafted Nautical Decor will have its own booth at the festival. Bypass cyberspace and go face-to-face!

All right, let’s talk home decor. (After all, that’s what this blog is about, right?) They say a man’s home is his castle. Have you been to a castle? I don’t mean ogled gorgeous photos of them – or the one you lovingly bestowed upon your fish-tank. I mean, a real castle. They’re cavernous, dark, dank, and just generally unwelcoming. Plus, the most action a castle really sees is when his enemies are laying siege to the whole thing. Just not a pretty story.

Picture of a model of the USS Constitution

We here at Handcrafted Nautical Decor believe that your space is a reflection of you, and you are the captain of your ship. So, let’s coin a new phrase, here and now, just you and me:

A man’s home is his beach house.

Getting the picture? Ohhh, yeah … ocean breezes, maybe a little Jimmy Buffett piping through the sound system … the distant call of seagulls and the soft roar of the ocean. Oh, yeah, baby. Welcome to Margaritaville.

Or … you could take an arrow to the knee. It’s your choice.

But the good men, women and merfolk here at Handcrafted Nautical Decor are firm believers that a beach house – complete with beach signs, a spyglass, nautical floats, colorful schools of metal fish, (art reduces stress – fact!) beach chairs – absolutely everything you could possibly need to realize your dream of leisurely living.

What about for our Age of Sail buffs? The hardcore fans of military history, that can quote chapter and verse who did what and why we should know about it? His home could be his captain’s cabin – with nautical charts, a captain’s cabinet, globe, sextant, and – lest we forget – his very own Handcrafted Model Ship – to aid in the glorious retellings of his favorite battles on the high seas.

We certainly hope you’ll drop on by when you come to Dana Point, as we can’t get enough of these ships, either.

HND Nautical Decorating, Nautical Keychains ,

Beach Signs for Home Decor That Says, “Relax”

August 31st, 2012

Picture of a Wooden Beach SignUnless your name is Richard Milhous Nixon, it’s hard to imagine not being able to relax at the beach; it’s the one place on Earth universally associated with leisure, and a most desired vacation location. If you haven’t recently been, the land-lubbing crew at Handcrafted Nautical Decor highly recommend you go.

Of course, we all know that’s easier said than done; most of us don’t live near a beach and rarely have the opportunity to visit. We suggest doing the next best thing: bringing the beach to you! That’s what Handcrafted Nautical Decor is all about. We provide the decor which transforms an otherwise drab and boring space into the whimsical yet relaxing ambience of the sea. And it all starts with beach signs – the first sign you’re on your way to that spirited feeling of fun in the sun.

Handcrafted Nautical Decor’s got many beach signs for your decorating pleasure: from brass to many different colors of wood. Both fit wonderfully in home or office, sending the message that there’re no doldrums beyond this point! We’ve got wall-hanging signs, and those for any desk, table or flat surface. When revamping your den, consider tacking on a “Paradise Found” where you go to relax, unwind, and find yourself. Of course, there’s always the traditional mindset: “Life’s a Beach”. (And then you dive – right back on in for other goodies on Handcrafted Nautical Decor!)

Got your sign picked out? Great. Of course, to complete the picture, we’ll need some of the usual trappings for anyone sailing the sometimes rocky sea of life, looking to introduce a safe harbor from its many storms. Not one to be fooled by a simple sign (oh, no – this is not just a room protesting a bit much that it’s really a beach – you’re too smart for that) you need some flora and fauna to add fun; so it’s not just a room, but a site of the fantastic! Bring in some colorful metal fish, a bit of netting, some floats, and anything else your heart desires.

No, you’ve not lost it. That’s the sound of the ocean, beckoning from the swirling depths of your imagination. Hear it? Yeah. Now just kick back, relax, and enjoy.

People don’t realize the value decor has in our everyday lives, and the long-term effects on one’s psychological disposition. Happier people have more fun, relax, and enjoy themselves. Proven fact. And Handcrafted Nautical Decor wants to remind you, that you’re the captain of your ship, and you can bring it all into port. Best way to start is to create the best environment for making all those dreams a reality – right now.

Or, like many of us, you just can’t relax. You hear no ocean, no gulls, you feel no sea breeze across your face, taste the salt in the air. (Remember, neither did Nixon. I’m just sayin’.) But even you, Mr or Miss Type “A”, try being grouchy, pessimistic, and go-go-go as you tackle the day’s detriments from a desk adjacent from a sign reading “Beach House”. It’s important that we’re reminded of the important moments life has to offer – our friends, our family, the generation to follow us, and all that came before. We’re just one of a pretty darn big school of fish. Shouldn’t we remember that, at its heart, life can be a beach – if we take the time to hear the song of the sea?

Picture of a Wooden Beach SignSpeaking of the busier set, you know you’ve always wanted a yacht. Creative visualization is one of the most proven tactics to realizing big ambitions. You start small, with your own imagination – and a swanky model yacht like the famous America’s Cup Enterprise, Endeavor or the newest addition – the Oracle. (Outlook: Wonderful.)

Don’t know about the America’s Cup? It’s only the competition for the uber-rich and successful to race the most extravagantly expensive craft to ever grace the surface of the sea. But, like JP Morgan once quipped, “if you have to ask how much it costs, you can’t afford it.” Not yet at least. Best start with a Handcrafted Model Ship – until the one we’ve all been waiting for comes in.

Remember: life’s a beach. Tell your friends. (And don’t be like Mr Nixon. It’s hell to get sand out of such expensive dress shoes.)

HND Nautical Decorating , , , ,

Porthole Mirrors at Home or in the Workplace

August 21st, 2012