Summer in a Jar- Vintage Coastal / Beach Decor

Summer in a Jar- Vintage Coastal / Beach Decor

Even though I’m enjoying every colorful, breezy moment this spring, I can’t help but plan ahead for summer décor. I don’t do much decorating for summer- but I do tend to bring a little of the coast inside. Some seaglass here, some driftwood there- you get the idea.

But my <current> favorite summer décor items are my “Beach Jars”. After all, who doesn’t love vintage aqua mason jars? Heck, Ball even produced new aqua jars in 2013 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the first true “Perfect Mason” blue jar.

But back to the vintage jars, with their imperfectly perfect hues and their crusty zinc lids…

Over the years, I’ve procured several- particularly those with air bubbles inside the glass.

Vintage antique aqua mason jar with bubbles in glass to be filled with sand and shells as DIY beach style, coastal summer decor by Sadie Seasongoods /

That color…don’t you just want to dive in?

And whether the urban legend about #13 jars is true or not, I’ve got one of those, too.

Vintage antique aqua mason jar with bubbles in glass to be filled with sand and shells as DIY beach style, coastal summer decor by Sadie Seasongoods /

Saved from superstitious moonshiners!

To create my Beach Jars, I just gathered a few beach-y elements to start layering them in! This post contains affiliate links for your crafting convenience.

First, I added a little decorative sand to the bottom of each jar. And if you don’t have vintage aqua mason jars, you can certainly use the new versions for this project!

Then I placed shells that I’d collected over the years- I am a marine biologist on paper, after all.

Sea shells from Sanibel and Captiva islands to be used in a vintage aqua mason jar as DIY beach style coastal summer decor by Sadie Seasongoods /

Treasures from my first job out of college!

Since I love wild, windswept beaches, I had to add other coastal elements, as well- dried grass/reeds, reindeer moss (mock seaweed), and natural sea sponges.

Dried grass / reed to be used in a vintage aqua mason jar as DIY beach style coastal summer decor by Sadie Seasongoods /

“Dune grass”

Reindeer moss as seaweed to be used in a vintage aqua mason jar as DIY beach style coastal summer decor by Sadie Seasongoods /


Natural sea sponge to be used in a vintage aqua mason jar as DIY beach style coastal summer decor by Sadie Seasongoods /

And, well…natural sea sponges!

Once I poured a little sand in (I use just an inch or two in each jar), I added shells and other elements until I was happy with it. Tongs can come in handy here- but a retractable olive grabber would be even better! When finished, you end up with whimsical pieces that perfectly capture a serene walk on the beach.

DIY Summer Coastal Beach decor using vintage antique aqua mason jar filled with sand and shells by Sadie Seasongoods /

Pretty jar!

DIY Summer Coastal Beach decor using vintage antique aqua mason jar filled with sand and shells by Sadie Seasongoods /

Perfect beachy, coastal, summer decor.

They are indeed lovely on their own, but also make a striking statement as a group.

DIY Summer Coastal Beach decor using vintage antique aqua mason jar filled with sand and shells by Sadie Seasongoods /

Ahhh…you can almost hear the surf breaking on the shore…

I’m sure a few of these will end up on my summer mantelscape, and will likely be scattered throughout the house once the A/C kicks on and I smell of sunblock.

Prefer a video tutorial? I’ve got you covered!

Craft on!


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PIN ME!Create gorgeous DIY Summer Beach Vacation Memory jars by repurposing aqua mason jars into gorgeous breezy summer decor. Simply fill them with sand, shells, and other beach treasures- craft one for each beach you visit and label the jar or lid! Lovely coastal summer craft project idea from Sadie Seasongoods


  1. Ninia Macasil says:

    The jars are gorgeous Sarah. I love them! xx

  2. Love those jars. They are just beautiful and I think you found a really nice way to display them.

  3. So fun! Also a great way to remember a vacation! May do this for my girl’s room!!

  4. I have one room decorated in a beach theme, and I love this idea. Those jars are gorgeous! 🙂

  5. such a great idea! Love your jars too. Had no idea about the 13 though, that much be one lucky jar! If you haven’t please link up to our Snickerdoodle Sunday sometime (Sunday 8pm ET – Tues 8pm ET).

    • Thanks so much! And I appreciate you not only telling me about your link party, the time and time zone it starts!!! That helps me a great deal- and it’s now on my weekly rotation calendar! 🙂

  6. They really look like you’ve captured little underwater scenes!

  7. JaneEllen says:

    HI there, Your varied size blue jars look awesome together with bits of the ocean/beach in them. Love that blue color. I bought a 4 pack of bigger green jars at Target. Little ones too small for price. I’ll have to check my older jars to see if any have 13 on bottom. Too bad the newer jars don’t have the zinc lids tho. I was at our local thrift store last year and passed up a bunch of zInc lids, oh could I ever kick myself.
    Found you on “Hit Me with your best shot” party. Really love those blue older ball jars. Most of my jars came from antique stores west of Helena, MT and Bowling Green, KY. Hard to find here that aren’t so outrageously priced. Everything here is higher, it’s truly ridiculously greedy. We live few miles west of Grand Junction, CO. Ah to be able to go back to MT. No sales tax there. The climate in KY didn’t agree with me so we moved here to CO. If we’d known, especially property, was so high, comparative to So. CA. we wouldn’t have moved here.
    Enjoy your awesome jars, they are so pretty to put in any room aren’t they? Happy week

  8. Hey, we were glad to see you made it to Snickerdoodle Sunday! We hope to see you again next week.

  9. This is such a quick and easy craft to help usher in summer. I’ve pinned this to my summer board. PS Found you through 733blog’s linky party today.

  10. I have never seen Mason jars with bubbles inside them. Too cool! Thank you so much for sharing your creativity with us at Show-Licious Craft & Recipe Party! Join us again this Saturday morning!
    ~ Ashley

    • Bubbles in the glass are a pretty sure-fire way of knowing it’s an old jar! I just love those imperfections…and in this project, it really adds an “underwater” feeling to them, right?

  11. Too cute, and perfect for summer! I featured this on my blog today and I’m just stopping by to pin it! Thanks so much for sharing at Creativity Unleashed!

  12. ishouldbemoppingthefloor says:

    These are really, really neat, Sarah! Such a great idea. Thank you bunches for linking up and partying with us this week!

  13. What a clever idea to create vignettes in Mason jars. Is there anything they can’t be used for?

  14. This would be so cool as a memory jar from a beach vacay!! Love it! Thanks so much for sharing!

  15. Love these! I just made winter jars for the first time. Thanks for re-posting this! I will be looking for aqua Ball jars on my thrifting outings for next summer!

  16. Your jars are beautiful! I have collected canning jars for years but never heard the “13” story before so thank you for sharing. I found you via Betsy’s link party.

  17. These are beautiful! Such a serene look – and easy too -if I can find some of those mason jars.

  18. What a great idea! These look like a little piece of the bottom of the sea, blue water and all.

  19. Beautiful! I’ve been meaning to do something like this! Thanks for the inspiration!

  20. What a great idea. I am going to let my kids each make one from our summer vacation. to cute! thanks!

  21. I would love having these around the house especially in the winter, to remind myself that summer will come again! 😉

  22. They look so mysterious, like little under the sea type worlds! I thought they were filled with water at first. They’d also look great with some kind of flickering candle-effect light inside or behind them to look like moving water! 🙂 Great idea!

  23. This is gorgeous! I love it!

  24. these jars are great and would look neat on a book shelf. Neat project!

  25. Beautiful jars! I decorated vintage clear glass jars for winter and spring but never thought to do summer ones! It is one of my favorite new ways to decorate a table or bench or shelf. I love the coastal beachy feel your jars have.

  26. So very pretty & creative

  27. I love your beachy memory jars. The blue/green glass just makes it even more reminiscent of the beach!


  28. Very pretty. I could see those as a collection made from objects found during different beach vacations with all kinds of memories attached – a 3D scrapbook.
    Thanks for sharing with us at #HomeMattersParty

  29. Jann Olson says:

    I adore aqua jars and have a collection as well. Both mason and small jars. They truly do make you want to jump in!! I love the beachy elements that you have added to yours. Perfect for summer!! Thanks for sharing with SYC.

  30. Sara, Your beach jars look beautiful! I love those old turquoise jars with the zinc lids! Thank you for sharing at Dream. Create. Inspire. Link!

  31. These jars are so cute! I want to make them RIGHT NOW!! Thanks so much for dropping by and sharing at my Grandma Ideas Sharing Time link party. I really appreciate your participation and hope you’ll participate again!


  32. Love this idea! I recently made a Terrarium in a Jar, so I love mason jars as display items. Love your idea of a beach vacation memory jar! Adorable!

  33. I have jars like that full of seashells on my picture window in the summer. Looks great in the sun!

  34. These jars are really charming. They are like little beach terrariums.The would be a perfect decoration for a vacation home or just to remind you of the beach wherever you are.

  35. acraftymix says:

    Hey, I never knew you were a Marine Biologist? That’s so cool. Since my daughter was a teeny little person that all she’s wanted to do. These are so lovely Sarah and best of all they’ll stay safe and dust free, which is really great. I love them

    • Sadie Seasongoods says:

      Thanks, Michelle! Yeah, it’s my secret identity!! 🙂 I actually still work part-time as an environmental consultant (as a marine biologist or regular biologist) to this day. I guess it’s no surprise that repurposing is my thing…the environmentalism runs deep! 🙂

  36. Love these, Sarah! Thanks for sharing your fun beachy creations at Vintage Charm!

  37. Love these. Great beach keepsakes! Pinning. Thanks for sharing at the To Grandmas House We Go Link Party.


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