5 Coastal Holiday Decor Tricks

So we live on an island that’s 75 degrees in the middle of December… that doesn’t mean we can’t spread holiday cheer this time of year! Coastal holiday decor is becoming more popular each year as more people replace the cold, harsh winters up north with warm and sunny winters by the beach.


Wondering how you can celebrate the most wonderful time of the year while still maintaining a beach vibe? We’ve been inspired by helpful articles like this one from HGTV and these decorating tips from Coastal Living Magazine. The trick is to get the perfect mixture of traditional holiday decor with splashed of nautical elements to create the perfect coastal holiday ambience.

To help you get started with your coastal holiday decor – here are 5 tips and tricks we found that fit perfectly with the holiday season here on Sanibel and Captiva Islands.

#1 Driftwood

Living near the water driftwood should be an easy decoration to acquire. This is a simple decoration that adds a ton of character to your coastal holiday decor. Dress the tree with your favorite holiday ornaments, ribbons and bows, or hang lights from the branches for a fun display at night.

If you’re feeling extra creative, you can break the driftwood into small pieces and glue them together to make a coastal looking reindeer or snowman – we’ve even seen full sets of driftwood nativity scenes! There’s no better way to tie the beach into your coastal holiday decor than adding elements from the outdoors.


#2 Sea Life

We’re not talking about live sea creatures! We’re talking shells, starfish and sand-dollars that have washed ashore and are no longer living. If you find a living organism on your quest for decorations, we ask that you help save its life by placing it back in the shallow water.

Since Sanibel is the Shell Capital of the World – you should have no problems finding unique shell’s for your display. Get creative with your collection, adding paint and glitter to your shells. We loved the idea of combining white clam shells to make a snowman ornament! Think outside the box – a giant starfish makes the perfect tree topper. Starfish, shells and other sea life make the perfect accessory to your traditional holiday wreaths and Christmas trees.


#3 Beach Equipment

With high’s of 75 and 80, its still warm enough to hit the beach! Don’t be so quick to store those beach chairs and boogie boards – in fact when they’re not in use at the beach, they can serve as the perfect holiday prop. Have you ever thought to string Christmas lights around your paddle board or beach umbrella?

We’ve seen a few creative uses for your every day beach equipment that creates the ultimate coastal Christmas vibe. String tree ornaments from fishing line, or tie those old buoys together with bows and garland for a warm display for holiday cheer. And the best part is – these are items you already own – no purchase necessary!


#4 Aqua and Ivory

Close your eyes and think of traditional holiday decor… I bet red and green were the two most prominent colors in your image, right? While red and green are great ways to incorporate traditional holiday colors, don’t be afraid to go on a limb and add splashes of blue to your collection. Turquoise, aqua and deep blue hues remind people that they are at the beach with bright blue skies and water.

What else is at the beach? Sand! Try adding a soft touch of ivory or burlap material to create a sandy appearance. A shiny pop of gold or silver adds character to the color scheme and ties everything together for warm and inviting coastal holiday decor.


#5 Pine & Live Plants

Aside from sugar cookies – our favorite holiday scent is the crisp smell of Pine needles from the Christmas tree. Now a days you can buy a pine scented candle to do the trick – but we suggest adding pops of pine and live plants throughout the house to get the whole experience.

Who says pine trees can’t be beachy? We’ve seen people use pine and live plants together with driftwood and the items listed above to create the perfect centerpieces, wreaths and floral arrangements. Ps. Don’t forget the missile toe!

Tiffany Mills About Tiffany Mills

Meet the Marketing Secret Weapon at McCallion & McCallion. In 2015, Tiffany traded the beltway traffic of Washington, DC, for the sandy, two-lane streets of Sanibel and she hasn't looked back since!