Favorite DIY Projects for Our Wedding

I can’t believe it’s already been a year since we got married!  I was so excited for our wedding weekend last May that it seemed like it took forever to get there and now it’s a year later!

One of the fun things for me about remembering that weekend was thinking of all the DIY projects I included.  It wouldn’t have been our wedding without a lil Coastal Kelder flair!  I knew I didn’t want to overwhelm myself by doing everything, but had a nice balance of things I made versus things I designed or outsourced to others to produce.

As a fun wedding Wednesday post, I wanted to look back at my favorite DIY projects from our wedding day.

Greenery Wreath

This wasn’t something I expected to make, but when I realized our cocktail hour would be in front of the house at the Island House, I knew the door needed a wreath.  I bought a few types of faux greenery and put a wreath together.  Perk: It’s great on our front door year round.

Directional Sign

The only thing I “built” was this directional sign to let guests know where the different parts of the wedding were, since everything was at one venue.  I was big into ombre at the time (and still now), so used different shades of blue and painted the letters on as well.


I was just getting into making pillows when our wedding was coming up and wanted to make some for the rocking chairs that matched our koozies.  Hunter’s grandma loved them so much she took one home 🙂

Oyster shell ring dishes

You had to expect the original Coastal Kelder project to be at our wedding.  I brought my silver one for our rings and gave monogrammed ones to my bridesmaids in their day of gifts with pearl earrings.

Save the Dates & Programs

I had a whole vision with a blue watercolor design for our save the dates and invitations and loved creating the save the dates, thank you notes and programs myself and working with Lindsay to make the invitations.



Oyster Shell + Sweetgrass Napkin Rings

If you think of materials that represent Charleston then sweetgrass and oyster shells are probably on the top of that list.  When I was at dinner a few weeks ago I thought about how cool it would be to mix the 2 together some way (I was totally inspired by Haley’s necklaces & earrings she made with sweetgrass for SEWE).  I thought that napkin rings could be such a simple way to add a lowcountry touch to a dinner and started planning…

Oyster Shell + Sweetgrass Napkin Rings

What you’ll need:

  • 2 small oyster shells
  • Clear sealer spray
  • 2 Sweetgrass napkin rings
  • Goop

This is a fairly straight forward and easy craft to put together and I had mine done in just a few minutes after work.  I bought my 2 sweetgrass napkin rings at a antique shop in Charleston with Taylor a few years ago, but you can find them all around the area.  I picked out 2 of the smallest shells I had in my shell inventory, which were leftover from the NYE oyster roast.  Flat shells are key for this so there are multiple points of contact between the shell & napkin ring for the liquid cement to attach to.First things first, I wanted to seal in the tops of my shells and give them a glossy finish, so I sprayed my clear sealer on top.  I really like the inside of oyster shells and wanted that side up,  so that’s the side of the shells that I sealed.  You could definitely do the other side too!  I also love the look of natural things, which is why I didn’t paint anything, but you could also customize by painting the shells.

Let the shells dry, then bring them back inside.  Now all you have to do is attach the shell to the napkin ring.  Figure out where you want the shell to be placed and apply a good amount of Goop to the napkin ring – enough to securely hold the shell, but not too much where it’s coming off the sides.

Press the oyster shell on top, then let the cement harden.  Repeat for your other napkin ring.  I leaned the napkin rings up against the side of my Cricut while the glue was drying so the shell stayed upright and wouldn’t shift around.Once they’re dry and the shell is securely in place, you’re done!  Just put a napkin in it and set your table! I’m really excited about how these turned out and can’t wait to make more when I get my hands on more sweetgrass napkin rings.  I imagine a huge dinner table set with these out and it makes me happy! It’s the little things, haha.

Did I mention this was totally free? Yup – this cost me $0.  I had everything on hand, and it only took ~10 minutes total for a cute project. Those are the best kind of crafts in my opinion..

Oyster Roasts

It’s prime oyster season and although I can’t eat oysters, I’ve attended and hosted my share of oyster roasts.  Are you going to an oyster roast and you’re not sure what to do?  I’ve got you covered.  There are a few things you might want to know beforehand…

Oysters only in the trash

Most oyster tables have a big hole in the middle with a trash can underneath.  That trash can is made for spent oyster shells, not the trash (bottles, paper towels, etc), so put the cans in the recycling bin and keep the shells alone in their trash can so they can be recycled too.


Bring a knife and glove

Let’s be serious, most people in the lowcountry have their own oyster knives,  and will bring them to an oyster roast.  If you don’t own one, look to your local food store or online.  I bought these wooden ones from Amazon, and personalized them using black vinyl and my Cricut Explore Air™ 2.  Now we won’t lose them, and they’ve already made it through 2 roasts!

PS – If you’re a newbie, you only wear 1 glove on your non-dominant hand when shucking to protect it from being cut by the sharp edges of the shell.  If you’re hosting, it’s great to have them on hand because this will be the #1 thing that people don’t bring.



Unless it’s a big, public oyster roast that has a bar, bring your own beer or wine.  I’m sure the host will provide some, but let’s be serious, it’s rude to show up empty handed.  Champagne really complements oysters, FYI…oysters-05

Eat early if you’re not an oyster fan

Fun fact: I’m allergic to shellfish which means, yup, I can’t eat oysters.  Funny considering I love to craft with the shells, right?  Well even if you’re allergic, oyster roasts are such a big part of lowcountry life in the winter and they’re still fun!

Roasts typically include some other food like chili or BBQ (or a nacho bar if you’re cool like my friend Michelle), but if you’re not sure, eat before so you won’t go hungry!  Trust me, I’ve learned the hard way.

Last tip – if you have an oyster shell loving friend, save the shells for them!  They can be cleaned and crafted with, and I’ve got plenty of oyster shell crafts.   Otherwise like tip #1, let them be recycled and put back in the beds!

Now enjoy the oyster roast!  I promise they’re fun, even if you don’t get to eat the main course.oysters-01

This post includes affiliate links, so I get a lil kickback if you buy from them.


Rediscovering my Crafty Side

This month’s skirt! magazine is focused on going All In.  You can find my original post on their blog here.


When I was a little girl, I enjoyed making little projects with all the craft supplies my mom would keep in her closet for rainy days.  Ironed bead designs, coloring, painting and anything with tissue paper.  As I got older, competitive sports took most of my time, but I still scrapbooked and did random projects.  In college, I didn’t do many creative things (in my opinion), besides painting some banners for Relay For Life.

After college I moved across the bridge with my friend into an apartment and occasinoally painted canvases, but still nothing too crazy… It wasn’t until I moved into my own apartment that I really tapped back into my crafty side!

Now that I had my own place to decorate, I really wanted to make it my own!  I hung my random paintings I made earlier, then got the itch to make more for all the empty spots on the walls.


It all started with using some of the natural elements I love from the coast…shells.  I put starfish on burlap, made a wreath for my front door, and put lots of mini starfish on canvases.  The blog that I started to keep my family up to date with my life quickly turned into a DIY blog with all of my projects for the apartment – and Coastal Kelder was born!

Today, Coastal Kelder has turned into a bigger (and more professional looking) DIY blog, with favorite recipes, travels, home projects & life updates mixed in, as well as a shop on the side!  I would never have imagined that – and even my friends and family were surprised by the new / rediscovered craftiness inside of me.


In honor of one of the first natural elements I worked with, and what has become a huge part of my brand, I’m sharing one of my shell DIY projects with you: an oyster shell wreath!

DIY Oyster SHell Wreath

What you’ll need:

  • Oyster shells
  • Craft ring
  • Liquid cement
  • Clear acrylic gloss spray

Choose the craft ring size you need depending on your space.  I’ve made both larger oyster shell wreaths, and mini 6″ ones and both sizes look great.  I also recommend using flatter shells, so they’re easier to fit together and secure to the craft ring.

First, make sure your oyster shells are clean, scrubbed and ready to craft with.  Then arrange them on your craft ring until you’re happy with the look.  I think either sides look great, and it’s just your preference!

Next, use the liquid cement to attach the shells to the craft ring.  When the glue is dried and the shells are secure, spray the tops of the shells with the gloss spray to seal the shells and add some shine.

Finally, hang your wreath on a hook or with ribbon!


It’s never too late to rediscover something that makes you happy, or find time for new hobbies & learning something new!  The world is your oyster after all…


Oyster Bead Necklace

Does anyone else ever buy items to make a project and then they just sit around for months before you finally finish it?  This necklace was exactly that, and might have even taken longer to complete than my live edge tables.

Back in June (yes, over 7 months ago) I bought some beads to make a Clemson game day necklace.  I’m not a big orange fan, so my thought was that I could make a necklace with some orange in that I could wear throughout the year, and with pair it with purple when we went to games.  With only the national championship game left in the season, I was down to the wire and finally finished it right before we left for Tampa.

Oyster Bead Necklace

What you’ll need:

  • Flat oyster shell
  • Drill
  • 9/64″ drill bit
  • Waxed cotton cording
  • Beads of your choice
  • Silver jewelry wire
  • Scissors

Outside of the oyster shell, I found everything I needed in the jewelry section of Michael’s.  I ended up with an assortment of turquoise, orange, wooden, blue & white and tan beads and figured that I’d just figure out a design as I went along (like most of my DIY projects).oyster-bead-necklace_01First, start putting the beads on the cording.  Knowing that the oyster shell would hang from the middle, I worked my way from the middle out.  This took me awhile since I was trying to figure out an order to the beads that looked okay.

Once I had half of the necklace done, I turned my attention to the oyster shell.  I drilled through the top of it like I did with the oyster shell ornaments.

Then I needed to use the wire to wrap through the hole  and around the shell a few times to secure it, and eventually create a loop on the top to hang on the cording.  This is not my best work, but it was literally hours before we were leaving for Florida and I was under a serious time crunch.  It was good enough to do the trick!oyster-bead-necklace_03

When the oyster was wrapped in wire with a loop, I put it on the cording, and then started adding the beads to the other side, in the same pattern as before.  I played around with the beads at the top until the length was right for me and then just tied the cording in a double knot.oyster-bead-necklace_04

The necklace was immediately packed up and off to Florida with us the next morning!


Of course I didn’t get any pictures of it on while tailgating before we bundled up for the game (it was unseasonably cold!), but I did snap one before the game started!

Yay for a Clemson “game day” necklace with orange I can wear!  Apparently it’s good luck too, so I guess I’ll be wearing it to any game we go to in the future 😉