You've seen these craggy, other-worldly clusters in high-end home stores for mucho dinero -- I'm talking $100 or more. But you can find them on eBay for $10 or less (hint: search under "Rocks, Fossils, and Minerals" or "Aquarium"). This hefty specimen, for instance, has a starting bid of just 99 cents. Can't beat that!
(That's why I love eBay. I find inspiration in design magazines, stores, antique fairs, people's homes -- and then find deals on eBay. Not only are the prices incredible, but the selection is absolutely vast.)
Set these purply husks on a shelf or atop a stack of coffee-table books for an unusual accent, or group them in a weathered garden urn along with pieces of coral, sea fans, and other dried sea life for an oceanic bouquet.