Oyster Shell Picture Holder

I find & clean lots of oyster shells throughout the year, but not every oyster shell is great for becoming a candle or ring dish, so I have lots of leftover shells sitting around.  Taylor gave me an idea to make oyster shell picture holders, and I decided to make them with the longer / flatter shells I have.

Oyster Shell Picture Holder

What you’ll need:

  • Oyster shell
  • Paint
  • Paint brush
  • Small clothespin
  • Goop

First, paint the oyster shell however you want.  I opted for gold bottom & edge with clear on top.  Get your clothespin ready to attach to the back.  Michael’s has all sorts of cute clothespins now, but I just got some small, darker natural wood ones.

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Attach the clothespin to the back of the oyster shell using the Goop.  Make sure that the part of the clothespin that opens and closes is facing up, so it will hold your picture, and the bottom sits flat with the shell in front of it.oyster picture holder 03

Wait a few hours (or even overnight) for the Goop to dry, then sit your oyster up and add a picture!oyster picture holder 06 oyster picture holder 07

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It can give any shelf a little touch of the beach without being too overwhelming, and is a quick to make! A win-win in my eyes..

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Oyster Shells on Canvas

This is another example of a project I came up with in my head that I decided would be a great weekend project to knock out in an hour.  Plus, I had most of the supplies on hand, so I just needed to grab some small canvases the next time I was at Michael’s (which is pretty frequently).

Oyster Shells on Canvas

What you’ll need:

  • 4 oyster shells
  • Gold spray paint
  • 4  4″x6″ canvases
  • Navy blue spray paint
  • Clear sealer
  • Liquid cement or hot glue gun

First things first, you’ll want to paint your oyster shells and canvases.  I laid out a big piece of cardboard, put my oyster shells on one side and spray painted the backs of them gold.  Since the shells are going to be mounted, you’ll want to use some that are similar in size, and that are flatter.

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On the other side of the cardboard, I laid out my 4 canvases, and spray painted them blue.

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It took about 3 coats of blue to get the canvases completely covered and to the shade I was looking for.

When the gold was dry on the oysters, I hand painted the edges gold, then sprayed the top with a clear sealer.  Now you’re ready to attach.

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Get your hot glue gun ready and use it to attach one shell to the middle of a canvas.  Tip: Sit the shell on the table first and see the places where it’s touching the table.  Those are the points that you’ll want to put the hot glue, where it will attach to the canvas.

Put the glue on those points and press it onto the canvas.  I tried to press the canvas and the shell tight in those spots to make sure it was firmly attached.  Repeat for the remaining 3 shells.

Note: You can also use a liquid adhesive like Goop for a sturdier and more permanent hold.

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When they’re dry, you’ll have a set of 4 oyster shell canvases!
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You can hang them on your wall as a set of 4, or use them individually in various spots!  The best part of canvas, is that there’s already the lip that the nail can hang on.

oyster shell canvas 04IMG_7126So for about $10 and a little time, you can add a classy, coastal flair to your wall!  Or if you don’t want to go through the hassle of making it yourself, you can find these on my shop!

‘Seas and Greetings’ Wooden Sign

Twas 2 days before Christmas, and I still have a holiday project to share with you, so here goes:

This was another project that kinda just came about one day, and was inspired from a few other coastal Christmas things I’ve seen on Pinterest and around town.  I originally bought the piece of wood to possibly use for my side tables in the guest room (more about those soon), but found something else, so had this piece sitting in my garage, and my wheels started turning…

Seas and Greetings Wooden Sign

What you’ll need:

  • Piece of wood
  • Driftwood wood stain
  • Paint brush
  • Clean cloth
  • Sander
  • Oyster shells
  • Starfish
  • Liquid cement (Goo)
  • Pencil
  • White acrylic paint
  • Small paint brush

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The piece of wood is from Lowe’s, and it’s ~16″ x 30″.  I like it because it’s actually made of several 1 inch pieces of wood, so the grain is more interesting than a basic piece of oak.  The first step was to stain the wood and give it a more worn, rustic look.

I still had some driftwood colored wood stain leftover from the stocking holders I made last year, and thought it’d be the perfect color.  The first step is to stain your wood.  Apply the stain, let it sit 1-2 minutes, then wipe the excess off with a clean, lint free cloth.

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seas and greeting 03 I repeated this step 3 times before I was happy with the color of the wood, and how the original wood was coming through.

For more of a rustic, and weathered look, I sanded down the edges some so it wasn’t perfectly straight.  Yes, I knew this was going to remove some of the stain in those areas.. That’s the joy of going with the flow, and coming up with your own way of making something!

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After sanding the edges, I ended up not wanting to add another coat of stain – I liked the worn look.  I ended up completing all of these steps before December got crazy, so this was just sitting in the garage for a few weeks, waiting to be finished (cue more weathering, maybe?).

Next, pick out some oyster shells to attach to the board, and arrange them in a Christmas tree shape.  Then I attached the shells, one by one, with liquid cement (I found that hot glue wasn’t strong enough to hold them), and the starfish on top!  Using flat shells is key here, otherwise they will be harder to attach to the wood.

Since I was doing this on the ground, Cleo had to investigate..

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The last step was to paint a holiday saying on it.  I always like the Christmas phrases with a coastal play on them, so I opted for ‘Seas and Greetings.’  First, I sketched out the letters with pencil…

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…Then I painted over the pencil with white paint and adjusted as necessary.

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Since it’s kinda large, it doesn’t really fit anywhere in our house, so I decided to add it to the Christmas decor by our front door!
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I wanted this to be done in November, but it took longer than I expected to finish, and that’s okay (such is life, right?).  Now it’s done and looks great outside, and I’ll have it ready to go out early next year 🙂

Merry Christmas!

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Decoupaged Map Pumpkin

We all know I had to make some sort of pumpkin related craft this season, and here it is.  Last year I made some color block pumpkins, and mummy mason jars, so I had plenty of fall and Halloween stuff to put out, but when I saw this pumpkin on Pinterest, I knew I had to try to decoupage a pumpkin!

Decoupaged Map Pumpkin

What you’ll need:

  • Craft pumpkin
  • Design printed on paper
  • Scissors
  • Mod Podge
  • Foam brush

Apparently when you go searching for craft pumpkins in late October it’s slim pickings.  I struck out at Michael’s, but finally found a few smaller ones at Hobby Lobby.  My goal was to find a larger, white pumpkin, and I left with a short, orange one.

Since I was going to put a map on my pumpkin, I didn’t want any orange coming through, so the first thing I needed to do was spray paint it.  I wrapped the stem in painter’s tape, and used the rest of my white spray paint to get rid of the orange.

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While the spray paint was drying, I printed some Charleston harbor chart maps on normal printer paper since this was what I was going to put on the pumpkin.  When your map is ready, cut it into 1/2″ strips.  If you have a larger pumpkin, then 1″ strips will work, but smaller pumpkin = thinner strips.

Apply a thin coat of mod podge to the back of a strip of paper, then adhere it to the pumpkin starting at the top by the stem.

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Slowly work your way around the pumpkin until the map is completely on the pumpkin.  This gets tricky as you have to work with the curves and indentions of the pumpkin, which is why smaller strips were key for my lil guy.

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Also, try to push out any wrinkles, so the paper is as flat as possible on the pumpkin.  I made tiny folds in some places to try to keep the map lined up as best I could, and conform to the curves.

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I put a second map on the other side of the pumpkin, and filled in the area between the 2 maps with strips of land and water to try to blend the 2 maps together.

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Once the pumpkin is covered in maps, apply a light coat of mod podge on top of the paper to seal it in and give it a finished look.

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There was definitely a learning curve, since I’d never decoupaged anything before.  I got better as I progressed, but as my friend Lisa pointed out, you only need one side to look great!  I’m impressed by people that have crazy patterns and get them to line up perfect with no wrinkles — I must not have enough patience for that.

Now I wonder what else I could decoupage…

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Driftwood Candle Holder Centerpiece

On one of my walks on the beach I picked up 2 pieces of driftwood and saved them for future projects.  The biggest piece seemed like a good option to recreate these wooden centerpieces Hunter’s cousin, Brooke, had at her wedding last year.  The centerpieces were long pieces of wood with cutouts in them for tea lights.  Well, I had found my next project..

Driftwood Candle Holder Centerpiecedriftwood5

What you’ll need:

  • Piece of driftwood
  • Drill
  • 1.5″ Speedbor drill bit
  • Tea lights

This is a great example of a project I started, and then it basically sat in our garage for awhile while life took over… And finally had time to finish it!  Such is life, eh?

The piece of driftwood I found was filled with sand, so first I rinsed it off with the hose to get the excess sand off, then I let it dry off for a few weeks on our back patio and in the garage.

Once the piece was dry, I was ready to drill!  So when I got to this point and started drilling, Hunter and I realized that I had the wrong drill attachment to complete the project (a hole saw wasn’t gonna work).  I’ll blame this mishap on the delay in finishing the project, but eventually we went to Lowe’s and got the right piece –> a speedbor.

When you have the right tools, figure out how many cutouts you want to make and where they will go.  I decided on 7 tea light cutouts.

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Then use your drill and slowly cut out the wood until it’s the perfect depth for the candles.  This was about 1/2″ – 3/4″  for me, so the tea lights fit in without anything sticking up.  By the way, the 1 1/2″ bit is the perfect size for tea lights.

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Once I drilled all 7 holes, I let the wood dry a few more days since the inside of the wood was still kinda damp.  Then it was time to bring it inside and put the candles in!

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driftwood4The holes aren’t perfectly lined up, but it matches the imperfections of the driftwood.  Now I just need to find the perfect place for it!  And find more pieces of driftwood…