Clam Shell Jewelry Dishes

A few months ago my friend Meaghan brought me a bag full of clam shells straight from the waters of Cape Cod.  To be honest, I forgot about them and they had been sitting in that paper bag in our garage until a few weeks ago.  Finally, it was time to turn them into lil jewelry dishes…

Clam Shell Jewelry Dishes

What you’ll need:

  • Clam shells
  • Paint
  • Paint brush
  • Pearls
  • Liquid cement
  • Clear sealer

When I’m prepping any shells for crafts, they get a good cleaning, then a 3-5 day bath in a water & bleach mixture (a little bleach goes a long way) before drying and being sorted by size.  They get one last bath in the sink before becoming jewelry dishes (or candles).

All of my jewelry dishes are hand painted, and I have to admit I like using metallics like gold & silver the best.  I also hate covering up the tops of the shell that have all the character and purple!

These were hand painted in gold or silver, and either on just the edge or the bottom + the edge.  The top gets a coat of clear sealer, I attach pearl feet to keep it standing up right and the jewelry dishes are ready for their new homes!

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Some of the shells were so wide that they could fit watches & bracelets, not just rings.  Special thanks to Meg for the clam shells!  I only have a few, but will make the most of what I have and will have to plan a trip up north for more!

PS – You can find all my clam shell products in my Etsy shop here.

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Summer Shell Art

I’m so excited to announce that I’ll be a contributor on skirt! magazine‘s blog!  Every few weeks I’ll be posting something related to their latest issue.  You can find my first post on their blog here, and I’ll also be sharing on my blog 🙂  Here’s my first post for summer:

As a kid, one of my favorite summer pastimes was collecting sea shells from the beach.  I used to have containers of my treasures in my closet growing up and loved going through them and remembering great trips.  But why keep the shells in boxes tucked away in a closet?  Why not proudly display them in your home?

When I moved into my first solo apartment after college a few years ago, I needed something to put on my empty walls, and looked to my beach finds for help.  Within an hour I had painted a wooden frame, added a burlap background, attached a starfish on top, and hung it on my wall!  Ever since then I’ve been finding different ways to create art out of sea shells, sharks teeth and oyster shells that I find around the lowcountry.

Today I’ll walk you through an easy beach craft that you can make no matter your ago, and that can be customized to any room in your house!

Shell Art

What you’ll need:

  • Canvas
  • Various sea shells & beach finds
  • Goop adhesive

You can find regular or burlap canvases, as well as the Goop adhesive at your local craft store like Michael’s or Hobby Lobby, and be sure to use a coupon 🙂

First, clean the sand off of your shells and let them dry on a paper towel.  Then arrange the shells on the canvas in whatever design you want.  Get creative!  You can create a geometric design, a shape, or even write something out.  I opted to make a wave out of sharks teeth, a heart and the palmetto and crescent with sea shells and just individual oyster shells on smaller canvases.

Next you’ll want to attach the shells to the canvas one at a time using the Goo adhesive.  Note: Goo adhesive is really strong like a liquid cement.  If you don’t have any, hot glue will work, but will not be as secure or permanent.

Finally, hang the canvas on your wall, stand back, and admire your work!

shell art 08shell art 06shell art 04 shell art 07 If you’re feeling extra crafty, paint the canvas or shells to match your room.  A fun colored canvas will give your shells and the room an extra pop!  The options are endless with a full spectrum of paint colors and a box of your favorite beach finds.

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Painted Silver Seashells

During the weekend of projects, I decided that I wanted to spray paint some seashells.  Don’t ask me why, but I just had a desire to paint some shells and put them in a glass container to go somewhere in the house.  Since I had everything I needed at the house, I just started going..

Painted Silver Seashells

What you’ll need:

  • Seashells
  • Spray paint

I have random seashells everywhere, and had some in my crafting supplies that I pulled out to use.  I got ones  that didn’t have as pretty colors and that could use some paint.  I decided to paint the shells different silver colors: silver and a brushed nickel.  Again, don’t ask me why, it just seemed like a good idea?

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After I painted all sides of the shells and they dried, I brought them inside and went on the hunt for a glass container to put them in.

They ended up sitting in our office for the longest time, but when I was pulling out my Christmas stuff, they seemed like the perfect accent to the white sea shells, and blue / silver / white sparkly balls I had from Michael’s last year.  I put them all in a glass container that had some rope wrapped around it, and put it in the kitchen.

Bam. Coastal Christmas in a glass bowl.

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Overall this just took me 10 minutes, and there was no cost.  That’s the best type of craft, even if it’s months until you actually use it.

Not really sure this counts as a project, or even a blog post, but I just like the way they look and wanted to share!  Metallic spray paint can do wonders to your stuff, and this is the time for metallic everything!

DIY Shell Necklaces

Last weekend I felt a twinge of inspiration and decided I wanted to try my hand making some basic jewelry.  Outside of making earrings once at summer camp in Callaway, and hemp necklaces, I’ve never made any jewelry.  Who knows where this came from, but I had an idea, so I headed to Michael’s to figure out what I needed to execute, and naturally found some other stuff I liked.

Sea Shell Statement Necklace

What you’ll need:jewelry01

  • Sea shells
  • Drill
  • 1/16 mm drill bit
  • Paint
  • Paint brush
  • Clear sealer spray
  • Jewelry pliers
  • Necklace chain
  • Jewelry ring clasps

Since I had really no idea what I was doing, I spent a lot of time at Michael’s figuring out what I needed.  Once I had the supplies I thought I needed, I started with the shells.  Before painting them, you need to drill a hole in them to attach it to the necklace.  I grabbed my drill and a 1/16mm drill bit and started slowly drilling the hole.

Make sure the hole is close enough to the edge that the ring clasp can get through it, but far enough away so it doesn’t break.  This was actually easier than I anticipated — I wasn’t sure how drilling into the shell was going to work.  When you’re done, you should have a little hole at the top.

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Once the hole is drilled, it’s time for paint.  Pour a glass of wine, break out a bunch of paints and shells, and start painting.  I wasn’t really sure what I was doing, and just chose some random paints, and went to town.  Next thing I knew, I had some painted shells.

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After the colors on the shells were dry, I sprayed some clear sealer on top of them.

Next, I chose my favorite painted shells and made them into necklaces.  Using the jewelry pliers, I opened one of the ring clasps, put it through the hole in the shell, put a necklace chain in the ring, and closed it so the shell and chain were inside.

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I ended up finding the best chains at Hobby Lobby.  Michael’s had shorter chains (16″ or 20″), and although I bought one, I ended up wanting something longer.  Hobby Lobby had some 30″ chains in a few colors that were the length I was looking for, plus they were adjustable.

This is what the finished product looks like:

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At this point I’ve turned 5 of the shells into necklaces.  I even wore one of the shell necklaces to a Women in Tech event and got some compliments which was kinda cool.  Yay for homemade!

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I’m looking forward to wearing my GT navy & gold one next week for the Clemson / GT game!

As I first mentioned, while I was at Michael’s I saw some turquoise beads I really liked (different sizes of these), and decided to make a simple necklace with those too.  This was ridiculously easy, and I just strung them on some thin brown leather, and tied it around my neck at the desired length.

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I’m actually pretty happy with how the shell necklaces and turquoise necklace turned out!

I think I might make some and list them on my Etsy shop – so let me know if you want one with special colors!  College game day colors maybe??

Oyster Shell Candles, Pt 2

I know I’ve already made and blogged about the oyster shell candles before, but with the recent Etsy orders, I’ve really perfected the process, and it’s way better than my first attempt at making them.  Here’s the new, and improved oyster shell candle making process:

Oyster Shell Candles pt. 2

oyster candle 05What you’ll need:

  • Oyster shells with a deep shell
  • Soy wax
  • Wicks
  • Candle pour pitcher
  • Fake pearls
  • Hot glue gun
  • Cookie sheet
  • Aluminum foil

First up, where to find the supplies.  I went to Hobby Lobby one day after work to see what kinds of wax they had since melting down tea lights isn’t really efficient.  I found a pack of unscented soy wax that looked perfect to use, plus I grabbed 8 ft of zinc core wicks, and a candle pour pitcher.

Once I had better supplies to work with, I had to prep the shells.  The first time, I tried to find shells that perfectly stayed up, which is a lot easier said than done.  I found that adding fake pearl feet to the bottom keep the shells upright, which makes less of a mess while pouring wax, or lighting the candles later.  So, hot glue 1-4 pearls to the bottom of your shells to keep them sturdy while standing upright.

Now, prepare for the candles.  Pour some of the soy wax into your candle pour pitcher, and put on your stove on low heat.  While the wax is melting, cover a baking sheet with aluminum foil, and put your shells on top, ready for wax.

Once your wax is melted, slowly pour it into the shells, one at a time.  I’ve learned not to try to fill the shells all the way up, and to pour some, let it sit, then pour some more to avoid spills.

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As the wax cools, cut your wicks.  It seems like wicks about 1″ – 1 1/2″ are the perfect length.  I try to have some already cut, so I can quickly get them in the candles at the right time.

The wax has to be the right temperature for the wick to easily go in the wax, and remain upright.  If the wick falls in, just pull it out, and try again in a few minutes.  If the wax has already cooled too much, make a small divot with your fingernail, put the wick in, and pour a little more wax on top.

As the candles cool with the wicks in them, you can figure out if any of them need more wax.  If they do, add a little at a time, until they look full without spilling.

Let the candles cool overnight, and then they should be ready to use!  Cleo had to inspect my last batch of candles… and she agrees they’re much higher quality than the first ones I made.

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Don’t want to make your own candles, but like the look? Reach out to me on Etsy — I’d be happy to make some for your event!