Apothecary Jars with Seashells

Apothecary Jars with Seashells


So the burning question for the past week was what I was going to do with all the seashells leftover from making my seashell mirror? Come on, you know you were wondering.

Apothecary Jars with Seashells


Well, some I just plopped in a bowl. There were some beautiful, large shells in what I purchased, and I had a simple gold bowl I bought at Home Goods last year just sitting around gathering dust. I figured if it was going to be dusty, why not be dusty with pretty seashells sitting in the bowl?

This looks spectacular in person. It never ceases to amaze me how something so simple can look so good. Sometimes, less truly is more.

This bowl now sits on the small table next to the couch in out TV room/office in our condo.

Apothecary Jars with Seashells


I still had a lot of leftover seashells, and I wanted to use them as decor instead of pushing them into a closet for a future project that will never happen, where you just know they will get broken.

I like the look of Apothecary Jars. My grandmother had a small set she kept scented, decorator soaps in for years. Since Apothecary Jars are so versatile, I figured, “Why not seashells!?”

Apothecary Jars with Seashells


The first thing I did was give the Apothecary Jars a good wash, and dried them thoroughly.

Apothecary Jars with Seashells


I then poured a bit of sand at the bottom of each Apothecary Jar so the seashells would have some “cushion”. I wasn’t looking for them to move around and/or break in the jars.

Apothecary Jars with Seashells


I then started layering seashells in the Apothecary Jar, making certain the “interesting” parts were showing outward. At this point I tried to pour in more sand hoping it would spread around the seashells, but no luck; it just buried them. Out went the excess sand, and I settled for a base.

Apothecary Jars with Seashells


I repeated the process for all three Apothecary Jars.

Apothecary Jars with Seashells


I had purchase a bag of smaller (not tiny) shells when I was at a local store a few weeks ago. Hey, it was only four bucks! Aand yes, I fully recognize I have the making of a “seashell problem” and need to stop.

And I will.

Soon.

I am glad I purchased them though, because they filled in what would be gaping holes between the medium sized seashells I put in the Apothecary Jars. Very large seashells did not fit in these Apothecary Jars at all.

Apothecary Jars with Seashells


There was a bit of finagling at the top between filling the jar, and closing the lid. In the end, I settled for one larger (still medium sized, but on the larger end of medium) at the top for interest, and so I could place the lids on the jars.

Apothecary Jars with Seashells


The decor around the beachy minty green dresser is coming along now. This is in the guest bedroom, and I am really aiming for a Florida/Beachy/Ocean feel in that room. Almost there! (No, nothing is cockeyed, I was just standing off to the side to take the photo and it came out looking a tad off.)

Used to make this craft:

Activa Décor Sand Floral Candle Sand, 28-Ounce, White – you can get by without the sand. I used it more on my second project. And “white” is definitely in the eye of the beholder on this one. More like er, sand color.

• The remains from: U.S. Shell, Inc. Large Designer Bag– I purchased two bags of these, and I was glad I did. They were larger, and covered a great area. They were an excellent value for the money, and I did a pick-and-choose out of both the bags leaving the leftovers for two other projects.

• The remains of: U.S. Shell, Inc. Shell Mix

• Small seashells purchased locally

Designer Clear Glass Apothecary Jars (3 Piece Set)

Last week I had spent $125 on seashells plus a mirror. This week I sent an additional $40 on Apothecary Jars, $4 on another bag of shells, and the bowl was $13 (last year). To date I have spent $182 and I have made up: a Seashell Mirror, a set of Apothecary Jars with Seashells, a Decorative Bowl filled with Seashells, and I still have some leftover seashells that I hope to showcase in a super simple craft in a few weeks.

All I can say, is that is a lot of decor for the money!!


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How To Make A Seashell Mirror

How To Make A Seashell Mirror. Easy step by step instructions to make your own seashell mirror saving you hundreds of dollars over retail on this simple DIY project.


How To Make A Seashell Mirror

Easy step by step instructions to make your own seashell mirror saving you hundreds of dollars over retail on this simple DIY project.



Down at the condo we have a guest room that is pretty beachy. The furniture is minty green and wicker and the walls are white. The decor is all beach themed down to the lamps and bedding. I wanted to add a mirror over the dresser, and decided a seashell mirror would be just the ticket!

And then I went on a hunt for a seashell mirror.

Acrylic mirrors could be had for under $200, but real seashell mirrors were running $700-$1000.

Yikes!!

There was no way I was paying that, so I decided to make my own seashell mirror.

I started poking around the internet and discovered that this was pretty doable, and pretty easy. The cost was the only factor. Hubby wanted to know why I just didn’t run down to the beach and grab some shells there – ummm no… who knows what is living in them, they are not clean, and they are basically just clam shells, and nothing “interesting”. Now at home I have a giant box of shells that I gathered a few years ago just sitting in a box. Those I will probably use this summer to make a frame. I figure whatever was growing on them died in that plastic box a few years ago. So, if they are clean (I will have to research, but I think a boil would be good), I will use them.

But that didn’t do me much good down here in Florida… on the beach… and yes, I recognize the irony. So off to Amazon I went to purchase a whole lot more shells than I actually needed (which leads to next week’s project!)

How To Make A Seashell Mirror


How To Make A Seashell Mirror Materials

This is everything I purchased and/or used to make this seashell mirror:

US Shell, 36 Piece, White Scallop Sea Shells, 4 to 5 Centimeters in Size – Clam shells formed the bottom base. I ordered one pack, and my frame is 24″ x 28″. The one pack covered most (but not all) of the frame. That was ok, because there were other clam shells in the other packs I purchased.

Hinterland Trading Sea Shells for Decoration, 1-Pound, White – these were smaller and I wish I had ordered a second package. They hid a multitude of sins!

U.S. Shell, Inc. Large Designer Bag– I purchased two bags of these, and I was glad I did. They were larger, and covered a great area. They were an excellent value for the money, and I did a pick-and-choose out of both the bags leaving the leftovers for two other projects.

U.S. Shell, Inc. Shell Mix – this mix was a home run! It had unusual shells that I used as highlights in the corners.

U.S. Shell, Inc. Extra Tiny Mix Collection – for me these were a complete waste of money. There was no way in hell I was going to hot glue these to fill holes. I would have fried my fingers off. When they say tiny, they mean tiny.

Activa Décor Sand Floral Candle Sand, 28-Ounce, White – you can get by without the sand. I used it more on my second project. And “white” is definitely in the eye of the beholder on this one. More like er, sand color.

US Shell, 6 Piece, Assorted White Armoured Starfish – I didn’t use these on this project. They were pretty darned large, and so I used them for other decor.

Mod Podge – the mod podge is only necessary if you are using the sand.

Small Paint Brush – a small paint brush – only necessary if you use the sand.

Glue gun and glue sticks – an absolute must!

• White Spray Paint – if your frame isn’t white or a light color that works with the beach motif.

• Scissors and/or cutter – to cut off the 2,748,943 strings leftover from the hot glue.

Rust-Oleum 249845 Painter’s Touch Multi Purpose Spray Paint, 12-Ounce, Satin Clear – to seal it all at the end.

I did not have a mirror for this project. I knew the approximate size I wanted which was 24″ x 24″. Sooooo off to the area thrift stores Hubby and I went.

St. Augustine has a lot of thrift and consignment stores for such a small populous. I think it is because so many retirees move down here, and then either all the stuff they brought down doesn’t fit in the new house/condo, or they pass away and their heirs do not want the hassle of shipping furnishings 1000 miles away. Hubby and I found a lot of decent things for our condo in thrift and consignment stores,so off we went to look for a mirror.

How To Make A Seashell Mirror


I found a mirror that was 24″ x 28″ for $20 the third store we looked! YAY!! It was dark brown, but that wasn’t an issue.

How To Make A Seashell Mirror


I just painted the mirror white. More important than the color was the fact that the frame was fairly wide (2″ around), and flat (so I could adhere the shells).

Before painting, I covered the entire frame with painter’s tape and masking paper. I wanted to avoid scraping glue (and paint) off the mirror later.

How To Make A Seashell Mirror


After I taped off the frame, I gave it a couple of coats of white paint, including the edges, allowing each coat of paint to dry completely.

How To Make A Seashell Mirror


Once dry I set up a table (that I covered) and set to work! The first thing was a bottom layer of clam shells. I wanted a base. I laid out all my clam shells so they covered the frame making certain I had enough before I even started. After that, I just ran my glue gun (on low – I burned myself a few times on high, so low it was!) along the edges of the underside of the shell, and placed it underside-down (with the hot glue) on the frame. It adhered and dried almost immediately, so there really was no moving those shells… they landed where they landed.

How To Make A Seashell Mirror


I then set about adding a layer on top of those clam shells, again using the hot glue and gluing the edges of the shells. (Note: you can use Goop or Marine Goop and it will work well and dry clear.)

How To Make A Seashell Mirror


And then added another layer and another layer, all using the hot glue. I worked the corners first. In my mind the corners were going to be heaviest, and the middle of each of the sides and bottom was going to be a lighter shell application.

How To Make A Seashell Mirror


Not everything I purchased was used. The most important thing I did before gluing was laying out the shells, and taking a step back to see how it would look.

Once the frame was filled in to my satisfaction, I walked away and left it alone for a day. The next morning, I came back to the frame with a fresh eye to add more shells where I felt there were bare spots.

How To Make A Seashell Mirror


How To Make A Seashell Mirror


I then saw a few (ok, a whole lot) of imperfections, and so mixed together some sand and mode podge to camouflage a few. In no way did this cover everything (these are natural shells, of course there will be imperfections!), but I covered more than a few.

Honestly I could have skipped this step. I don’t feel it added a ton to the overall look of the project.

How To Make A Seashell Mirror


I then gathered my leftover shells for other projects. I proceeded to clip off all the strings of glue all over the shells! There must have been a hundred of them. Once I thought I was done, a few dozen more seemed to pop-up out of thin air!

How To Make A Seashell Mirror


How To Make A Seashell Mirror


Hubby and I laid out the completed mirror on his paint table. We then sprayed with the Rust-Oleum 249845 Painter’s Touch Multi Purpose Spray Paint, 12-Ounce, Satin Clear. I did not want a gloss, I wanted as little shine as possible. We waited overnight for it to dry completely, although it was probably dry after just a few hours.

How To Make A Seashell Mirror


Since our hangers were not white, we painted them white to match the frame.

Why you may ask?

How To Make A Seashell Mirror


Well, after I finished the mirror Hubby picked up the frame to hold it against the wall for hanging… and the wire snapped! We were told at purchase that the wire would support 50 pounds (the mirror weighs less than 20 pounds finished), but apparently it was old or not well twisted or something. Hubby ended up rewiring it with all the shells attached! before it was hung!

I think I would advise anyone doing this project to hang a 50 pound weight off the hanging wire before one shell is attached just to be certain it will hold the weight.

How To Make A Seashell Mirror


Then it was back to testing where I wanted the mirror hung before we took off the paint tape and mask. After the rewiring, we saw the wire was going to probably show the top of the hanger, so the hanger and pins were painted white.

How To Make A Seashell Mirror


This is a close-up of the upper right of the mirror.

How To Make A Seashell Mirror


This is a close-up of the lower right of the mirror.

How To Make A Seashell Mirror


This is a close-up of the bottom of the mirror.

How To Make A Seashell Mirror


This is a close-up of the lower left of the mirror.

How To Make A Seashell Mirror


This is a close-up of the upper left of the mirror.

How To Make A Seashell Mirror


This is a close-up of the top center of the mirror.

How To Make A Seashell Mirror


All in all I am thrilled with how this came out. For about $125 total (for three projects, more later), I saved a minimum of $575 over the lowest priced real seashell frame I could find online that I would actually hang in my house.

If you are interested in a seashell mirror, this project could not possibly be easier! Go for it, and do it yourself!


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DIY Holiday Shimmer Candles

DIY Holiday Shimmer Candles


DIY Holiday Shimmer Candles

These beautiful DIY Holiday Shimmer Candles are an easy to make and produce beautiful, sparkling results!



As many of you know, I am in no way, shape, manner or form, crafty. This means if I can do a craft, anyone over the age of 5 (and probably a bunch of 3 and 4 year olds) can do the craft. So no excuses from you all for not giving this a go!

I am also not one to jump on a fad. I like tried and true. So something has to show signs of sticking around for me to take the time to investigate if it is a piece of decor. And Mason jar crafts, for better or worse, seem to be sticking around.

I decided to try my hand at a Mason jar craft after finding six cases of Mason jars down the basement, all courtesy of Hubby’s non-existent canning projects. I think he’s canned twice since he laid in his canning jar stock. Twice.

Now it is also true that I love, love, LOVE glitter!! Just another thing I have in common with your average 5 year old. So, when I found the Mason jars, I decided I would like to glitter them up! And with the holiday season right around the corner, the timing was perfect.

Off to JoAnn’s I went to get some craft supplies. I decided to go with super fine glitter. It just looks nicer. I also needed a spray to seal the super fine glitter onto the Mason jars when I was finished. Ten minutes and $65 later (what? you thought I was gonna stick to my list!? Heck no. I got a buncha stuff that had nothing to do with this project. JoAnn’s is dangerous that way…) I was on my way home to glitz-up some jars!

Now before I decided to do this, I read a lot of posts and watched a few videos. For the most part, they were either A ) fails or B ) I am craft-challenged (and the two are not mutually exclusive) because man, when I tried what they said things did not go well. Ever see a river of gold glitter slide down a jar? Well I have. Don’t put a glob of mod podge inside a jar and just swish it around. It spells disaster and it will never dry. Take it from someone that learned the hard way, with glitter, use a fast drying adhesive spray if you are glitzing-up the inside of a jar.

So, that was my disaster, and these are my successes! I did quite well in that regard as I was 6 for 7. Not too shabby for a craft-challenged-gal.

DIY Holiday Shimmer Candles


I started with these craft supplies:

Mod Podge
• Extra Fine Glitter in 24 Karart (gold), Sterling (silver) and Crystal
Epsom Salt
Rubbing Alcohol
• Lint free rag (baby diapers work well)
Mason Jars
Spray Adhesive
Sealer
Small, flat head paint brush

DIY Holiday Shimmer Candles


First things first: clean out your Mason jars with rubbing alcohol using a lint free rag. A bit in the jar, swish it around, and rub. For the exterior, apply using the rag and wipe clean. Allow to dry.

DIY Holiday Shimmer Candles


My first holiday shimmer candle attempt was just to fill the Mason Jar a bit with Epsom salts and add a candle. Very pretty snow effect! And, since I just put in 3/4 of a cup of Epsom salts, and added a candle, there was nothing to screw up.

It looks lovely lit too!

Epsom salts are mostly water so not flammable. As a matter of fact, I got a few granules on the candle wick and it took F-O-R-E-V-E-R to get that wick lit! I had to scrape off the granules, and then wait for the wick to dry. It still took a while for the lighter to catch.

Tip: don’t let your candle wick come in direct contact with the Epsom Salts.

DIY Holiday Shimmer Candles


So keeping with the Epsom salts, I decided that since they aren’t flammable, why not play?

Epsom salts start clear but turn white the longer they are exposed to air. In a week they will be white as snow, so perfect for a holiday craft!

I painted mod podge inside my Mason jar.

DIY Holiday Shimmer Candles


Added 3/4 cup of Epsom salt,

DIY Holiday Shimmer Candles


and swirled it around so the entire inside of the Mason jar was coated with the Epsom Salts. I removed any extras. Seems counter productive because I add fresh Epsom salts later to stabilize the candle, but not with the stuff I swirled. I was afraid that some would mix with the glue and harden into a lump.

DIY Holiday Shimmer Candles


I allowed to dry overnight, then added some fresh Epsom salt to the bottom of the container, a candle and lit it! Isn’t it lovely (honestly this is my favorite one in person. It is just beautiful!)

DIY Holiday Shimmer Candles


Now I moved on to the glitter! YAY Glitter!!

After the interior mod podge/glitter disaster (see above), I decided to line the inside with glitter using the adhesive spray.

I gave the inside of my Mason jar a good spritz all around, then quickly dumped a decent amount of glitter inside my Mason jar. I swirled until the inside was completely covered. I had to add a bit on a few bare spots.

DIY Holiday Shimmer Candles


After I completely covered the inside of my jar, I tapped the excess onto a sheet of aluminum foil for later use.

DIY Holiday Shimmer Candles


I allowed the gold glittered Mason jar to dry overnight.

DIY Holiday Shimmer Candles


I poured a small quantity of Epsom salts into the bottom of the jar, added a candle and lit it.

This is one beautiful jar! I am just not sure it is non-flammable, so be careful if you do this – I wouldn’t want you to start a fire in your house!

DIY Holiday Shimmer Candles


On to the exterior in the crystal glitter. Now the crystal glitter is one of my favorites! The greens, blues, pinks, whites combine to make for an unusual, translucent quality.

To accomplish this, I “painted” the exterior of a Mason jar with the mod podge using a flat tipped paint brush. Most people will be able to find these in the craft or acrylic paint section of their local paint store.

DIY Holiday Shimmer Candles


Sprinkle lightly with the glitter. I did this over the same aluminum foil as I shook off the gold as I wanted a multicolored jar to finish the project.

When sprinkling the crystal colored glitter, it is a bit tougher to tell if you got the entire jar, so hold it up to the light to be sure you completely covered everything. I wiped off the excess from the upper rim (that overflowed my “clean line”) with rubbing alcohol.

DIY Holiday Shimmer Candles


Again I allowed this to dry overnight, sprayed with the sealer (so I won’t have glitter everywhere in the future), poured a little bit of Epsom salts in the bottom for stability and so it would look like “snow”, and added a candle. Since this one is a bit see-through, I chose a colored candle for contrast. It looks beautiful!

DIY Holiday Shimmer Candles


For the silver glitter, I chose to just rim the top of the jar. I painted the screw portion of the jar, and removed excess glue (that overflowed my “clean line”) with the rubbing alcohol.

DIY Holiday Shimmer Candles


I think sprinkled the rim with the silver glitter, again over that same piece of aluminum foil. I wiped off the excess (that overflowed my “clean line”) with rubbing alcohol.

DIY Holiday Shimmer Candles


I let dry overnight, sprayed with the sealer, added a bit more Epsom salts for candle stability and “snow”, added my colored candle, and lit it!

DIY Holiday Shimmer Candles


I had high hopes for this one, but I honestly do not care for the effect. *shrug*

DIY Holiday Shimmer Candles


Now it was time for my multicolored jar!

I had to add more glitter to what I had gathered on the aluminum foil as I wanted full coverage. I mixed the glitter well with my fingertips. Just like with the crystal glitter, I painted the exterior of my Mason jar with a flat tipped paint brush, and wiped off the excess with rubbing alcohol (that overflowed my “clean line”). I covered the entire exterior painted exterior with the multicolored glitter on my aluminum foil.

DIY Holiday Shimmer Candles


I turned this one upside down to dry. Since there was nothing on the rim, I figured “why not?”

DIY Holiday Shimmer Candles


I let dry overnight, sprayed with the sealer, added a bit more Epsom salts for candle stability and “snow”, added my white candle, and lit it! This one is totally gorgeous in my opinion!

DIY Holiday Shimmer Candles


When I dried these, I kept them all together on a cutting board. If you have cardboard or a tray, that would work too. Line them as glitter will fall off and it is a lot of “fun” trying to scrub it off the cutting board.

DIY Holiday Shimmer Candles


DIY Holiday Shimmer Candles


DIY Holiday Shimmer Candles


DIY Holiday Shimmer Candles


And here is the finished product. Now I took these photos in the dark, but my flash did cause them to light up a bit. Probably for the best.

DIY Holiday Shimmer Candles


If you are looking for an easy holiday project, this is definitely one to investigate. I was pretty happy with both the lit, and unlit results, and if you try this project I think you will be too!


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