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.

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!


Disclosure: the links in this post may be affiliate links.

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Jeweled Christmas Tree Craft

Jeweled Christmas Tree Craft


Jeweled Christmas Tree Craft

An easy, DIY holiday craft that adds sparkle and shine to your Christmas decor!



Jeweled Christmas Tree Craft


So while scoping out the aisles at Hobby Lobby, I came across these containers of “jewels”. Now you know me, I can’t resist holiday shine, so I was thinking hard on what I could do with those boxes of jewels for the holidays.

As luck would have it, I had papier-mâché Christmas trees in my cart. I also had bags of feathers (which I still may make up), and some cranberry picks (which again, still may be made up) in my cart. So I sat in the aisle trying to determine if the papier-mâché would support the jewels, or if the weight of the jewels would crush the papier-mâché.

I decided to chance it (like I was going to resist the sparkle!), and stuck a silver and multi-color box in my cart, and went on my merry way.

For this craft I used:

• Papier-mâché Christmas Trees
Mod Podge
Spray Adhesive
• Round Multi Color Acrylic Stone Mix
• Round Silver Acrylic Stone Mix
• Pewter Spray Paint
Small, flat head paint brush

Note: disregard the glue gun, I didn’t use it.

Jeweled Christmas Tree Craft


Jeweled Christmas Tree Craft


The first thing I did was set up a paint box, and spray painted my papier-mâché Christmas Trees pewter. I used pewter because I had that color in the house. Silver would have worked too as the predominant jewel color I used was silver.

Jeweled Christmas Tree Craft


Jeweled Christmas Tree Craft


The big fat negative of buying an assorted color packet was I only wanted certain colors. So, I had to pick through for the colors I wanted. I ended up tossing the rejected colors into small bowls. I may do a similar craft for Easter.

Jeweled Christmas Tree Craft


Once I decided on my colors, I sprayed some spray adhesive on my tree, and went to work gluing on the acrylic “jewels”. (Hereafter just called jewels)

I desperately wanted a random pattern and found myself making flowers and matching colors on occasion. I started on the small tree first, and got better at the random on the taller tree.

Jeweled Christmas Tree Craft


I worked in small areas quickly before the adhesive dried. One of the issues I had with the spray adhesive was when I over-sprayed older adhesive with jewels already stuck on the tree, it would loosen the old adhesive and some of the dried jewels would come away on my fingers.

I did learn to let the adhesive dry for a good 45 minutes in between jewel applications. If there was a hole in my jewels, I would use mod podge later (see below) to fill in the area.

Jeweled Christmas Tree Craft


I started on the smaller tree and worked from the bottom up. On the larger tree, I worked from the top down. Top down is the way to go. I found that once the teeny tiny jewels were attached, it was easier to add the large jewels than to have the large jewels attached, and add the small ones.

Jeweled Christmas Tree Craft


Jeweled Christmas Tree Craft


Whether I started at the top or the bottom of the tree, the jewels at the top were attached with mod podge. The negative to the mod podge was it was thin and wet and didn’t grab the jewels, so I was “building” the small jewels one on top of each other. This meant I could only work in small sections as I had to allow the mod podge to dry completely.

Jeweled Christmas Tree Craft


For spaces in between adhesive jewels, I buttered the back of a jewel with mod podge, and attached it to the tree.

Jeweled Christmas Tree Craft


Eventually I got a lot better at just randomly picking up jewels and attaching them, but not before I finished the small one with some obvious designs.

Jeweled Christmas Tree Craft


The first, smaller tree took me twice as long as the second, larger tree. It just got faster as I found my groove. And when I was about 3/4 of the way done with the first tree, I started the second tree. If I were to do this again I would do two at one time, but I would not advise it without getting a feel for the craft first. You’d probably be able to start the second tree when the first tree was about 1/3 done. You just do one tree, set aside to dry, do the second tree, set aside to dry, and come back 30 minutes later to start the first tree. I was able to work approximately 10-15 minutes per adhesive spray before it dried to much to grab a jewel.

So, to do this craft:

• Spray small amounts of adhesive spray on the tree.
• Adhere jewels.
• Allow to dry 45 minutes at a time (so your area is completely dry).
• Work top to bottom – or at least do the very top of the tree before doing the body of the tree.
• Fill in holes with mod podge buttered jewels.

This craft could not possibly be easier. It is time consuming though. Larger acrylic jewels would make it go faster, but you have to make sure they are not so large that they will have trouble laying flat on the tree.

I wish I could have taken a photo that does these justice. They are simply stunning in person. They are light weight (which surprised me), and beautifully sparkly!


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Pine Cone Holiday Place Card Holders

Pine Cone Holiday Place Card Holders


Pine Cone Holiday Place Card Holders

Adorable, easy to make DIY Pine Cone Holiday Place Card Holders: Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner seating cards made from pine cones!



Pine Cone Holiday Place Card Holders


In my quest for easy DIY holiday crafts, I stumbled across this one on either JoAnns or Michaels website. While in Michaels one day, I gathered up the things I didn’t have at home to do this craft – which consisted of mini terra cotta pots and tiny pine cones. Then I got to thinking… if someone wants to do this on the spur of the moment, just how many people have tiny terra cotta pots sitting around? Pine cones? Possibly. Mini terra cotta pots? Unlikely.

So I considered what could make a this craft festive, easy and support the weight of that small pine cone, and decided that candy cups could probably work. And they are a whole lot more likely to be had in the average household than terra cotta pots.

With that in mind, I decided to give both a try.

For this craft I used:

Epsom Salt (not pictured)
Small, flat head paint brush
Gold Gilding
Silver Gilding
• Small Pine Cones
• Glue Gun and Glue Stick
Candy Cups
• Sharpie
• Post-its
Mini Terra Cotta Pots (you can get a 4pk at Michaels for under $2)
• Ribbon

• Note: in the photo is spray adhesive. Disregard. It was a big, fat failure.

Pine Cone Holiday Place Card Holders


So let’s start with the terra cotta pots project. I will admit those were simple!

I sorted through my bag of tiny pine cones and found a few that fit into the mini pots.

Pine Cone Holiday Place Card Holders


Using a flat tipped paint brush and silver gilding, I lightly painted the ends of the pine cones.

Pine Cone Holiday Place Card Holders


And that was it. Seriously. Took a few minutes to dry and I was done.

Pine Cone Holiday Place Card Holders


I wrapped a few with a wired ribbon, scribbled a name on a post it, and stuck it inside the pine cone scales. Took about 10 minutes to do all four, and that includes dry time.

Pine Cone Holiday Place Card Holders


On to the candy holders. I decided to double them up for more stability. And that was when I decided the Epsom salts would probably be a good idea for more support and weight.

Pine Cone Holiday Place Card Holders


I poured a bit into the candy cup holders, and poked my finger in, placed the pine cone in the indenture, and painted. That worked fine, but I thought there should be a bit more stability, so I got out the **gasp** glue gun.

Pine Cone Holiday Place Card Holders


Now I have often stated that I would hot glue my fingers together if allowed anywhere near a glue gun, so it was with some trepidation I took this monumental step. Nevertheless, I felt hot gluing the pine cone to the candy cup would be better for support (to keep the pine cone reasonably straight), so the glue gun got plugged in.

And I hot glued the bottom of the pine cone, slapped it into the candy cup, held it in place for a few seconds while the glue cooled, and did not burn myself!

I did, however, drop the glue gun on the floor immediately after first use, and smelled something funky – which I promptly ignored.

Pine Cone Holiday Place Card Holders


I then added a bit of Epsom salts for more weight and stability.

Pine Cone Holiday Place Card Holders


I again painted the edges of the scales with silver gilding.

Pine Cone Holiday Place Card Holders


I again scribbled a name on a post it, and stuck it inside the pine cone scales. Again this took about 10 minutes to do all four, and that includes dry time.

Pine Cone Holiday Place Card Holders


These are freaking adorable! I have them set aside for Christmas dinner.

Pine Cone Holiday Place Card Holders


If you are looking for a quick, cute craft for your holiday table, this is certainly easy enough.

Pine Cone Holiday Place Card Holders


And depending on how much of this stuff you have in your house already, the cost is minimal.


Disclosure: the links in this post may be affiliate links.

• If you enjoyed this post, be sure to sign up for the Ann’s Entitled Life weekly newsletter, and never miss another article!

• For more Holiday posts on Ann’s Entitled Life, click here!

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