Our youngest daughter and I were in one of those little shops a few years ago and I admired a large, over-the-fireplace-type seashell mirror in all white shells. A mere $1000.
I could do that, I told myself.
My guy brings home stuff he finds when out and about. Some of it’s pretty good. Some of it’s tacky. Some of it doesn’t ever make it across our threshold. But, you never know just what treasures he may
This was the first mirror. Note to self: Do NOT use sandpaper to remove stubborn glue from glass. It will scratch. Take the time to fully mask off with tape and paper the glass surface before beginning any work.
This is E6000 clear glue. I tried rubber cement, Loctite, and other glues. This is hands down my favorite.
Fortunately, I had two old mirrors on hand. Masked off the next very well. Sprayed it white. I chose white because I wanted the frame to disappear behind my shells--which I was leaving natural. And I had a can of spray white on hand.
Next, I sorted out all the shells in like kinds I'd been hoarding from trips to the beach. I purchased more at TJMaxx and asked the waiter for my escargot shells at dinner one night. This takes a lot of shells. And I wanted pretty shells. My found shells were a bit bland.
Work from back to front. I trimmed it with a rope glued on the edge. Next, glue background, throw away shells (I had also saved oyster shells) as filler to cover frame.
I didn't want a specific top or bottom. I wanted to hang it vertically or horizontally. I placed prettier shells around edges with larger or more unique ones in the center of each side and at corners.
I broke an old fake pearl necklace and hid pearls in some of the shells.
Propping up each layer of shells took creativity. I used anything to get the right height and angle for individual shells: other shells, small cans, small tools from my work bench, folded papers, etc.
I wanted it to look natural, so the shells were cleaned, but pretty much just as they were found. No oiled surfaces, no poly spray.
For more details, see http://barefootaffairs.com/making-my-own-sea-shell-mirror/.
- Found & purchased shells (TJMaxx)
- E6000 glue (Hobby Lobby)
- Mirror (Thrift shop)