Quick Gift: Gold Oyster Dish

While cleaning up I finally remembered to save oyster shells for a project I have been meaning to do forever – gold painted trinket dishes! I am by no means the first person to do this, but I thought I would share anyway.
They are insanely easy. However, if I give you one for Christmas, ignore that part and pretend I worked super hard on it…
First, I boiled the oyster shells for about 20 minutes (truth, I got distracted and forgot they were boiling, so 20 minutes is really a random number). This killed anything left living on them, like surprise other mollusks – like the pink guy in the picture below – and algae. It also cooks what is left of the oyster so that it a. comes off easy and b. you don’t barf from the smell of old oysters while cleaning them.
Once boiled and cooled, I scraped off the left over oyster gunk (the scientific name) and scrubbed them inside and out with steel wool.
Finally, I gave the insides (and one outside) two coats of Liquid Leaf. Love that stuff. I was going to use silver too, buuuuut I couldn’t open it. Yes, I did try running hot water over it. And a wrench. Nada.
Honestly, I spent WAY more time tricking you into thinking my bedside table always looks nice and taking pictures than I did making these.
In addition to holding jewelry, you could use them as little salt cellars on the table, though you may want to use a food-safe sealant first.
Or as a soap dish – smaller guest soaps work best. I tried it with a regular bar of Dove and it looked a little ridiculous. This is a travel sized bar. And yes, I also painted a clamshell and am pulling a fast one on you.
So there you have it. Have some friends over, eat oysters, drink champagne and then spend 25 minutes making them all Christmas presents. Boom. You are welcome.
Julia Fabens
Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!

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