Sea Shells Far From the Sea Shore.....A Mirrored View

One can't say enough about shells....their shapes; colors; and sizes from a tiny spiral to a large conch- shells have been a part of decorating through out history. Shells add beauty whether displayed in a dish, or on a shelf or, in my case, adhered to an old mirror.
I had a large oval gold-painted mirror that had some rose bas relief along the rim but only in a few places so I wanted to fill in the whole rim to make the mirror more sculptural looking.
I used a putty type product called Laticrete to apply the shells to the rim, working in small sections so the adhesive wouldn't dry out too fast.
It's waterproof and used to set tiles. It has a creamy consistency and I used a putty knife to apply then set the shells into the soft putty.
After the putty was dry, I decided to paint the mirror plus the shells in white, with several coats, using up some white paint I had leftover in my basement.
I thought white was an appropriate color, where I could envision the mirror in a beach house at the Cape, or in a contemporary loft in the City, or cozied up Shabby Chic style in a vintage cottage. I love the mirror in white, it's so sculptural with the shells, and you really have to walk up and look closely to verify they are shells, which makes it all the more interesting.
On another mirror, I decided to keep the shells in their original forms, and I again used putty to attach the shells, but I added some black acrylic paint to the putty to darken it to a gray color so the shells would stand out more. I also painted the inside rim in black so the shell color would pop, and give a nice contrast rim around the mirror.
I worked with the putty in small sections at a time, fitting shells and adding tiny shells into small openings, filling as many gaps as I could find with more shells. This mirror was in pretty bad shape, so by covering it with the shells, the life was saved with a little hint of it's history at the top. (And yes, the mirror is hanging on some bead board that I painted the wall color and then hand painted the seams of the bead board slats in me crazy, but for this accent wall in the bath, it works really well and didn't take all that long to do.)
The last piece I did with shells, but certainly not the last piece I will use shells on, was a memento box I had covered in shells as a card box for my wedding. This box now holds trinkets and memories and the shells encircled a favorite photo of ours on the lid.
Shells will always be a part of my home decor, and though I may not live by the seashore, the sea is remembered by the tiny treasures found on beaches and in thrift stores that share their natural beauty... off shore. Read full story on my blog.

Taylor @ TayRose Design
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4 of 25 comments
  • Jan Jan on Jul 05, 2017
    I love all your projects, and I know I can make similar ones. I especially love the first mirror and the box, and I believe I have all the supplies for those two ideas. I have a decorative mirror - I love the idea of mixing the shells in with the ornate carvings already on it! I also have a small cedar box that used to have a picture glued onto the lid, but it was wearing off, so I removed it. A family photo and a shell border will be lovely!! Thanks for the inspiration!!
    • Taylor @ TayRose Design Taylor @ TayRose Design on Jul 05, 2017
      Thank you Jan, I love using what is around or found. I just got a wall mirror at an auction and I think I will putty broken plate shards around should be fun...I'll post it when I finish. Have fun with your projects!
  • Paula P Paula P on Jul 19, 2017
    These are just beautiful. I have a mirror above my bed that I painted, big mistake, that I can now save with shells. Thank you for inspiring me.