Beautiful Upcycled Scallop Shell Trinket Dishes

Claire Armstrong
by Claire Armstrong
5 Materials
1 Hour

My local supermarket sells in the frozen food sections one of my favourite dishes "Coquilles St Jacques". The dish is always presented in lovely large scallop shells. Because I love this dish so much I have quite a collection of these shells. I decided to upcycle some of them into gorgeous trinket shell dishes to give as gifts.

I discovered some gorgeous vintage fish images which I used to make an IKEA lamp (see it here) in the past this time I decided to use those images again with this upcycle.

I decided the best ways to upcycle these shells and make them pretty was to decoupage them. I wanted the grooves and ridges of the shell to still show though. I wanted it to look like the images had been printed onto the shells.

The best way to achieve this was to use tissue paper. I used masking tape to stick tissue paper onto normal printer paper. That way I could feed the tissue paper through my home printer and print onto it.

I choose some wonderful free fish images from here. I printed them onto the tissue paper using my home computer.

I cut the image out of the tissue paper. As the paper is so thin I could cut around a border as the white tissue paper doesn't show when glued to the shell.

I applied Mod Podge to the inside of the shell and then stuck the fish down. I then used a dry brush over the top to get rid of bubbles and to press the image firmly down to the shell.

To make these trinket dishes special I also decoupaged the outside of the shells. For this I printed some lovely patterns onto tissue paper the same way as I did with the fish. If you go to the blog link at the end there are lots of links to free patterns to use.

I covered the back of the shell with decoupage glue and stuck down the pattern.

I used a wet brush to remove an excess tissue paper.

Once the decoupage had dried I then applied a layer of Mod Podge over both the back and the front of the shells. This acts as a protective varnish when dried.

I love how the shell trinket dishes turned out. Using tissue paper the images actually look like they were printed onto the shells. Don't forget to visit the site for more photos and lots more free vintage images to choose from for your own shells.

I choose fish images for my shell dishes as I thought they were a good match. However, you could use any images you want even photos of a special seaside holiday.

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Claire Armstrong
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  • Gabrielle Falk Gabrielle Falk on Aug 10, 2020

    I've used shells (bit larger than oyster shells), to make Coquilles St Jacques (scallops - roe/orange bit removed - with a white wine sauce) - little bit of chesse on top, put under griller (broiler) just for a very short time, remove immediately when cheese slightly changes colour, you don't want the scallops to be tough - and serve with a wedge of lime or lemon. Only a small mouthful, but they are delicious and very easy.

  • Dl.5660408 Dl.5660408 on Aug 11, 2020

    I’d love to have a school of those!