Sunday, 24 March 2013

Shell Craft Passed On!

When I was a little girl, my grandparents went on their holidays to Salthill. For those of you who don't know; Salthill is a seaside resort west of Galway city. They would spend lots of their time there on the beach and always took home lots of lovely shells. In Ireland, it's mostly cockle and mussel shells to be found on our beaches.
When they got home, I watched in amazement as they used these shells to create beautiful lamp bases and plant pots.
They would get empty oversized whisky bottles and cover them in what I think was Polyfil to stick the shells to the bottle. When dry, it would get a layer of varnish which would give it a lovely aged look. They added a light fitting and a shade and you got something a bit like this...

So, years later, I decided to give it a go.
I had this horrible, cabbage-like framed mirror that I got as a gift. The frame accidently broke (no, really) so I couldn't hang it up.

 In addition to my shell collection, I picked up some extra small shells and some resin star fish from a craft store online. I got some polyfil from the hardware and got to it. Firstly, I had to fix the crack in the wood with some glue. Then, I spread a small section at a time with polyfil and starting sticking. It's more difficult than you might think. You have to work fast as the filler dries so quickly. I had to enlist help from Mr. Auburn. I was not built for speed when it comes to crafting!!

After a couple of coats of vanish, this is how it turned out...

One thing I simply had to include was a little gold charm. In my grandparents' house, high on a shelf in the kitchen was a shell covered plant pot they had made. There, glistening from between the shells was a tiny gold spinning wheel charm, it fascinated me as a child. So, I sourced some tiny ships wheels on eBay for my mirror...

My shell mirror has pride of place...

in my vaguely nautical themed upstairs bathroom...


  1. Oh I am a bit of a shell and rock fanatic. Every trip we take that involves the ocean means that I have to go collecting on the beach. I will have to post at one point what I do with my shells and rocks. They hold such wonderful memories and strolling the beach looking for them is such a wonderfully relaxing activity. I love your little picture frame and I love that lamp!! Great ideas.

  2. That turned out so beautiful. I especially love the little touch of the gold spinning wheel. I'm new to following you. I clicked thru from Magali at The Little White House On the Seaside.

  3. Thanks so much for visiting and for your kind comments! I am your newest follower. I look forward to reading through all you entries. My ancestors, the Sullivans and Harringtons, emigrated from Ireland.

  4. It turned out awesome. I love the gold charms and the starfish. I wonder how you came up with such a lovely and regular pattern when you had to work so fast. Great job. And that bathroom looks like I want to see more of it!

  5. OMG, I love it and what a transformation. Love those little wheels, x

  6. What a brilliant idea! The mirror looks really sweet now and just right for a bathroom.

  7. Great mirror. I did a similar thing some years ago when the boys were young..they helped and of course loved gathering all the shells! Lizzie

  8. Your shell crafts are amazing! I just love anything that reminds me of the beach! Thanks for sharing!


You might also like...

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...