The beach is our favorite place to vacation. I love spending the day sitting on the beach with my toes in the sand reading a book. Everytime we go, we come home with a collection of shells. I decided they would be the perfect addition to the bathroom.
I began with a set of 5×7 black plastic picture frames from the local dollar store. To add a pop of color, I removed the back and the glass from each frame and using a one-inch foam brush applied several coats of teal acrylic paint. I ended up having to apply four coats of paint to get an even finish. Next, I applied a coat of gloss acrylic sealer I had left over from another project. I purchased three sheets of 8×10 dark gray craft paper, cut it to fit the frames and reassembled them. The hardest part of this step was waiting for the paint to dry so I could add another coat.
Next, I dug through our shell collection and picked for ones that I liked and would work well together. Each shell was cleaned in a bleach solution. I usually try to clean them when we get home from the beach, but sometimes the kids “help”. I wanted to be sure they were all clean before I hung them on my wall. (I did not soak the starfish in bleach for it will cause them to break down.) Each shell them received a coat of clear arylic paint to help seal them. The starfish received a coat of white paint to help brighten them up.
Using a permanent craft adhesive (E6000) I glued each shell directly onto the glass. After the adhesive dried I was able to hang them on the wall. I have to admit I did try to use hot glue. However, this did not work. They appeared to be fine when I hung them. The next morning, some of the shells had fallen off the glass. I’m not sure of the exact cause, but I think the weight of the shells and the limited surface area contributed to this. The E6000 has held for over 2 months, so I would highly recommend using it.
This project cost less than $10 to complete all six frames. This included paint and adhesive.
NOTE: This was such an easy project that my daughter made one of the frames above (I will not tell you which one). She was working on the Home Decorating Merit Badge and this counted as requirement #7. Since she helped me to hang them she also received credit for Home Care and Repair #15.
The merit badge requirements have been greatly simplified here. Please be sure to read the full text in the Girl Handbook to make sure you fully understand the requirements