I had a perfectly sound mirror that was chipped and tacky. It remained hidden in a closet. I'd seen seashell mirrors in cute little boutiques down at the coast. I'll make my own!
I lightly sanded the frame and sprayed it with white paint. This was just a background color to blend with the shells and I used a can of white I already had.
After letting it dry all day, I began placing my seashells around the edge.
The first thing I noticed were my shells– there was nothing special. TJMaxx, of all places, has bags of shells you can buy for $10-$20, depending on the size and variety. I bought seven starfish for $10. A variety bag for $20 of cute shells.
Step 2: Best Glue ... EVER
I had glue on hand. Some E6000, you’ve all heard me rave over. I also had some Loctite and contact cement. Before I was finished, I’d tried them all. And... once again, E6000 ... best glue EVER.
Note to self: I did not...out of pure laziness...cover my mirror with paper and mask it off. Big mistake. HUGE.
I scratched the glass trying to remove some of the glue. Ditch this mirror.
My guy brings home stuff. He brought home a perfectly good, cheap mirror. He does this, brings home random items he runs across. Some are great. Some never cross the threshold. You just never know.
This one was a winner. It was a lifesaver since I'd just ruined a perfectly good mirror.
It did have beveled glass, but the frame was just a pressed, embossed-to-look-like-it-was-carved wood. Painted gold.
Step 3: Start Over With Next Mirror
I taped --very well-- and painted the replacement mirror. Then, I picked up where I'd left off with first mirror:
Work from back to front. I trimmed it with a rope glued on the edge. Next, glue background, throw away shells (I had also saved oyster shells) as filler to cover frame. I didn't want a specific top or bottom. I wanted to hang it vertically or horizontally. I placed prettier shells around edges with larger or more unique ones in the center of each side and at corners.
Step 4: Give It a Little Bling
I placed shells around each side in a pattern, but not an identical pattern. Mother Nature is a bit random and I wanted this the same, but I did want it balanced. Also, I wanted to be able to hang it vertically or horizontally, so I placed what could be considered “focal” shells on all four sides.
I broke apart some ancient earrings– really ancient, from as far back as the 70s– and used the pearls as hidden treasures inside some of the shells.
Step 5: Ta-Da!
I've now hung this in a dining room, over a spinet piano, and over our guest bed as a headboard. It looks great.
For more details and some details I learned the hard way ... come see us at -- BarefootAffairs