I decided to redecorate my bathroom in the ubiquitous beach / seashell theme, but decided that the walls were too naked for my liking. With a less than $20 worth of parts I was able to add some real flair to the "throne room!"
This is my first instructable, so I would love some constructive criticism :)
Step 1: Materials ...
1. Set of three "wall cube" shelves from Target ... about $15.
2. Seashells. I was lucky to find these for $1 a basket at Dollar Tree. I only opened two baskets & didn't even use all of them, so I had plenty.
3. Craft foam, also $1 a pack at the Dollar Tree. I only ended up using most of a single cube, so I had plenty left over.
4. Hot glue gun & glue sticks.
5. Cutting board.
6. Sharp knife.
Since I already had the knife / cutting board but bought everything else, I think the whole thing cost me under $20 for the parts I actually used (I bought more than I needed).
Step 2: Cut the Foam
You don't want the foam to take up the entire cube, and it only needs to be flush against the front of the cube (you don't want it sticking out). I cut one cube in half, then cut each "skinny" square into pieces.
Step 3: Attach Foam to the Inside of the Cube
Before you start gluing, make sure you know which side of your cube is the top when hung up on the wall (check the keyhole hooks on the back). If you plan on building in the bottom-left corner, you don't want a nasty surprise when you turn it back around and realize you glued it top-right!
Lay your cube down on the front-facing side, and apply hot glue to the edges of the foam that will mate with the cube. When working with the foam, make sure any cut edges are on the back / in the open space; you want the nice, flat edges to mate with the cube and give you a flat work surface. Attaching with the cube face down will make sure the foam is flush with the face.
Once the foam is stuck to the inside of the cube, run a bead of hot glue along the seams. Don't worry about being messy, it'll be hidden by shells.
Step 4: Start Attaching Those Shells!
Here's the fun part! Let your inner artist run wild!
Start by layering your shells, biggest on the bottom, smallest on top. Make sure you overlap where the foam attaches to the cube. Be generous with the glue, any that squishes out can be removed with a paring knife / Xacto knife.
A little tip to hide glue bulges in the joints where shells meet is to use tiny shells on top.
To apply shells, I found it easiest to find the broadest, flattest portion of the shell and glue that part down first. Since the glue stays soft for a few minutes, you can then see where the rest of the shell touches the foam / cube, gently lift it up, pump a little glue under it, and press it back down.
Use long, skinny shells or large, broad ones to support smaller ones. Add plenty of depth. Don't limit yourself to just the foam corner, that's just where the focal point of each cube will be.
Step 5: Clean Up Your Glue, Mount on Wall and Enjoy!
Hot glue doesn't take long at all to set, so you will be able to hang these up pretty quickly after finishing. Before putting them up on the walls, clean up any hot glue "hairs" (tweezers would be helpful for getting between shells) and any ugly globs you didn't hide with shells (I didn't really do any clean-up on mine, so I don't have any pictures).
Follow the mounting instructions included with your cubes.
Now go enjoy your beautiful new seashell wall art! And make good use of all the leftovers - waste not, want not! I saved the small baskets for a future project, and made good use of any leftover shells (I never did open the third basket).