Playing with sand and shells

I pretty much ALWAYS have some beachy decor items in my space at Stars.  But I usually create most of them all at the same time; once or twice a year.  A couple of sunny spring days usually gets me in the mood for creating some beach goodies.  Here’s what I done lately:

Big 1 liter bottle partially filled with sand and shells, and a fingerling starfish as a topper.  If the starfish isn’t big enough to perfectly fit the hole, and seldom do I find a ‘perfect fit’!; I wrap a bit of white string around the starfish until I get a nice tight fit. Add a little e6000 adhesive to the string to permanently hold the starfish in place.  

(I always ‘glue down’ small parts like this whenever possible.  This prevents the starfish from ‘accidentally’ jumping into someone’s purse of pocket; AND prevents the curious child from seeing if he can pour the sand and shells out on the floor!


These bigger starfish (I think they were called sugar starfish??) fit perfectly in the hole in a candle holder.  I t takes a lot of glue to fill the hole and hold onto the starfish, so I usually use tacky glue for this.

I have to ‘prop’ it up against a wall while until the glue sets enough to hold it steady.  These starfish are pretty heavy, so they tip over easily until the glue dries all the way.

Vintage Chambord (Raspberry liqueur) bottle I made the same as the first big bottle with shells, sand and a starfish topper.

Lots of small, simple ones with just a shell glued to the top.  For this I use e6000 around the rim of the bottle, then just set the shell in place.  Play around with shells to find which ones fit which bottle openings best.  Some pretty ribbon or jute adds a nice finishing touch.

A grouping of shell topped bottles in my BIG lantern in my space at Stars.

LOVE playing around and changing up the little vignettes inside this big lantern.  I was planning a post with a bunch of different groupings inside, but my computer ATE all those pictures.   Guess I’ll just have to work on more for a later time!

A little tray filled with assorted shell topped bottles.

Thrifted urns and candle holders; painted white.


Some topped with handcrafted shell balls.  Yes, I really did individually glue on every single one of those little shells using tacky glue.  The best way I’ve found to do this is, glue on one shell, and surround it with one row; stop and let your glue dry.  Then add row by row, letting dry in between each row.  Hot glue just does NOT work with a styrofoam base!

What’s up with the focus on my camera!  sheesh!!!   Guess I’m calling this one a ‘shell scape’ .  Glued the one big starfish into the candle hole  with tacky glue and let that set up.  Then gradually added the rest until it looked like it had enough!


Bigger, and IN focus (Hallelujah!) shell scape.  This one on a pillar candle base, was a little trickier to get started.  Glued  two of the big scallop shells together first,  let that dry; then glued them onto the base along with the bigger starfish, and the big shell in the front.  It was pretty precariously standing in place, but once the glue set up it was plenty sturdy.

Back side.

As with the other one, I just kept adding shells until it ‘looked right’ to me.



How cute is that mini fishbowl on the left?!?  I was looking for some containers with wider openings so I could put bigger shells inside.  These worked just right, using a sand dollar as a topper.  Just glued a sand dollar and a tiny starfish to the front of the smaller bottle.


One sand dollar didn’t quite cover the entire top of this one, so I added a second one.

I buy a lot of my shells at the dollar store.  Sand dollars I’ve mostly found at thrift stores.  The starfish I had to buy on line.  Used two different places.  I just look for the cheapest price/shipping.  STAY AWAY from sites that sell shells and mention the word WEDDING.  Their’s will be the most expensive!  Sad, but true.

I’ve seen all kinds of interesting things filling old gum ball machines.  One vendor at Stars had a big black machine and filled it with glitter covered chess pieces!  Of course, shells came to mind when I saw this white one at the thrift store!

Pretty much all of these shown have gone to my space at Stars.  I hope to get more done and added to my etsy shop, in May; after the spring show.


Latest pictures from our space at Stars Antique Mall in Sellwood / Portland

Restocked, refreshed and rearranged!


Several new turquoise shelves.

Stools and signs.










Will post the rest of the pics tonight or tomorrow.  right now the sun is FINALLY shining, and I’m going out to paint!!

Treasures from the sea: glittered edition

I didn’t have a ‘perfect ready to use box’ for this batch.  So I had to improvise!

This was another note card box, just didn’t have a lid, and not the right color.  Found this piece of ‘crepe’ like paper in my stash that was the right color, and covered the box.  Applied glue to the bottom of the box and plopped it in the center of  the paper.  Then cut away the corners.

Applied glue to each end flap and flipped them over the sides.

Used one of the corner pieces that I had cut away to fill in the middle of the box.

And added a pretty little bow!  (a dot of glue on each corner and center of the bow to keep them in place securely).

Added my six little ‘bon bon’ size fluted paper cups; with a dot of glue to keep them in place.

And filled the cups with some shells I had applied glitter to!

Getting the glitter on the shells was NO easy task!  Tried glue at first and ended up with more glitter on my fingers than on the shells!  Switched to using Mod Podge as my adhesive; which worked much better.  Still, a very time-consuming task.  One . . .little . . . shell . . .at . . .a . . time . . .

On some of them I used needle nose pliers to hold onto the shell while I applied the Mod Podge and dipped it into my glitter.  On some of the smaller shells (which came from old necklaces and had holes in them from being strung)  I used a toothpick in the hole to hold the shell.

MORE of these beauties coming soon in other colors and fun containers!

Published in: on May 27, 2010 at 10:35 am  Leave a Comment  
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Treasures from the sea


Pretty seashell note card box.  Remove and save cards for use later.

Add some fluted bon-bon cups and fill with assorted shells.

Coming up next:  GLITTERED shells!

Published in: on May 26, 2010 at 8:31 am  Comments (2)  
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More new spring things


Watering cans.



Flower buckets.




Vintage world globes.




Beach glass and seashell candle scape.


Embossed wood boxes.



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FINALLY!!! A project to share!

Just a little one, but a project none the less.   Have had these old electric carriage lantern housings sitting around for quite some time.

I scrubbed them up, scraped off the peeling paint, gave then a dose of fresh white spray paint, and added shells and a candle.

This is the biggest one.  Trying to decide if I want to ‘sponge paint’ on a little bit of sandy brown color to the metal housing of the smaller ones before adding the candle and shells.