Make Your Own Beachy Souvenirs!

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“MASTERPIECE” CLAM SHELL ART

I live in a beach resort town on the North Coast of Oregon, 18 miles down the coast from historic Astoria.  We can brag that the Louis and Clark Expedition camped on our beach and set up a salt works to turn the ocean water into salt.  I love living here and am proud that folks come to our town to have fun!  Some weekends in the summer our population swells from about 8,000 to well over 30,000!

All year long I gather shells and driftwood from the beach and the easiest shells to find are razor clam shells. I make a lot of souvenir items for local shops with these shells.

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I usually decoupage mermaids onto the shells with sayings like “She who would seek for pearls must dive below”.  Or decoupage pieces of napkin like this:

 

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I cover the inside of the shell with extra fine crystal glitter and apply a silver glitter edge plus add a pretty teardrop for some extra romance.

If the price is cheap, I buy coffee table books with fabulous photos.  Some of them are nautical with photographs of famous paintings of sailing ships.  I thought it would be fun to turn a painting masterpiece into a masterpiece of a souvenir!  When I made the first one, I didn’t take photos for a tutorial.  So I got out a book to show you the process from the start.

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Some folks can’t bear to tear the page from a book, but it is sitting on the shelf gathering dust and it makes me feel happy to bring what was hidden to a new life.

 

Cut out the scene and coat the back of the paper with ModPodge and let the glue soften the paper so it is a little “soggy” to the touch.  That way the paper is easier to mold to the clam shell.  With DRY HANDS massage the paper on to the shell making sure the scene is STRAIGHT.  After the ModPodge is completely dry, trim the edges to be flush with the clam shell.

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If you apply a coat of Diamond Glaze to the paper it will actually make the paper look as though it is an actual painting…it is really magic! I wait 24 hours before I attach a hanger.

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You could certainly put a hanger on the new little “masterpiece” and it would be beautiful as is but I must feed my glitter addiction.  LOL  I put a thin line of glue on the edge of the clam shell and sprinkle on silver glitter.

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To make the hanger, cut a piece of wire 5″ long and fold in half then twist into a loop.

 

With a needle nose plier make two loops and then turn the ends up.  Squirt some hot glue on the curled up ends and cover with a piece of paper.  Hot glue really adheres to shells, so you don’t have to worry about it holding.

If you don’t want to try making your own ship shell, consider gathering clam shells anyway!  Instead of decoupaging ships, it would be fun to decoupage a photo of the family flying kites on the beach or building a sand castle.  Just print out the photo on regular inkjet paper and cover with the diamond gloss to make your own beach souvenir!

Author: Patty Thurlby

I am a full time artist with a whimsical point of view!

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