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Memories become Mirrored Seashell Tray

I'm constantly impressed with how my "beachy blogging friends" showcase seashells in their homes. I've seen many used in craft projects and displayed in dishes, bowls and baskets.  One that caught my eye recently was on Shellbelle's Tiki Hut  blog.  She showcases some of her seashell and beach treasures in this fabulous cabinet...

Shellbelle displays her gorgeous seashells
in this glass-shelved cabinet.

I am also absolutely in love with Shellbelle's vase and the mirror it sits upon...

Shellbelle's Tiki Hut featured this vase and mirror!

In addition to my ever growing shell collection, I also inherited quite a collection from my Mother.  In fact, my Mom left me so many that my guest room closet has boxes filled with jars of shells.  After looking at Shellbelle's site I thought I'd use an old mirror (purchased at a garage sale) in combination with some of my Mom's seashells.

$3.00 Garage Sale Mirror

One of several jars of inherited seashells

I started my project by separating the seashells into similar types and sizes...I love the little tiny starfish that Mom had.  I decided to keep them to add very last since they are so delicate.

...then I pulled out all the cracked shells that were found in Mom's stuff as well as ones that I had kept.  The broken and cracked shells were to become the first layer around the frame.  A hammer and kitchen towel folded over them makes it easy to break the seashells into manageable pieces.

A glue gun with lots of glue sticks made the job of gluing on a nice base coat of broken shells as easy as pie!

I worked on the project off and on over a four day period ~ adding layer after layer. Making sure to cover both the inside and outside of the frame completely. Once the last shells were attached and glue dried, I applied three coats of gloss varnish to seal and protect my masterpiece!

Completed project with gloss varnish applied

Since I'm short on wall space I decided not to add a hanger on the back (as well as the project weighing quite a bit!) so thought I would use it as a centerpiece on my dining table for now.  I can change what sits on it depending on the occasion or my mood.  I'll fill it with a bunch of candles once Autumn and the Holidays arrive...the candles flickering will look lovely in the mirror below. Once my Master Bath remodel takes place it may end up being on my vanity...we'll see!

The completed mirror holds a bunny to celebrate the arrival of Summer!

I'm glad that I decided to do this project ~ I think that I'll try Gorilla Glue next time (since I keep hearing how wonderful it is!) and I don't really enjoy the glue gun burns like I use to! LOL! Seriously, I am extremely happy with the end result and it's a really nice way to remember my mother and her love of the ocean.

Join us for a party!

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  1. Your project is beautiful!! It came out so good! Love that look!! And I think I just may be able to tackle it myself...except for the fact that I don't live near a place where I can easily pick up seashells!! The varnish really makes it look nice...great job!!

  2. Your mirror looks gorgeous. I've never thought of having a mirror tray - but now I think I might just have to make one too! I love how you've used varnish too.

  3. Gorgeous, Sally! And great idea to break not so perfect pieces up..., have to keep that in mind, and think of a project!

    Oh, and I'll be featuring your beach bottles topped with shells on Completely Coastal this coming weekend.

  4. What a perfect way to showcase your memories! I LOVE the tiny star fish! Thanks for helping us have a great Tuesday at Anything Related! ~Bridgette

  5. That turned out great!! It is nice to be able to display treasures that we have, especially ones that have memories!

  6. Oh, I am so honored that you shared my seashell treasures with your readers. AND your mirror came out beautifully! Isn't it relaxing to design with shells? Well, unless that hot glue gets you. I use Goop (the one for Plumbers). I've used Gorilla glue for other projects, but on shells you get those "strings" just like hot glue has and its on the thin side. Goop is thicker and stays where I want it.

    Gorgeous job, kudos!

    I also have shells collected by my mother and my grandmother. They, along with my dad, taught me to love our oceans and beaches.

  7. Oh, I almost forgot, I came by to tell you I'm having a giveaway and you know it's something for the beach!

  8. I love the glass display case. Beautiful!!

  9. Now that is nicer to see the shells then to keep them in boxes isn't it. Looks great!

  10. Awesome job and thanks for the tutorial. I'm off to make a shell project!! oh, and clean up the drool off my keyboard ;). hehehe

  11. Hi Sally, first of all thank you very much for visiting and liking my blog...
    Although right now I am not living in any coastal city but it is in my blood. and I love some very typical beechy decor your this sea shell mirro is such a nice piece of creativity.. really love it very much
    I am your newest follower too
    hope you come again..

  12. Wow! That looks adorable. You did a great job with your shell mirror tray. Great project, thanks for sharing it.

  13. I love it! I'm going to feature this on "My Top Ten Fav Picks" of Masterpiece Monday on Thursday. Thanks for sharing, Mary :O)

  14. I love it! I'm going to feature this on "My Top Ten Fav Picks" of Masterpiece Monday on Thursday. Thanks for sharing, Mary :O)

  15. Beautiful and very creative! Great diy project to bring a summer / beach feel into the home. Not too mention a unique keepsake from an enjoyable family vacation!
    Sure Fit Slipcovers

  16. Very pretty. I was wondering about the burnt fingers. I know I would have lots from all that delicate glue work. I like to use E-6000 glue. It really beats burnt fingers and holds really well.


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