Easy to Make Oyster Shell Mirror

This DIY Oyster Shell Wreath is so easy to make and adds instant charm to your home decor. Not only perfect for coastal decor, but suitable for other decor styles as well.

Create, D.I.Y., Decorate, home decor | June 16, 2017 | By

I am so excited to show you how easy it is to make this Oyster Shell Mirror…seriously easy! And truthfully, it’s all about the glue…

With a few exceptions, I have always lived on the coast. My dad was a submariner in the US Navy and well…submariners need to be where the deep water is. So I lived a blessed childhood growing up in places like Hawaii, Guam, Charleston, SC and San Diego, CA. When Terry and I moved to Nashville, TN for a job, I was pretty excited to live ‘kind of’ in the ‘heartland’. And while I loved Nashville, I always felt a little like a fish out of water so when the opportunity came, we went back to the shore and will probably always live close to the ocean. 

Guess that makes me a mermaid of sorts.

All this to say, while I wouldn’t say I am a full on ‘coastal decor’ gal, I do welcome those pops of the sea scattered throughout our home.

For several years I’ve been hankering for an Oyster Shell Mirror. I’ve seen them at various stores, but could never justify the hefty price tag. This one is the perfect size, but I couldn’t quite swallow the $1,000+ ticket. 

Since I had many bushels of oysters from a past project sitting in my garage, the seed (or pearl?) was planted that I could make one myself. Inexpensive and easy to make DIY idea! Illustrated instructions to make an Oyster Shell Clusters or Oyster Shell Balls for your coastal/natural home decor.

Oyster Cluster

And since I just never really loved the stenciled mirror I made several months ago, I had the round piece of wood with a mirror in the middle. With those two critical oyster shell mirror ‘ingredients’ sitting in my home, it was just a matter of taking the time to put 2 and 2 together.Base for Oyster Shell Mirror

I started this project months ago, but it just wasn’t coming together for me. I was using E6000 glue which I find useful for most things, but it just wasn’t ideal for this project.  I needed something that was tacky and stiff enough to hold the shells in place while I moved them to where I wanted and that was also easy to apply. After going through 2 tubes of E6000 on only 1/4 of the mirror, I knew I needed to find a different adhesive.

And while I was noodling adhesives, this mirror with a few oyster shells glued around it lay in the garage, dodging cars and bikes and a teenage boy on his way to the spare fridge. Shockingly, it refused to break…which was a constant reminder to me that Kismet wanted me to figure it out.

I initially thought of plaster of paris, but was afraid that would add weight that I didn’t really want on something that was going to hang on the wall.This DIY Oyster Shell Wreath is so easy to make and adds instant charm to your home decor. Not only perfect for coastal decor, but suitable for other decor styles as well.

So I took trip to my hardware store and met my new BFF Larry. We weighed all sorts of options and finally settled upon a quart of TEC Stick N Stay which is primarily used in flooring. It was easy to apply and after 24-48 hours, my oyster shells stayed in place. (That being said, make sure your surface isn’t slick at all…I had some places that had metallic paint that just didn’t have enough ‘tooth’ for the adhesive to grip to. I sanded those areas after I realized why the adhesive just wasn’t gripping there. You can see what I’m talking about in the video below.)

In terms of where to find oyster shells, you can surely buy them online…but, if you’re willing to work just a wee bit, you might be able to get them for free. If you have a fish market or restaurant that sells shucked oysters, call to see if you can collect the shells. Our fish markets have piles outside their back door that they are more than willing to let me pick through.

What I Used for a 36″ Oyster Shell Mirror

  • 50-60 pounds of cleaned oyster shells. I soaked them in bleach water and then scrubbed any yuck off. I then let them dry in the sun for a couple of days.
  • You won’t use all 60 pounds, but that should give you more than enough to pick through for the right sizes/shapes.
  • Plywood in the shape you want
  • Heavy duty Picture Hangers
  • Mirror in the size and shape you want
  • TEC Stick n Stay, 1 quart is all I needed for this project and I have about 1/3 of the quart remaining. You can find it in the flooring department of your hardware store. This stuff made the project so very easy and easily accomplished in a morning…granted, I started at 6 a.m.
  • Small trowelThis DIY Oyster Shell Wreath is so easy to make and adds instant charm to your home decor. Not only perfect for coastal decor, but suitable for other decor styles as well.

How I Made My Oyster Shell Mirror

  • Make sure your wood is clean and primed. I had some leftover silver paint on parts of mine and the adhesive really didn’t want to stick there. I had to go back in and sand that part after the oysters still weren’t sticking several days later.
  • Placing the oysters on the mirror is best likened to putting a puzzle together. I wanted them to get bigger in size as I went out from the middle, but not all oyster shells ‘layer’ with each other well. This is why it’s a good thing to have more than you need so that you can pick and chose the ones that work best.This DIY Oyster Shell Wreath is so easy to make and adds instant charm to your home decor. Not only perfect for coastal decor, but suitable for other decor styles as well.
  • I put a good glob of the Stick n Stay on the parts of the oyster shell that would be touching the board or other shells.This DIY Oyster Shell Wreath is so easy to make and adds instant charm to your home decor. Not only perfect for coastal decor, but suitable for other decor styles as well.
  • This video shows how I made the oyster shell mirror

  • When all the oysters were in place, I glued ‘tiny white cup shells’ (yup, that’s the name) along the edge of the mirror to finish it off.This DIY Oyster Shell Wreath is so easy to make and adds instant charm to your home decor. Not only perfect for coastal decor, but suitable for other decor styles as well.

I LOVE THIS MIRROR!!!!  It really turned out so much better than I had hoped and was really easy to make. This DIY Oyster Shell Wreath is so easy to make and adds instant charm to your home decor. Not only perfect for coastal decor, but suitable for other decor styles as well.

It took me several hours, I spent one full morning on it…but it really was quite fun figuring out what shell would work where…like I said, it was a bit of a puzzle. And it is the perfect dash of coastal that I wanted in our bedroom. This DIY Oyster Shell Wreath is so easy to make and adds instant charm to your home decor. Not only perfect for coastal decor, but suitable for other decor styles as well.

Pin it for your future reference:

This DIY Oyster Shell Wreath is so easy to make and adds instant charm to your home decor. Not only perfect for coastal decor, but suitable for other decor styles as well.

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Hugs, 

 

 

 


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Oyster Shell Cluster

Comments

  1. Leave a Reply

    Linda Johnston
    June 16, 2017

    I don’t comment much. I just wanted to let you know how much I like and appreciate your blog. This project is next on my list! I’m Gulf Coast girl! This will look sooooo good in my home, Thanks.

    • Leave a Reply

      lynn
      June 16, 2017

      Hey Linda! Well all the more reason for me to thank you for taking the time to comment today! And thanks too for your kind and encouraging words. I know you’ll be able to get your hands on some oyster shells in your area…my husband’s family spent a good deal of time in Panama City and so know you all have access to great seafood down there.

      Thanks again for stopping by and wishing you a fantastic weekend.

      Hugs, Lynn

  2. Leave a Reply

    carole
    June 16, 2017

    Wow you brought a whole new level of amazing beauty to oyster shells. I grew up off Puget sound in a fishing family which means oysters were always for dinner often. I love this project looks fun and so simple to make. Thanks for sharing I have a friend who will also love this.

    • Leave a Reply

      lynn
      June 16, 2017

      Oh Carole I am so glad you might have found a wee bit of inspiration…and glad your friend might enjoy it. It was really easy to put together once I figured it out and I do so love it.

      Wishing you a lovely weekend.

      Hugs, Lynn

    • Leave a Reply

      lynn
      June 16, 2017

      Aw thanks Robin! I am really so pleased with it…and had a good time putting it together. I’d do it again in a second.

      Thanks for popping by.

      Hugs, LYnn

  3. Leave a Reply

    Mary
    June 16, 2017

    Lynn this is absolutely stunning! It makes quite a statement when you walk into the room. Sadly we don’t have oysters around my way but if they did I would definitly try this.

  4. Leave a Reply

    Carol
    June 16, 2017

    Lynn, I REALLY love this mirror! I’ve always wanted to try making a seashell frame for a mirror, but even that takes a ton of work and using the right shapes and sizes in the right places. Using these oyster shells look a tad easier and its gorgeous!

    • Leave a Reply

      lynn
      June 18, 2017

      Thanks Carol…do you have oysters in Lake Michigan? If so, you could surely accumulate enough.l

      Hugs my friend.

      • Leave a Reply

        Carol
        June 18, 2017

        Lynn, Lake Michigan is all fresh water which means zero oysters! If you’ve got tons to spare or could get your hands on more, I’ll gladly pay you if you bring them to Haven with you. I’m actually driving down from Michigan this year and hope to hook up with Tammy along the way!

    • Leave a Reply

      lynn
      June 18, 2017

      Thanks Marci…it really looks great in my room with all the subtle and calm colors in there. I would make another in a minute…really quite a fun project once I figured out the right adhesive.

      Thanks for popping by.

      Hugs, Lynn

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