Oyster Cloister

Ever go to the beach and collect shells?

Ever bring home said shells in a giant ziploc bag?

Ever trip over a giant ziploc bag of oyster shells that has lived under your laundry room’s utility sink for over a year?

Ever smell a giant ziploc bag of year-old shells?


Promise me right now you won’t.  It’s like whiffin’ a bowl of six month old tuna salad in the back of the fridge.  Not that I would know.  Nothing in my house smells bad.  Even our diapers smell like my boys pooped butterflys.


So this post has a point.  Let’s get to it.  I found a bag of very stinky oyster shells from an old vacation in my laundry room (you gathered that already, huh?) and I was feeling crafty.  So I made this…

Super simple craft.  First you need to soak your shells.  I soaked mine in white vinegar for a few hours to get rid of the funk.  Then I gathered my supplies.  I used some scrap plywood cut in a circle, a glue gun, some old brownish gray paint, and your shells.

First I painted my round piece of wood.  You could probably get a precut piece at the craft store…I have so much stuff in our workroom that I just went down there and pulled some outta the scrap box.  I did two coats of paint (I dried it between coats with a hairdryer because I’m dedicatedtowallart like that).

After it was dry, I laid out my shells.  I tried to use my bigger shells for the first layer….then filled in the empty areas with smaller shells.

Then I just used my glue gun to attach them to the board.  Really complicated huh?

Fill in the center and continue gluing.  Eventually your shell art will look filled out and more like its blooming…

Pretty flowertastic, huh?!

The overall effect is really textural and fun.  I think if I had access to a bunch of these I would make one giant oyster shell art wall hanging.  It would be huge.  Like three feet across.  How pretty would that be over a bed?!   Kinda like one of those gorgeous juju hats except with shells instead of feathers.  So what have you been crafting lately?  anything trippy?  anything shelltastic?

p.s.  I also write for Wayfair!  And this week, I got to chat about The Golden Globes fashion…click here to read all about it!



  1. says

    LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this idea! I don’t even think I would care if it stinks it has so much awesome texture and shine!

  2. says

    This made me laugh. The restaurant I worked at this summer had a sister restaurant across the pier from us that was an oyster place. We collected all the oyster shells (we got yelled at for putting them through the dishwasher… woops) and then we would write little messages in them and give them to our customers. (Think “I got shucked in Boothbay Harbor, ME”, “No pearl here, better luck next time…” etc.) But after we got yelled at for sending them through the dishwasher we ended up collecting them in buckets outside the restaurant so we didn’t have to smell them (there were probably at least 200 of them.) Well they were sitting outside and one day I was washing the windows and looked out and saw this woman grab her husband by the arm. She pointed to the bucket, then looked around to make sure no one was watching (obviously she didn’t look very hard as I watched her the whole time) then she and her husband starting stuffing them in her purse, a grocery bag, in her pants pockets- anywhere she could fit them! Then they looked around and went scampering up the hill (dropping shells behind them ala Hansel and Gretel they were so loaded down). I am not sure why they didn’t just ask if they could have some- we would have said yes- but we were all laughing at how bad they must have smelled walking around town with rotting oyster shells. I hope she made something fun with them after all that trouble!

  3. says

    So funny! Growing up on the beach, we always had an abundance of shells – and we still have tons of oyster shells here in California…. now if I could only find my glue gun.

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