Many people hoard furniture, kitchen gadgets, collectibles, cats, all kinds of stuff. Me? I hoard shells and crap I find on the beach. So at this very moment in our garage, there’s an entire bag of driftwood, an entire bag of barnacles, a bag each of turkey wings, scallops, and cockle shells, an entire bucket of seabeans, and a bag of oyster shells and a frustrated husband. All aside from my normal shell collection of course. They’re all just so beautiful and perfect for crafts! It’s not even the marine biologist in me, it’s the crafter in me!
A few years ago, my fellow crafty friend Jenny and I were perusing one of the higher end home decor shops in Port Aransas and saw some huge, beautiful oystershell candleholders, which they were asking upwards of $100 for. We looked at each other and said “we can make that!”. We started amassing oystershells from beaches when we could and a few months later, went to the annual Oysterfest with friends as we do almost every year. Sometime between huge beers and many plates of raw oysters, it dawned on us that we were at the oystershell motherload and we needed to do something. So we were the two weirdo blondes carrying wet, disintegrating boxes of discarded, dirty, slimy oyster shells to our cars. So gross, even for us biologists. I wish we had a picture of us in action that day….sorry guys, we’re taken.
It was all totally worth it though cause for years now we’ve been making pretty spot-on replicas of the fancy store candleholders (Jenny even made this amazeballs chandelier out of them too). I still have shells left from that day so I whipped up another one to share with you guys!
Supplies for DIY Oystershell Candleholder
- bivalve shells (any species with two shells: oysters, scallops, etc.) – I encourage collecting your own or hitting up a local seafood place for them rather than buying online
- styrofoam balls
- hot glue gun….lots and lots of hot glue
- spraypaint (optional)
- glass votive holder
You can line the top with felt too if you want (like the scallop one below), but I just left this one bare since you can’t really tell once the votive is on it.
To hide the styrofoam better, put the shells in at a slight downwards angle and try to overlap them. Some styrofoam can still be seen if someone you look at it closely, just put it down low and give mean looks to your friends that say anything :) You can always put a piece of rope or something around the bottom where it shows the most, I was lazy and didn’t since this one will be on a low end table.
They are pretty fragile so move them around carefully and don’t pick them up by the shells. If one gets loose or pops out, you should be able to hot glue or super glue him back in though.
The next one I want to do is out of the huge cockle shells. It’ll be a biiiig one!!