Friday, November 21, 2014

Mussel Shell Christmas Tree Decorations

My Mom loves Christmas decorations and holiday craft fairs.  It’s been increasingly more difficult for us to find birthday gifts for her.  Since I’ve been Pinteresting and crafting a lot, I found some inspiration and made her Christmas decorations from mussel shells that we saved from our Spanish inspired dinner.  It was actually quite easy.  The hardest part was finding time to go through the process of putting everything together. It’s a good thing I started early. 

I first let the shells air dry for a couple of weeks on a sheet pan in the garage.  I could have left them for a couple days and they would have been ready, but I didn’t have time to do anything with them for a few weeks.  After they were fully dried out, I was able to pull the feet off the shell with no problem.  I then boiled the shells and scrubbed them down.  I boiled them a second time with a good scrubbing for good measure and put them back out to dry.  A few weeks later, I lay them on a tarp and sprayed them with a clear spray paint.  I saw on Pinterest (I’m hooked) that you can spray shells and they will remain wet looking so that their opally insides are shinny all the time.  A week later, I finally got to assembling the mussel shell Christmas trees.  This could have all been done in a week or two (with drying time), but it took me almost two months because I didn’t have time to sit down to do anything.  I still need to make my mom a third tree, but need to find time to put it together. 

I've had this little mechanism for a while but always forget to use it. I will never forget again.  You just clip this onto your spray paint and it sprays a nice, even coat. It's amazing.  I highly recommend this for anyone who spray paints frequently.  It was only around $8.00 at Home Depot.


Chris said...

Hello! I'm just starting to make this for Christmas - I'm making one oyster and one mussel tree (or that's the plan!) I was wondering what spray you used to get that shiny look, whether there's any other way to do it than spraying (painting instead?) and what glue you used to stick the shells to the cone? Thanks!!

Allison Fong said...


I used a standard high gloss clear spray paint.