DIY: Giant Clam Shell

IMG_3230This is one of those projects where I just got really lucky! My Mom has been wanting one of these giant clam shells for a while but every time we find one they’re so expensive- like hundreds of dollars for the really big ones! So of course I went to Pinterest to search for a homemade version.  One of the pins was for a DIY by a girl who found a giant plastic shell serving dish at a thrift store and painted it.  Honestly, I thought it was a dumb tutorial because what are the chances you are going to find one of these plastic bowls?!  I dismissed the idea and went on to thinking about how I could paper-mache one.  But then luck struck and at the Ventura Flea Market, what do you know, I found a giant blue plastic shell bowl- exactly like the one from Pinterest!!

While the Pinterest girl just spray painted hers, I wanted mine to look as realistic as possible with shell-like texture.  This wasn’t a difficult project, just kind of messy and time-consuming.

So first I covered the whole shell in drywall tape.  I actually covered it in masking tape first, but the tape didn’t stick well to the plastic and I figured that it wouldn’t be rough enough for the texture to stick to.  The drywall tape worked really well.  I would recommend putting on a layer of putty as soon as the tape is all in place because it doesn’t hold its stickiness for very long and eventually will pull away from the shell.


Once the bowl was taped, I applied the first layer of spackling paste.  The directions say to use a putty knife, but with the odd curves I ended up just using my finger. In all, I put 3 layers all over the shell, making it smooth on the inside and rough on the outside.  For the inside, I sanded in-between layers to help with smoothness.  And I used an old pen to make some lines and indentations on the outside.IMG_3061

giant shellIMG_3108

Knowing what I do now, I probably would have just left the shell the paste color and only painted a clear gloss on the inside.  But of course I bought the wrong shade of white (there are too many whites!).  It had a tint of blue and was satin and just looked really bad.  I ended up going to Michael’s and buying chalk paint because I wanted a super matte paint.  I added a high gloss coat to the inside.

giant shell bowl

I am really happy with how it turned out! It made a great late-Valentine’s present to my Mom filled with 13 bags of her favorite candy hearts!
Valentines day


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