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.

IMG_3060

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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