The Wedding Conch Shell, how-to

I was recently asked to paint a conch shell for a friend’s son’s wedding.  The beach themed wedding in North Carolina, has aqua and purple accent colors. This is what I came up with, and I am very happy with the results!

conchend

As anyone who has ever tried to paint letters on a conch shell well knows, its not easy! The surface is very uneven. So, after several trial and errors, I decided to try something new, clay letters! I absolutely love how it turned out!

conch2

I started by giving the outer part of the shell a base white coat with my always handy Zinsser Primer, stuffing balled up newsprint into the interior of the shell to keep it paint free.

glue

I wanted to added a bit of glitzy sand to the shell. So my next step was to make up a blend of Elmer’s glue, water, Key West beach sand, and clear German glass glitter.  I wasn’t exact, I just played around with it till it was a consistency I was happy with.  I applied the mixture to the inner lip of the shell and let it dry a bit in the sun.

IMG_3376

glassglitter

For those of you that haven’t worked with German glass glitter before, I’d like to stress how awesome it is! It is actually made out of shaved glass, and the effect is has is AMAZING!  Once you use it,  you’ll never want to use regular store bought glitter again.

clay letters

My next step was making the letters. I sculpted the letters with Sculpey III, and baked them the recommended time.  I then applied a layer of Krylon gloss, and let dry. I added a coat of Judy♥Kins Diamond Glaze, and applied some German glass glitter to the still wet  glaze and let dry.

diamond glaze

conchcloseup

Next, I added some vintage jewelry, sparkling rhinestones and shimmery pearls, along with some  starfish, sea urchin, and white sea glass, using E-6000 silicone glue. (This is the only glue I ever use. Slow drying, but when it dries, its bonded forever!)

conchcloseup2

Then I secured the letters using my e-6000 glue.

conchletters close up

mmgoldpaint

Lastly, I gave the shell a shimmery top coat using my favorite brandof metallic paint, Modern Masters, in gold shimmer. Its pricey, but so worth it!

conchend

I love how this Wedding conch shell turned out.  What do you think?
©2013

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3 thoughts on “The Wedding Conch Shell, how-to

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