Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Shell specimen frames (kid friendly)

As I was strolling the isles of the Dollar Tree a few weeks ago I stumbled upon the tackiest plastic luau shell bikini top you can imagine. Looking a little something like this.
It claimed to be "one size fits all" and I guess that could be true if you don't care how much of your goods are actually covered by it :) The checkout lady and I were snorting over this since neither she nor I would feel very clothed in this.

Needless to say I didn't buy it (and it's two cousins) to wear (although it might work in the bedroom?). The shells were pretty nice looking - bright white and with all the right shell textures on the front. So I also grabbed six black frames and a roll of brown craft paper before I checked out.

(Total of $10. Shells - $3, frames - $6, paper - $1. I had scotch tape, foam board scraps and hot glue on hand).

Here's how it looked before I started out.

I removed the strings on the bikini tops, leaving me with just the shells. I don't mind the holes in the shells but if you're anal you could always fill them with white caulk or something similar.

I removed the back of the frame along with the glass front. I used the glass for a template to cut out a piece of foam board to fit into the frame since this is going into the kids room. If you don't have any foam board (or kids) you could just use the glass pane that comes with the frame.

I then cut a piece of brown craft paper to cover the front of the foam board and wrapped it like a present, taping it to the back of the foam board.

This is the back.

And popped it into the frame. I had to kind of squeeze to fit the backer back on as well, but it worked. I only put the back back on since the hanger was attached to the back and not the frame itself.

Here it is in the frame.

Some hot glue later the shell was in place as well.

This contraption is very lightweight so my kids can't hurt themselves or others with them. But it's still wonderfully dimensional and sculptural, and they're pretty big. The white pops nicely against the paper as well. It looks very Pottery Barn-ish to me :) And they work perfectly in the kids' beachy/nautical/underwater room.

 I decided to put them above the bunk bed to help reinforce the bed as the focal point of the room. As it is now the bed isn't much to look at but it will be transformed and slip covered eventually, not to mention equipped with a top bunk mattress....

 The seahorse roller blinds are partway up here so it looks a little funny.

  A close-up. I think the brass lady used to be a door knocker in her former life, she's in here because she reminded me of those sculptures on the front of ships (I believe the correct term for them is figurehead?).

 And with the blinds down.

And the last one with the faux capiz shell chandelier in the shot as well :)

This room is finally starting to come together. I spent the last week or so cleaning up and de-cluttering in here. Rearranged some things, added some cool finds from the thrift store. The major thing I need to do in here is paint the walls, it's not going to look cohesive until I do. But it's starting to look decorated now and it's even feeling "airy" with all the new changes. I found myself sitting in here and just enjoying the surroundings the other day and that would not have happened in the past.

Yet the kids really like the new look and since it's all kid friendly and there's room to actually play in the room now it's like they have a whole new space :) Success on all fronts, both mom and kids happy!

(And if you think I seem to be avoiding the wacky curtains in the living room like the plague you're pretty correct. But just you wait, I'll get them done one of these days :)).

Ps. Linking up with
Someday Crafts
The Thrifty Home 
Blue Cricket Design 
Homemaker on a Dime
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  1. LOL! I hope you wore them at least once just to veify they really aren't your style. Nice display! (pun intended)

  2. Cracking up! I can't believe you transformed that into those!!! they look so, so, so cute up there above the window. Perfect with the rest of your sea creatures.

  3. I would have never thought of that! How creative! Visiting from Homemaker on a Dime.

    -caroline @ c.w.frosting


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