Photo: Red Cover
There aren’t many elements in nature that can compete with the anomaly of an oyster shell: gritty and rough on the outside, pearly and smooth on the inside. This briny, slimy shellfish has captured the taste buds of brave eaters for centuries, and now we ask: Are you brave enough to make them a focal point in your home? With this DIY oyster shell mirror, we dare you to try.
1. The Oyster Shells
Give your local seafood restaurant a call and see if they’re willing to sell you a bushel of empty bivalves. Heck, they may even give 'em to you for free. Dump them into a bucket of bleach water—one capful will do—and let them soak overnight to remove any saltwater funk (or telltale Tabasco sauce). After the soak, rinse thoroughly and allow the shells to fully dry. Later, once the shells are fully secured to the frame, we suggest brushing a thin coat of mineral oil over the inside of the shell so it appears as if it were just plucked from the water.
2. The Mirror
Head on over to any home improvement store for a mirror of your preferred size. Remember, the bigger the mirror, the more oysters you’ll need! If you opt for a larger size, be sure to add a heavy wire to the back of the frame to ensure maximum support on the wall. Spray paint the frame of the mirror a creamy, off-white color as not to compete with the pearlescent shells.
Bottom three photos: Sarah Jean Shelton / Lonny
3. The Glue
A DIY project isn’t complete without busting out the hot glue gun, now is it? Arrange the oysters in a pattern of your choice, haphazardly or perfectly positioned, before gluing them to the mirror frame. Let dry, hang securely, and admire.
While we can’t promise your new creation will transport you instantly to the seashore, we can promise that seafarers, mermaids, and coastal dreamers alike will come pining for a replica.