Hello friends, popping in today with a quick little project. These inexpensive and easy to make DIY Oyster Shell Clusters or Oyster Shell Balls will bring natural coastal charm to your home decor. But first, the back story…
In June, Terry and I celebrated our 30th wedding anniversary by taking a road trip to New York’s Hudson River Valley. We love to travel and so I think Terry was a tad surprised when he asked me where I’d like to go to celebrate and I said, “Hudson River Valley”.
He was thinking “Caribbean, Europe, San Francisco” and I was thinking “keep it simple, road trip like the ‘olden days’, never been to Hudson River Valley”. Back in the day, before we had kiddos, we would take day trips and go antiquing, go to antique auctions and just explore. That’s what I had in mind for this trip.
So we left our NC home early one morning and traveled up the coast, with the Hudson River Valley being our final destination. Our travel plan took us up the Eastern Shore of Maryland, to the charming little town of St. Michaels for our first night.
Along the way, we stopped at several antique stores, like we used to do. It was in one of these little stores that I found a great wire oyster basket. Given the iconic status of the oyster on the Eastern Shore and the Chesapeake Bay, I felt it was that kismet thing and that the oyster basket needed to come along with us.
Terry, who still hasn’t fully drank of my ‘it’s kismet’ kool-aid, wasn’t quite sure of what I would do with this very rusty, very old wire basket. But I assured him I would come up with something and so he just smiled that ‘whatever dear’ smile and off we went.
However, I don’t know what you would call it but kismet when we checked into our hotel that night and what graced my nightstand but…an oyster shell cluster/oyster shell ball! I mean, clearly a sign…right?
When I got back home I looked into sourcing some oyster shells for this project, which would prove a little more difficult that I originally thought since I live by the ocean.
I know that the summer months are the months that oysters are not harvested (oysters are only harvested in the months with an ‘r’ in their name), but since I know that our state, and particularly the area I live in, have a robust oyster shell recycling program I figured that there would be plenty of shells for my project in one of the recycling areas. WRONG!
Word to the wise: it is against the law to take shells from the oyster recycling areas. And since we do have a robust program, most restaurants in my area take their shells to the recycling center.
There was a brief moment in time when I thought “Are you kidding me, here I live on the coast of North Carolina and I may have to buy my oyster shells online?!” But, kismet intervened as it often does, and I found myself in back of a local fresh fish store digging through a pile of oyster shells on a recent day when the thermostat hit 100°! (Kismet took me to the fish store, it didn’t promise ideal conditions!)
I hosed my oyster shells off and went to work on my oyster shell clusters. In addition to the shells, I purchased some styrofoam balls (just slightly bigger than a tennis ball) and some glue sticks from my local Michaels.
I spray painted the styrofoam a dark gray so that the white wouldn’t show. If I had a lighter color, more of an oyster shell color, I would’ve used it. But the gray worked fine.
There is really no rocket science to this oyster shell cluster and can’t claim that I invented this process…there are several folks making and selling them on the internet.
The process of making these oyster shell clusters was really a very simple process of glue and stick. I began by putting a ring around the middle of sphere and then I worked up one side. I did put the oysters in pairs of similar size, but may try doing them singly next time.If the first ring was the middle of the sphere, I worked each successive band angled slightly to the top of each half.
I really jammed the oyster into the foam where I put the glue. As a result, when I finished one side and turned it over to do the other side, none of the oyster shells became loose or dislodged.
Because I had an abundance of oyster shells, I made several oyster shell clusters / oyster shell balls to fill my oyster basket.
I can’t imagine anything looking so good in the oyster basket than the oyster shell clusters do…just meant to be. It was fun to play around with where to put the oyster shell clusters and right now I have them split between the basket and the mantle.
This was really a quick project, I made them all in one day. Now I’m noodling more projects with oyster shells since I know where to get them (legally)!? And if you love it, pin it! I’ve made it easy for you↓↓↓ (Thanks a bunch! ?)
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