Over the Thanksgiving holiday my family all got together and rented a house on the Chesapeake Bay. Considering it was late November we had beautiful weather. It wasn’t quite bikini weather (OK, it’s never bikini weather) but it was, put a sweater on and go for a walk on the beach weather.
That’s my middle son in the picture above. It looks like he’s contemplating the beauty of the water and the meaning of life…but I’m thinking he is really deciding how to climb onto one of those posts. I’m only saying that because I later found him standing on top of the non-leaning post doing his best impression of the Karate Kid.
Back to walking on the beach…the scavenger in me couldn’t resist picking up the oyster shells that had washed up along the beach. Oyster shells are usually the junk shell that nobody wants but they are great for crafting.
After a couple of days of picking up oyster shells every time I stepped out the door I had accumulated quite a pile. My hubby did ask what I was going to do with them all. “Are you planning on making another mirror?”
I didn’t think so, but hey, you never know, I did like my mirror.
With Christmas fast approaching, I eventually decided that an oyster shell tree was in my future. Just because it would be tree shaped doesn’t mean that it would have to be used just for Christmas. You could easily use it for beach decor all year long.
Supplies for an oyster shell tree….Oyster shells (of course), papier mache cones (these are about 18″ in height from Hobby Lobby), plaster, pots, hot glue and either dowels or a straight stick to use for a trunk.
Turn the cone upside down and find somewhere where it can sit in that position for about a half hour. The black that you can barely see, is a foam roller my hubby uses for working out the sore muscles…but it also works great to hold an inverted papier mache tree.
I mixed about a pound of plaster for 2 trees, poured half into each tree cone then inserted my dowels.
Let the plaster harden.
If there are holes in the bottom of your flower pots, you’ll need to plug them up before adding plaster. Another of the million and one uses for duct tape.
Before adding plaster to the pots figure out some way to support your dowel and tree upright or you’ll be holding it in place for a half hour. A few pieces of scrap wood nailed together works perfectly.
For estimating purposes, I used another pound of plaster in each base. The only reason I know how much I used was that my plaster happened to come in 1 pound baggies.
The plaster hardens rather quickly and you should be able to start working on your project within an hour.
Start at the bottom, layer your oyster shells in rows attaching with hot glue. Use the largest shells for the bottom layers and save your smallest, narrowest shells for the top.
Notice that I have two trees going but right about at this point I figured I do not have enough shells for 2 trees. 🙁 I will just have to make a return visit to the beach. 🙂
When you’re all finished attaching the oyster shells all the way to the top, go back to the bottom row and glue one more layer of shells over top of the first row of shells. Because this row was attached directly to the cone and not over top of any other shells it doesn’t stick out as far as the other shells. The extra layer gives just enough flair.
I finished off my tree by painting the dowel black, the flower pot gray and adding moss to cover the plaster.
Now I just need to find another bucket full of oyster shells so that I can have 2 trees to balance off both ends of my dining room buffet. Or maybe the sofa table?
Have a wonderful Christmas. I’ll see you back here after the holiday… I need to start cooking.