Beachcombing at the Dump



Oyster Shell Lamp DIY

Isn’t this lamp gorgeous?  Well I thought so too.  I found this sweet lamp at SueatHome.com.  Sue found it at the Tides Beach Club in Maine. Make sure you click on the link for the rest of her club tour.

Anyway, Sue found a lamp similar to this at an antique store in nearby Kennebunk with a price tag of $795.  No that wasn’t a typo. She didn’t buy the lamp but did she ever consider making one herself?

Oyster Shell Lamp DIY

Seriously, I was pretty sure I could make this lamp for a lot less than $800.  Besides paint and glue  which I already had on hand, these are my basic supplies:

  • scrap wood (free…it’s pallet wood)
  • tall and skinny thrift store lamp ($3.50)
  • lots of oyster shells  (free)
  • molding  ($2 salvage yard find)

Oyster Shell Lamp DIY

Spray paint the top of the lamp that won’t be covered by shells.

Oyster Shell Lamp DIY

Cut a piece of scrap wood (pallet wood) slightly larger than the base of the lamp.

Oyster Shell Lamp DIY

Cut another piece of scrap wood the same size as the first, this time with a cut out for the lamp post.  Keep part of the cut out to patch up the hole.

Oyster Shell Lamp DIY

Oyster Shell Lamp DIY

Cut the molding to fit around the 2 pieces of scrap wood and nail in place working around the lamp.

Drill an escape hole at the bottom of the molding for the lamp wiring.

Oyster Shell Lamp DIY-007

Sand the base and paint.  I’m using silver chalk paint.  I bought it a while ago thinking it was gray, finally getting a chance to use it.

Oyster Shell Lamp DIY

Sanded and finished with vintage wax.

Oyster Shell Lamp DIY

Time to start gluing.  I started out with some all purpose goop but quickly switched over to hot glue once I saw how much glue it was taking.  Apply the glue where it will be hitting either the lamp or another shell.

Oyster Shell Lamp DIY

I was making so much progress but even with a stack of shells, I ran out. I’m thinking that there is a beachcombing trip in my future.

Scavenging at a dump

I was still contemplating a trip to the beach when I remembered this little dump. I had pulled metal legs out of here when I made a desk a couple years ago.  But I also remembered seeing some oyster shells scattered on the ground.  The only reason they stood out to me was because I was thinking, why couldn’t I have found these when I was making my oyster shell mirror?

No Wiring Oyster Shell Lamp DIY

The dump is only a 5 minute drive (and a ten minute hike) but the beach is 3 hours away, might as well try the dump first.

Sure enough, mixed in with the rusty tin cans were a bunch of oyster shells, more than enough to finish my lamp.

No Wiring Oyster Shell Lamp DIY

My antique shells cleaned up very nicely.  I stuck them in a pot of hot water, scrubbed the dirt off, changed the water then added bleach and soaked for 15 minutes.

Oyster Shell Lamp DIY

I stopped gluing at the natural stop from my thrift store lamp but when I put the inspiration lamp next to mine I knew I had to keep going. Mine looked a little squatty and my neck was too long.

No Wiring Oyster Shell Lamp DIY

Back to the glue gun and now the shells go almost all the way to the top.

No Wiring Oyster Shell Lamp DIY

 If you do buy a thrift store lamp, make sure you check that it works before hitting the glue gun.

No Wiring Oyster Shell Lamp DIY

No Wiring Oyster Shell Lamp DIY

How did I do?  That’s my $800 inspiration on the left.  With lampshade, my cost was about $25.

Have a great week, stay inspired and who says you need a beach to go beachcombing?

If you have leftover oyster shells, you could think about tackling these past fun projects.

 Shared at DIY Salvaged Junk Projects,

3 Comments

  • Barbara says:

    I like your lamp much better than the “sueat one.” I like the color of your shells better – no gunk from the sea water on them – and I like your shade better. Great job!

  • Patty Soriano says:

    Very cool ! We aren’t very beachy, but I do like this lamp. Good job! I absolutely LOVE dumps ! Unfortunately, most dumps don’t allow people any more. 🙁

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