This is a gorgeous, romantic, and elegant craft which can be applied to a number of other crafts as an enhancement, although it is completely stunning on its own! The shells (if you live near bodies of water) are free, which is the best part!
Approximate Time: Depending on the size of rose you wish to make, this craft takes from 20 to 30 minutes.
10-15 cleaned oyster shells per rose
3 sticks round, all-temperature mini-glue sticks
1 low-temperature mini-glue gun
1 small to medium auger, nautilus, or snail shell per rose (cleaned with dish soap and water)
Optional: shiny, clear, indoor spray paint/lacquer (This makes the iridescence of the shells and their colors really shine through!)
Load glue gun with glue stick and plug in to warm up.
While glue gun is warming up, arrange your oyster shells from largest to smallest.
Find the two largest, (pieces are just as good as full shells) and glue ends together, so that the shells rest on your work surface opposite from one another.
Find the next two largest from the ones left, and repeat the process, only having turned your base about forty-five degrees.
Now that you have a complete base to work from, start finding the medium-sized shells, which usually have more of a curve to them, like the inner petals of a rose.
Take those and glue them after turning base another forty-five degrees, these two should angle up about twenty to thirty degrees, to mimic the opening of a rose bloom.
Rotate your rose another forty-five degrees and use 2-3 of the next smaller size shells, gluing them in at a slightly steeper angle, almost closing the bloom.
Take your snail, auger, or bit of nautilus shell and stand it upright in the middle of your rose, gluing and holding it there until it is cooled.
Once all of the rose has cooled securely, take it outside and place on a piece of cardboard. Spray with lacquer lightly, making sure to get in-between the layers of petals. (Don't go overboard, or the spray paint will loosen the glue and your rose with fall apart easily.)
Let dry as per instructions on your paint can.
Display in a nice copper bowl or hot-glue to another project such as one involving sea glass or drift wood; a mirror or vase.
Enjoy and be proud of your work!
By Brianna from Dutch Harbor, AK
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These are amazingly beautiful. After 25 years of collecting shells from around the world this is the first time I'm seen a shell craft that didn't make me think of cheap tourist attractions. Great work.
Indeed elegant romantic & timeless. Your description of how to construct them are implicit enough. However, if you could find it in you to include pictures as you go, it would be great. Perhaps just the 1st couple of bottom/starting layers and the last step/middle/finishing step of making these beautiful works. i thank you either way for the inspiration.