Friday, May 1, 2015

Jeweled Abalone Shells

I took a little break the other day from my messy garage workbench and moved inside to finish up a few little projects that had been sitting on my desk for several weeks.  After rummaging through my waiting-to-be-repurposed jewelry stash, I came up with enough jewels to dress up these abalone shells.  Finding enough jewels wasn't the problem, it was finding the perfect colors to compliment the shells.

use bits and pieces of old jewelry to decorate abalone shells
Abalone shells are pretty enough when they're naked, but they really come to life after dressing them up in vintage jewels.

Jeweled Abalone Shells
The four little ones are 3" to 4" in length.  These were more difficult to decorate because most of the jewels I had to work with were too large and looked out of scale.

abalone shells decorated with vintage jewelry
My favorite decorated shell color combination.

Abalone shells embellished with vintage jewelry
The baby starfish isn't glued in, it just looks cute.

Abalone shells decorated with vintage jewelry
This 4" shell is much thinner than the others and so delicate.  The other side has been polished (not by me) and is just as beautiful as the inside.  It was next to impossible to get a decent picture of the bottom because of the glare and shape of the shell.

upcycled and decorated abalone shells with vintage jewelry
Mama shell is about 7" long.  Sometimes I use gold based jewels, sometimes I use silver.  It all depends on the dominant colors in the shell.  Pink, blue, turquoise, lavender, and some shades of green look best.

decorated abalone shells with vintage jewelry
 Before gluing the jewels to the shell with E6000, I line the rim with a piece of double-sided tape.  The tape keeps the jewels from falling off while I decide where they look best.

how to decorate abalone shells
Now I need to decide which one my mom will be getting for Mother's Day, then the rest will be coming with me to my next vintage show at the end of this month.
You can see a few more of my jeweled shells here: Antique Show Projects and A Fresh Start for some Old Jewels.




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33 comments:

  1. Absolutely gorgeous and unique! What a perfect gift. Will you be putting any in your Etsy shop? hint, hint!

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  2. Oh wow Betsy, those are gorgeous! Happy May Day to you!

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  3. These are gorgeous Betsy! I have love for abalone shells since I grew up on the coast in N. CA and they were a staple every place-on fences, as soap dishes......... Yours are lovely-can I PM you about maybe getting one for myself?

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  4. Oh Wow! These are gorgeous! You are right they are pretty by themselves, but when you dress them up there beautiful! I love all of them, but I think my favorite is the one with the starfish in it.

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  5. superb colors, my dear! Those are so pretty in a group, I bet someone buys the lot. Also, what a lovely mom's day idea!

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  6. Oh my...these are so beautiful!! You will sell out of them at your show...for sure.
    ~Cindy

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  7. These are gorgeous! Lucky Mom!
    If you ever put them for sale in your Etsy shop please drop me a note asap!

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  8. Stunningly beautiful. I love them

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  9. It is amazing how the jewels bring out the colors in the shells. It first glance I thought the one with the white flower was my favorite but you are right, the pink really makes the colors pop. Your Mom is going to love receiving one of these beauties!

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  10. So beautifully done, absolute proof that Mother Nature can be improved upon...Happy May Day!

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  11. These are so so lovely and pretty!! What a perfect and special gift for your mom!! She will love it! :) Happy weekend!! xo Holly

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  12. Oh, these are so beautiful. The jewels really do bring out all those lovely colors.

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  13. Betsy, these are absolutely stunning!

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  14. Betsy, these are totally magical. I love them all but the pearls, especially seem to glow! Lovely!

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  15. More pretty "Betsy's".

    I hung the seaside necklace I bought from you on one of the hands in my hand collection - along with other jewelry. Your piece stands out and it makes me think of you my friend.

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  16. Wow! Betsy these are beautiful! Your Mom will be so happy to be a recipient of one of these beautiful creations.
    Hope you are enjoying the weekend.

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  17. These are so beautiful, Betsy!

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  18. Betsy, these are just darling. What a gorgeous combination of colors too!

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  19. You have the gift of taking something beautiful and making it even more beautiful. These shells are just gorgeous. I love the colors you use in them. Your mom will love receiving one for Mother's Day. I think my favorite is the one on the far right in the last photo, but the second one is a close second. Have a beautiful week!

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  20. Betsy,
    These are really pretty. This is will be so special for your mom on Mother's Day. They are all just so unique and pretty.
    Kris

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  21. Gorgeous! and so creative.

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  22. Absolutely gorgeous shells! Love your use of vintage jewelry💗

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  23. I am so blessed to have one of these that you made for me. I keep it right here on the coffee table in the lanai so I can enjoy it all the time. Maybe I'm your long lost auntie! heehee! I wish! Sweet hugs, Diane

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  24. OH.MY.GOSH!!!
    These are stunning Betsy - absolutely stunning !
    Pinning just because I need to be able to see them now and then :)
    xoxo

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  25. Betsy, these are so pretty! Love the pink and aqua colors.
    hugs,
    Linda

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  26. Betsy,
    These are absolutely amazing!!!
    I LOVE them!!

    Thanks so much for stopping by!!
    Hugs,
    Debbie

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  27. These are fabulous! The colors and jewels are perfectly matched. I love them!
    Hugs and Happy Mother's Day!
    Hugs,
    Patti

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  28. Oh my, how pretty! I love them and now I want to make some, I have a large vintage jewelry collection just waiting for a special project like that... now to find some shells like that... where did you get yours?

    Tania

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  29. HI Betsy, how are you? These are so beautiful and I love your junking trip above too. If you have a minute we'd love for you to come and link up some of these beautiful jeweled Abalone shells or anything else you like to our Something to Talk About Link Party. You always have the prettiest goodies. Here's to a great week, Lisa at Concord Cottage

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  30. How did I miss this post? OH SO BEAUTIFUL! These are just charming, Betsy...I'll bet your mom loved it!

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  31. OMG I missed this post! These are amazing..Gorgeous!

    Carol

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