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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