Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Photo & Seashell Mobile

by Kelly

I do it every time I go to the beach....

I always end up bringing back a baggie full of seashells.

Maybe to some it's not a big deal, but here in Oklahoma, it's not something that we so a lot of.  To me they are so interesting, so delightful.  But the question once I get home is always the same...

What am I going to do with all these seashells?

We recently got back a from a heavenly, week-long vacation in Marco Island, FL.  And of course, I brought back shells.  But on our last day, I popped into a little gift/craft shop for our customary Christmas ornament. It was there that I saw a mobile made out of an embroidery hoop, seashells, and raffia.  And I thought to myself {say it with me now!} "I can make that!"

This past weekend, I came up with my own take on this mobile and it turned out really cute.  So I thought I would share with you how I made it in case you've got a bunch of shells hanging around too.

So the the first thing obviously is the shells.  I when I got home I soaked them in a 50/50 bleach/water solution for a couple of hours. Then I set them out on a towel to dry.  You could also set them outside in the sun if you wanted.

Next I got out the drill and drilled a hole into the shell.

I found that standing the shell on its small end like this was the easiet, most stable way to drill the hole.

Once I got all the holes drilled I gathered up my supplies:

  • embroidery hoop (this little number I found at a garage sale for 25 cents)
  • raffia
  • twine
  • shells
  • small photos

For the photos, I just printed out a few of my favorites from our vacation.  I did this by creating a letter-sized, grid/layout in Lightroom.  The individual cells are 2.5" x  2.5" and I then just cut them out with my paper trimmer.

Next, I tied a piece of raffia to my embroidery hoop.

Then continued on around the hoop adding a few pieces of twine here and there.

I purposely did not obsess about the number of raffia vs. twine pieces.  Because #1) who cares and #2) I honestly think part of the charm of this craft is the random mix of textures.  

The next step was to add a mix of photos and shells to the lengths of raffia and twine.  Other than trying not to tie them at the same height, I didn't worry too much about the placement.  And as a final step, I added four additional pieces of twine and brought them together at the top and created a loop for hanging the mobile.

This project only took about an hour and half, and then I hung it up in a corner in my office.  And can I tell you....I absolutely love it.

I love seeing the faces of my family and friends alongside my little treasures...it's like a hanging scrapbook.  

Whether or not you get all crafty like this or not, please...print your pictures.  Print your snapshots. Print your Instagram shots.  Print pictures of your coffee mugs.  Your pictures of the sunset and your selfies.  Don't worry about the focus or the 20 pounds you'd like to lose.  Don't worry if they aren't high art.  Because THIS is your Art....your life is your Art.  

If you decided to do something like this, be sure to take a photo and share it in the Flickr pool for all of us to see.  And if you have any ideas for displaying seashells, share them in the comments....I'd love to hear those too!  

Until next time,



Nina said...

Looks wonderful, Kelly! Thank you for the inspiration of printing the photos as small squares - I'd love to glue them to my diary / notebook from the vacation as squares - Such a great idea!
Your shell-neckles looks so pretty, natural and awesome ... Wow!

Dotti said...

Well, I'm just absolutely floored that you drilled holes in those seashells without breaking them! What a delightful idea, though. A seashell mobile. And I know it makes your heart sing each time you see it. As always, the reminder to print, print, print is spot on. We all need to remember that, every day. Well done, Kelly. And glad you had such a grand time.

kelly said...

@nina i'm so glad you liked it! and i love your idea of glueing little square photos to your notebooks...those are quickly becoming my favorite kinds of scrapbooks. xoxo

Renuko Style said...

Loved this post Kelly, such a neat way to remembering a vacation or just a home vacation day. The prints from your computer look so good. Is there any special type you have?

kelly said...

@karen, thank you so much! i have an epson printer and i use epson premium presentation matte finish paper. nothing special!

kelly said...

@dotti thank you! i was a little concerned about breaking the shells, but it was a piece of cake!

heyjudephotography said...

Kelly, this is so darn cute! You have so many talents, but this looks like even I may be able to make this! haha

terriporter said...

Kelly, your artistry and creativity never cease to amaze me! I absolutely LOVE this idea and, since I'm at the beach right now making memories with MY family, I am going to plan to make a mobile of shells and photos from our trip when I get home. I am a huge proponent of printing, just like you. Our memories need to be saved in a tangible form. I think your post ties in perfectly with mine from yesterday. Thank you, from one memory keeper to another! :-)

kelly said...

@judy you are so sweet! it was a fun and easy project...you could totally do this! and @terri, yes as a fellow memory keeper, i am always looking for fun way to display my photos. hope you're having a wonderful time at the beach!

Anonymous said...

Love this tutorial for the seashell and photo mobile! And like most crafty women, I always say..."I can make that" lol! May not turn out exactly the same, but its art that you will enjoy for years to come! Thanks for sharing! BTW, I love those scissors!

Jeanne said...

What a great idea and this turned out so cute! Thanks so much for sharing

kybarb said...

Love it Kelly! It reminded me of the photo banner project Tracey Clark had at the end of one of her photo classes:) I had no idea you could successfully drill holes in sea shells either.

kelly said...

@susan @Jeanne @kybarb thanks so much ladies! so happy to pass along a fun idea!

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