Today I have a special project that I have been wanting to make for the last few months. DIY Oyster shell bookends. I am planning to add them to my new store. These pairs are going into my home first. They are going to be perfect for my bookshelves. The bookends have a natural coastal charm to them.
What inspired me to make these?
Last October I was taking a weekend getaway to Charleston, South Carolina. Its one of my favorite places to visit and its only a few hours by car. No matter how many times I go to Charleston I never get tired of this beautiful city. Even my husband John asked don’t you ever get tired of coming here.
We left at 8 am in the morning. Along the way, we stopped at my favorite antique shop. They had some new coastal decor accents. One piece that stood out was a bookend that was covered in oyster shells. John wanted to buy it for me. What am I going to do with one bookend? I needed two. That’s when I got the idea of making my own. When I got back from my trip I added the bookend idea to my editorial calendar.
I can purchase oysters very easily here in the Low Country. I can buy the shells by the bag full at most landscape places. Many constructions companies use oysters in a mixture called tabby which is very popular for people’s driveways and sidewalks. If you don’t have access to oyster you can buy them online too.
Cleaning the oyster shells.
I gathered all the supplies I needed to do the oyster shell bookends project. I place about 75 small to medium size oyster shells in a solution of 1 cup of white vinegar diluted with 2 quarts of water for 4 to 6 hours. The longer the better. The vinegar solution will dissolve any debris or dirt.
- 75 to 80 oysters
- 2 by 4 wood
- Gorilla glue
Measuring the wood
I had some leftover 2 by 10 lumber from my home. I took the wood to home depot to have cut into 4-8 inches by 8 inches. With liquid nails, I attach one end to the other. Let it dry for 24 hours. I painted the wood in off white. Once it dried I sanded the wood to give it a distressed look.
Gluing the oyster shells to wood.
Before gluing them to the wood I place the oyster shell in a design pattern on the wood. I picked shells that are of similar size. There are many ways to glue the oyster shells to the wood. You can use a glue stick or any epoxy glue. My favorite is Gorilla glue bond. Make sure you use gloves.
Start by wetting the oyster shell and add a thin layer of glue on it. Place on the wood and in a few minutes the glue starts bubbling. Clean any of leakage around the shell. Let dry for 24 hours.
I love how my Oyster shell bookends turned out. They look so good in my shelving in my new home. Now I can focus on making more for my shop. They are a bit time-consuming and not a fast project to make. Hope you like them.