Sunday, 27 June 2010

there's a crab leg somewhere . .

have finished my last piece of drfit wood art, no more fish and hearts.  instead I am back to sewing cards, bags and bunting for wednesday village green craft fayres.

Have recently been asked how to put these together. . . . . well it really is quite simple. 
Firstly cut out your shape onto MDF board.  Drill two holes( or just the one)  in the back for hanging later.
Then cut a peice of fabric that will cover the back ( the last job).  I like to use denim.
Collect as many shells, drift wood etc as you can.  Sea glass is really lovely to use but difficult to find big pieces. Also with the shells try to collect various sizes as you quite often need a tiny one to cover up the mdf board.  
Next I leave the shells etc in bleach and water for about 24 hours.  This gets rid of any unwanted bacteriea that is probably lurking. 
Then put your pattern together.  Start one layer at a time and glue with a strong glue.  I use a PVA as I like the white effect that happens if you use too much.  Also I tend to have the shells on top of each other ( see fish ) as this can look like scales. 
After the first layer has dried add another and after that as many layers as you like. 
When finished you can either cover the whole fish / heart / beach hut etc in a varnish or leave natural.  I like both and it depends on the peice as to what I do. 
When the piece is dry, using a hot gun glue a course rope / jute string around the edge to hide the MDF board and to give it a rustic look.
Lastly glue the fabric to the back of the shape.
When dry put the wires in and hang from a left over piece of drift wood for the final beachy effect.  I guess you could put the wire in earlier but I don't want it to dry in place so I wait for all glue to be dry.  Both ways work.

I would love to see what creations you come up with.  Please feel free to post them and let me know how you get on.

Thank you for looking


  1. Beautiful. I just spent a vacation at the beach collecting mussel shells and sea definitely given me some art to think about!!!

  2. This is very pretty and beachy. Love the great combo of shells and driftwood and the heart shape was a great choice. You have a good eye for these combos!

  3. That is so cool! We were just at the ocean on the weekend and the boys picked up all sorts of crab parts! LOL Thanks for sharing!

  4. Interesting! Thanks for linking up to Mad Skills Monday!

  5. This is so beautiful! I have a bunch of shells and pieces of shells I collected 2 years ago at the beach. They have been waiting patiently for me to do something with. Maybe I'll give this a try.

    Thanks for linking to Messy Monday. I look forward to your future projects.

  6. These are so gorgeous! Such a classy look with such simple things - love it!

  7. i LOVE this idea. original, recycled, fun, and decorative. wow. it matches many of our blog's themes as well... our readers would love to be able to find you and how you've put this together.

    ok. this is where you get yourself a link back to your article :

    come on over! we would love to feature your driftwood hearts. and if you want to guest write a detailed tutorial on how to put one together on our site (PR3-4), you're invited to this also. yes, that's how much i love that heart... ;0)


  8. So neat! I love how you can hang the heart..., on yet another driftwood piece -love it!!

  9. Oh, man! I wish I'd seen this two days ago! We just got back from the beach and I would have collected some items to bring home if I'd known what to do with them. I guess I'll just have to go back soon! By the way, you're welcome to borrow the bandana whales idea. I just ask that you give me a little shout out if you do a post with what you created. Hope you have a happy summer!

  10. I'm crazy about this idea! We live near the Great Lakes and are planning a few day trips in the near future. I'll have the wee ones collect some "lakey" stuff, and we will try making our own. Thanks for sharing this terrific idea. I'll be linking on Facebook :)

  11. THis is very cool. I love nature as art!