Shell Art | Vintage, Paint and more...

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Shell Art

Today I am going to share the art that  is 
hanging on the wall above my mantel.

Vintage, Paint and more... beach decor, shim craft, shell craft

This is a knockoff of a piece of art I saw at Ace Hardware 
a couple weeks ago.
It was made with painted bead board 
they had done some other wood and beach decor items on it.

I loved it so much I wanted to make one like it.
But, I didn't want to buy bead board and I needed to use
what I had on hand.

I found a package of shims in the garage.

Vintage, Paint and more... shims used in a craft project, shim art

For those of you who are unfamiliar with these they 
 are little wood slats with a taper cut
that are used as spacers when needed.
Well, when I picked them up I didn't read it and thought they were actually little slats.
With the taper edges this made using them impossible I thought.
Thus they found their way into the dreaded garage graveyard.
I found them when I was poking around for something to use for this project 
and when I saw them  I decided why not.
I laid them out so that every other ones tapered edge was facing in the same direction.
This basically gave me a flat "canvas in the center of the wood.

Vintage, Paint and more... shims used in crafts, Valspar Journal Blue paint, painting shims for art

I made two squares with nine shims in each and laid them out side by side.
Then I painted them with Journal Book by Valspar.
As you can see above it is a very pale blue.
I basically dry brushed it on using very little paint so the wood would show through.

Vintage, Paint and more... dry brush painting, painting wood with a dry brush effect

This is a close up to show you that I am basically just hitting the high 
rough peaks of the wood.

Vintage Paint and more... painted shims for art, wood slats for art

This is after two coats of dry brushing with very little paint on the brush.
I think it gives it a very worn beachy look.

Vintage, Paint and more... wood slats for art canvas, using wood slats to make wall art

Now I am not a girl that uses power tools.
I have always wanted to learn how 
I have always had someone around who felt they could do it better.
So, I hot glued these shims together.
( A girl has to do what a girl has to do)
I glued the shims to each other first - along the side edges.
While they were sitting I glued three sets of two shims together to make  
a solid piece that did not taper.
I then glued one diagonally across the back of each of the squares 
on the non-tapered sections of the shims.
Then I took the two squares and glued one edge to the other.
After that I glued one of my three shims down the seam at the back.
This made a pretty stable base.

Vintage, Paint and more... using slats to make wall art

You can see it better here.
I then added a piece of twine to the back to hang it by.

Vintage, Paint and more... gold frames used on wall art, Dollar Store frames used in art

For the three pictures across the board I bought three gold frames
at the Dollar Tree.
(Oh, what would I do without that store?)

Vintage, Paint and more... beach decor made from wood slats, framed shells on wood slat base, seashell wall art

I took the glass out of these 
covered the cardboard backs with a piece of burlap.
Then I glued a shell in the center of the burlap and replaced it in the frames.
I then glued the frames onto the boards 
making sure they were evenly spaced.

Vintage, Paint and more... beach decor, seashell decor, rustic beach decor

Here it is hanging on our faux pallet board background.
I love the rusticness of it - the split boards 
the wood showing through the paint.
But, then you have the richness of the gold frames 
the texture of the burlap and seashells.
I have to say I am very pleased with the way it turned out.
I'm really glad I mistakenly bought shims that day now....

Have you ever bought something that was a mistake 
have it turn out great in the end?
What are you working on right now?
Tell us all about  it in the comments below.
I love your comments and reply to each of them through email.

Speaking of email, 
you can make sure you don't miss any new projects here
by signing up for it in the little box 
above my picture in the sidebar.

Until next time - have fun creating something you love.....

I will be linking up to the parties listed on "I Party At" page.


  1. Cathy it came out so nicely! You make me want to go out and rent a beach home. I always love your beach decor!

  2. I've always liked the rustic look. I'm trying an African theme for my living room, it's a work in progress.

  3. I love this and more than likely will be steali...errr using your tutorial for inspiration Cathy!

  4. So fun!

    I didn't know what shims were and didn't know you could buy them by the package. I have been thinking I would like to paint a sign with pieces of wood with words painted on them. Shims would work perfectly.

    Thanks for idea.

  5. Very nice! I never thought of using shims for anything decorative but it is a great idea!! Stopping by from Thank Goodness it's Thursday party.

  6. Beautiful! I love any beach decor. This is so easy to do it .

  7. Stopping by from the Friday Frenzy link up. This is an absolutely beautiful project! Love it :D

  8. Very cute Cathy and clever idea to use the shims! Love the rustic feel of this piece. Thanks for sharing it with SYC. I am working on a wool watermelon pillow.

  9. Oh this is beautiful - I just love the color you painted the wood with. I will be featuring this project on my blog today! Thanks for linking up to The Creative Exchange Linky Party!

  10. This looks really cool! I never would have thought they were shims. What a great, and creative, idea! Thanks for linking it up to Snickerdoodle Sunday! - Kristina

  11. Cathy this is an awesome craft - looks fantastic! I do appreciate you sharing with Home and Garden Thursday,

  12. Cute look! Thank you for linking with Home Sweet Home!

  13. I just saw your fabulous beach art featured at The Cottage Market - love this idea and pinning!