Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Beach Bathroom Decor - Seashell Shadowbox

**UPDATE!!** My Seashell Shadowbox was featured on the 149th Hookin Up with HoH Party!
THANK YOU, Allison -- you rock my socks!  

And now back to our regularly scheduled programming ...

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Hey everyone! I made some artwork for our beach themed master bath a while back and wanted to share my how-to tips. "Beach themed? But Melody, you live in a land-locked state ..." I know, I know, but I love the ocean and earth tones combined with shades of blue, and the results (while a work in progress) make me happy when I am in there. This is a really versatile project and could be customized beyond my beach theme and placed in any room of the house to complement your own color scheme. Let's get going!

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I started with this $3 frame bought from my neighbor's garage sale -- great deal, plus it's Pottery Barn! I cleaned it up well, removed the back, and took out the glass and set it aside. The mat, with its 3 openings, was what really drew me to this frame. For some reason, they made me think, "Melody! Would this not be SO COOL if you made it a shadowbox?!" I had seen framed seashells before, and had a nifty little collection of my own that DH and I bought on vacation in Hilton Head, SC, that I could raid for this project. I know it's not a true shadowbox, but I knew it could be really pretty and unique all the same.

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I knew I needed something as a backer to both accent my shells and pick up the color scheme in my valance and bathmats. Scrapbook paper is cheap, and I have plenty of it, so that was an easy decision. I know some people have trouble selecting colors, so let me show you how I did mine. I picked three shades of blue that I felt were strong contenders, based on the colors I already have in the room, and I just held them up 'til one stood out to me more than the others.

Like this:

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Comparing to the valance ...

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 ... annnnd, comparing to my bathmat.

I could see pretty quickly that the blue-green was my best option -- the far left color was too dark, and the center color didn't pick up the aqua tones -- so I folded the 12x12" sheet of paper in half, and cut it with scissors along the crease line. I just eyeballed the size I'd need for each opening, cut it roughly into thirds, and hot glued each one in place from the back.

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You could totally use tape also, especially if you wanted to reuse the mat at a later time.

From this point, I had to decide whether I wanted this frame to be oriented horizontally or vertically. I laid the shells on each paper section first while it lay horizontally ...

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... and then rearranged them when I flipped it vertically. Either way would've been great, but the horizontal version looked the best to me. When I arranged my shells, I chose 3 that were about the same size, but different shapes. Since the pencil starfish and sand dollar were both completely white, I used them to "sandwich" the striped shell in the middle and sort of make a pattern - light, dark, light. That sort of arrangement tends to be interesting to the eye and keeps the design balanced. After I was satisfied with my arrangement, I applied a few globs of hot glue to the back of each shell and eyeballed the placement in about the middle of each square. And that's IT!

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Doesn't it look awesome in my potty nook? I wish I could claim to have made the beautiful grass and shell wreath above the Seashell Shadowbox, but this was a souvenir purchased at The Shell Shop, also in Hilton Head, SC. I'd wanted to make one, and had a plan to hand-pick each shell I'd use and blah-blah-blah (you have to imagine the "blah-blah-blah" being said in my DH's voice), but the larger, prettier shells were $6-$8 each, not counting what I'd spend for the wreath base, filler, etc, and I saw quickly that just buying the wreath pre-made was a better bet! I think it cost about $28, and I love it.

What do you think of my seashell shadowbox? Could you see yourself making something like it?

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This post linked to:
Inspire Me Tuesday @ A Stroll Thru Life
Works For Me Wednesdays @ We Are That Family
Penny Pinching Party @ The Thrifty Home
Catch a Glimpse Party @ A Glimpse Inside
Hookin Up with HoH @ House of Hepworths
Doggone Dirty Craftin Linky Party @ Rhinestone Beagle
Catch a Glimpse Party @ A Glimpse Inside
Thursday's Treasures @ Chocolate Chocolate and More! 
Thursday's Treasures @ Recipes For My Boys