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Scarlet Calliope Sea Shells C 1

She Sells C Shells by the Sea Shore!

A while back I received a fun little gift from Debi Beard during a field trip to the Mermaid Mercantile at Out of the Blue in Solana Beach, CA. This extra special field trip was part of a dreamy shopping adventure arranged by Kim Caldwell during her Affaire at Tiffany’s-themed art event in Manhattan Beach.

The gift from Debi consisted of a white letter C and some sea shells and a challenge to embellish the letter in our own style. It’s only been 2 years but I finally stepped up to the challenge! I’ve put together a Sailor’s Valentine inspired tutorial so you can make your own project using some sea shells you collected on vacation (or purchased in a craft shop!)

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First, start out with a letter or shape. It can be made of wood or chipboard.

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Using a paint brush, cover a small area of your letter with Matte Medium, and then lay down a piece of book paper, vintage music sheet or clothing pattern tissue. Cover the paper with the Matte Medium (I use Liquitex) so that it becomes soft and will stick flat to your letter.

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Continue layering paper all the way around the top and sides of your letter. If you have curves in your letter, you’ll want to brush a little Matte Medium onto your letter and then place a strip of paper down. Cut slits into your paper on the inside and outside of curves to allow it to fully wrap around your letter and not create wrinkles. Always cover your paper with more Matte Medium so that it is completely sealed. Set on a piece of plastic wrap or a non-stick surface and allow to dry.

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Once your Matte Medium layer is dry, you can begin painting the paper with acrylic paint to give it an aged and shabby chic look. I mixed some Gesso with Matte Medium, brushed on a thin layer and then rubbed most of it off with a paper towel. You could also use a baby wipe for this step. Allow to dry.

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The next step is to glue down your sea shells. I used Tacky Glue, but you could use E6000 if you want a faster drying time.

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Begin laying down your larger sea shells first, and then add in your tiny shells into the blank spots. Allow to dry.

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You can skip this step if you want your book pages to show or you can follow along and have a sparkly, glittered initial!  Using a paint brush, smooth on your favorite glitter glue on a section of the sides of your initial.  I used Scotch Scrapbookers Glue with a 2 way applicator. I really like this glue because the tip is skinny and allows me to get glue into all the nooks between my sea shells. Work in sections so that your glue doesn’t dry before you get your glitter on. Glitter the sides of your initial with Diamond Dust glass glitter and after the entire initial is covered, allow to dry.

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Next you’ll want to squeeze glue in between all the sea shells and then sprinkle with more Diamond Dust glass glitter. Allow to dry.

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For the final step, tie a gorgeous bow using Lovebug Creations Rumple Ribbon. I used “Eyes of Blue” and “Icy Sky” for this project. I added a piece of coral to the top to finish it off.

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Thank you so much for joining me for this easy and fun summer project!

And, if you joined us for the Lovebug Creations Summer Release Blog Hop you’ll remember that I offered a $5 Gift Certificate to one lucky winner!  It’s Crystal Riley!  Crystal, please contact me at info @ scarletcalliope .com (remove spaces) with your email address. Congratulations!


Christine Barker