You know that feeling when you figure out how to do something and you want to share it with the world? The other day I decided I wanted to make a faux giant clamshell filled with succulents that didn’t cost hundreds of dollars like the ones sold on sites such as Ballard Design and Houzz.
Source: Ballard Design
Well, inspiration struck, she didn’t let me down, and I want to share with you that you can do this, too! It’s so easy! The results are awesome! And it was very inexpensive! 🙂
I have long had an ooey gooey crush on giant clamshells, but their hundreds-plus price tag kept obstructing our conscious coupling. (Oh Gwennie Paltrow, may the lovely alliteration of your odd press statement live on.)
Source: Elle Decor
They are just so good looking.
They add equal parts whimsy and style to any room…
And can be so versatile. Witness the planter-turned-drink-dispenser below.
But, again, so expensive, even for a faux version. Until now.
I began with a clear plastic clamshell. I happened to purchase one years ago at a garage sale and occasionally used it to serve salad for the equally occasional tropical-themed party. But you can find the same thing at the Oriental Trading Company where they term theirs a Sea Shell Punch Bowl.
Lightly sand the shell, inside and out (focus on the exterior if you will only be using it as a planter and not a drink dispenser or decorative bowl to hold say blown glass balls).
To begin building the layers of the finish, spray the shell with white or cream colored spray paint.
Once the spray paint has dried, use a paint brush to paint the shell a cream color.
While (whilst?) the paint is still wet, sprinkle with sand. Note: we didn’t have any sand on hand, but we do have a DG (decomposed granite) pathway that has a lot of sand mixed with the DG, so I sourced my sand that way. This is all to say, don’t worry about taking this step too seriously. Sprinkle sand on, rub some off, add some more (like a chef seasoning a soup: just use your intuition) and you’ll get it right.
Here is my hand, paint-dotted fingernail and all, displaying the shell in between coats of paint and sand. After this point I brushed off some sand, added more paint, and tossed on more sand. Layering, folks, it’s all about the layering.
When I was happy with the look and the paint/sand was dry, I filled the planter with cacti/succulent potting mix and planted the succulents. Note: the online versions of faux clamshells stuffed with succulents come with faux succulents, but I think a faux shell is enough faux and opted for live plants. You will need to water the succulents about every week or so and if you will not be placing them in a sunny spot indoors, give them at lest an hour or two al fresco every few days to make sure they stay happy and healthy.
Here is the one I made for a client. We used it for her coastal-themed dining room.
And on my table…I couldn’t help making one for myself, now could I?
And good ol’ Bunny Williams stuffs moss in hers (I think it goes without saying that I didn’t make hers), because she’s clever like that.
Happy weekend and happy decorating and happy faux giant clamshell succulent planter making–phew, a mouthful! 🙂