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DIY Oyster Art

The Crowe crew visited my family at their river house this summer and I have been obsessing with all things oysters recently. I have only eaten oysters once, but they look so beautiful, natural and you can do so many fun art project with the shells.

To my surprise, they had a ton of oysters around their dock and I got so incredibly giddy excited when I saw them. I asked if I could take a few home to create some DIY oyster art and learned that they actually serve a purpose around the dock. Who knew! Apparently, the shells help with erosion and from the mud from sliding into the water.

Here's how I created my oyster art which I have displayed throughout our home.


  • “Where can I get oyster shells?” You can get large oyster shells on Amazon , Craigslist, and from seafood markets & restaurants.

  • gloss Mod Podge (or any clear decoupage glue) and a soft brush

  • printed napkins, tissue or regular copy paper to print your favorite designs (I googled my designs)

  • optional: gold acrylic paint to paint the edges, white acrylic paint to cover darker spots in shells


1) Make sure your oyster shells are clean. If your shells have darker spots on the interior surface, it is helpful to give them a coat of white acrylic paint, especially if you are using napkins or tissue paper later. Let the paint dry before the next step.

2) Print desired image on regular paper. The paper is also more durable and less likely to tear in the process. The small downside here is that when we decoupage a flat piece of paper onto a curved surface, the creases we get are a bit more visible than using tissue paper or napkins.

3) Cut your piece of design on paper a bit larger than the oyster shell. If you are using copy paper, brush the back side with Mod Podge to soften the paper a little.

4) Brush a coat of Mod Podge on the inside surface of an oyster shell. Now starting from one spot on the inside shell surface , lay the paper or napkin on the spot, and gently press the paper down little by little until it covers the entire surface.

5) Gently use a tapping motion which works really well and minimizes paper tearing 

6) While the paper is still wet, carefully tear off the excess paper around the edges.

7) Brush a generous coat of Mod Podge over the entire decoupaged surface. This will create a water resistant surface and make the trinket dish more durable. 

8) Here’s an optional step if you want to add a beautiful gold edge to the trinket or ring dish. Take some gold acrylic paint and dab along the edges all the way around. 

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