Saturday, February 2, 2013

Making a Giant Clam Sea Shell

I was inspired to create this giant clam sea shell for my living room. These amazing Tridacna Gigas Giant Clam Shells can reach up to 4 feet across. The clam shell that I made measures about 28"X 15 1/2"; I was trying to make it the same size as a real, average sized clam shell. I am really happy with the result.
First I drew and cut this shape like you see in the photo out of cardboard for the sections of the clam shell. You could cut about five or six sections depending on how big you want your clam shell.
Then I cut small sections along the edge, and bent the cardboard to give it a curved shape. This way it is easy to handle.
I glued together the cuts along the edges with hot glue. This is the form I obtained.

Then I glued them together.

Then I covered all the sections with paper and white glue diluted with water.
To give it a more ruffled edge to the shell I cut this shape from cardboard, and glued it on the joint sections of the shell. Then I covered it with more paper and glue solution.


Here you can see the shell all covered. 
After the clam shell was completely dry, I covered it with All-Purpose Joint Compound using a sponge, and I let it dry. To give texture to the shell I first worked the exterior of the shell, applying a generous amount of compound, then spread it with a wide comb, and let it dry.

 Then I applied joint compound to the interior of the shell as well. To give a more smooth surface inside the shell, after applying the joint compound with the sponge, try to make long, smooth strokes with the sponge. Let dry. Instead of sanding it, I used a wet sponge to smooth the surface. If you are thinking of using the shell to place plants inside, you could apply several coats of a clear synthetic resin or clear finish for boats. 
This is how I applied a good amount of joint compound and spread it with the comb.

Spread the joint compound in a horizontal motion with the comb.
After it was completely dry, I painted it with a primer+paint acrylic paint. To give it a more realistic look, you could glue tiny shells or dried barnacles between the sections of the faux shell.






I really like my faux clam shell; I Love to decorate with sea shells.
~ Have a wonderful day and blessings always~

16 comments:

Julie Schossow said...

This is just lovely!

cathy crosson said...

Saw your link over at Sew Many Ways. How creative! What a beautiful shell and great tutorial! Love it!
crosson5.blogspot.com

Julie Schossow said...

Can't wait to see what's next. So blessed with your talents!

maho steinberg oikawa said...

amazingly nice, thank's for sharing!

PREM SINGH said...

Wow!! Really fantastic..Nice blog. Here after i will keep visiting this website very often.I love so much!! Congrats on growing your great work..
Modular Kitchen Collection

Doni said...

Well I just am blown away. I mean, that shell looks so real that it would never be suspected as a made by hand. But I love the whole technique! Not only fun to make, but gorgeous!
Doni

Esperanza said...

Están hermosas tus creaciones Dios Bendiga tus manos y ese don tan laborioso e ingenioso. T.Q.M. desde Venezuela

ReneaHamstra said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
ReneaHamstra said...

Getting what I need today to make this! I need to make a clam for my newborn daughter's photos after she is born in March :) I'll put a soft fabric in there so she can lay on it and drape her in pearls. I think the measurements will even work. Then after I use it getting the photos I want I can use it for decoration. I am so glad I found this.

thegreatzambini.com said...

What a great idea! I may want to tweak it a bit to suit my needs, but this is really a great plan. Thanks for sharing!

Gloria 0 said...

I just love this!!! I want to try to make this how long and wide where the pieces that you used? Thank you for this amazing tutorial

Kate Farrow said...

Katty's gorgeous design was the inspiration for a double sided shell with tray I made. I found her clear instructions and pictures really useful. Thank you Katty. Will definitely recommend this to anyone who wants to make a giant shell!

Claudia said...

Amazing! I don't know if it looks so real in person, but it seems real from here. I always wanted one of those, but they are very expensive where I live. I will certainly use your lovely tutorial. Thanks for sharing!

Kitty Kat said...

How sturdy is it?

Katie Farrow said...

Once you have glued the cardboard sections together from that point on really it gets noticeably stronger with every layer.
It's in storage currently so will see how it holds up longterm but the design is pretty resilient and it travelled extremely well. I was worried about how delicate it might be too but so far it's held up to a lot more than I thought it'd cope with.
I balanced the two halves on top of each other so in terms of it being properly connected with a hinge or something would be very interested to hear from anyone who manages that. I'd like to develop the one I made further. Thanks again Katty's Cosy Cove.

Debbie Dragon said...

You are a genius! I'm so excited to make this clam shell with some friends. We're always try to find artsy type of projects to do. I live on the water, I love seashells and I can't wait to create one of these for my own home. Thank you so much for sharing your creativity – it's so unbelievable that this was made out of cardboard. With much thanks, Debbie Dragon from Madeira Beach Florida

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