|the toy wooden containers|
|and now the former toy container turned shell display|
Once all of that was done I needed to decide how to display the shells and make then stay on the wall. I knew using a hot glue gun would do the trick but I felt guilty. These are beautiful pieces that come from the ocean and I am going to soil them by slathering hot glue all on them. I went around and around with a few ideas but nothing else worked. I finally relented and figured shells displayed and enjoyed with some glue is much better then them stuffed in some containers collecting dust.
I set everything that would be on the wall on the floor. Measured the wall, used random markers (two chairs and my kitchen cabinets) as a visual for the size of the wall. And just started laying things down. Arranging and rearranging until things started to work. I knew the anchor was going to be in the middle, and one 8×10 picture on each side for symmetry but I did not want it to look too uniform.
When I figured out the formation of all of that I placed the shells inside. Being aware of not putting all of the colorful shells in one, or spreading out clam shells, crab shells, mussels, star fish, and sand dollars throughout all of them. I finally figured out the best balance I could manage.
Next, the gluing. I used the low setting on the glue gun. I don’t think it could damage the shells on the high setting but I did not want to take the chance. Some of these are very special, either given to me from family or we picked them up ourselves. The hardest part with this was finding spots that the shells touched the surface of the display box. Some of them only had a thin piece of the shell touching it. I also did not want to put too much on. In case I ever do want to replace the shells with newer ones. But of course not too little where the shells fall out. You know that perfect balance in between that you have no way of knowing. Yeah, that is what was going on here.
I carefully held down the shell in the position I wanted it to sit in for
maybe 5 seconds before I felt it held good
I also did a test after each display had all of the shells glued. First wiggling them myself, then lightly shaking, then picking up and holding sideways, and then finally hanging upside down. The displays, not me in case you were wondering. I had not a one fall or move. Go me and my super hot glue gun powers. I tell you I am pro!
Now to get them all on the wall. I started with the middle of the wall and worked my way out.
I also consulted quite often the pictures I took of the display on the floor. Because I liked the look and location of the shells. There was a lot of running back and forth for the needed display, looking at pictures, and then telling my husband where to hang them. We connected the displays by using a standard screw in the top corners of each display. And that ladies and gentlemen is the whole project. It turned out so great, and I adore walking by it all the time.
I hope it was worth the teasing and waiting. I know the angles are a bit odd with the pictures but the hallway is an awkward place to take pictures. And we have had absolutely no sun for a whole week so some of these pictures I hope to update when Mr. Sun decides to shine down on me and my home. I showed my kids the finished wall once we were done with it. The two oldest loved it and eagerly asked which shells were which and the story of how we got them. My youngest, free spirited Gavin stated “Wow, it looks like a castle Mommy.” Yes! Nailed it, my castle, shell, ocean wall, obviously. This is the boy that has sword fights with heels on so I guess I should not take his opinion to heart too much.
In all seriousness I would say the most expensive part of this project was those Melissa and Doug toys that the wooden displays were used for. Those toys are pricey. But hey I got my money’s worth. A two for one, fun toys and a great wall display that makes me smile and reminds me of my youth, family, friends, memories with my husband and kids now on vacation there. So many, and they are all there. And now my semi coastal style home just became a little more coastal, in Wisconsin. Hey it is my home and I love it.