Friday, October 21, 2011

My Shell Was Broken

Remember this post where I showed you my favorite purchase from Atlanta?

Well, this is actually what I pulled out of the box when it arrived at my home:

Aaaahhh!  Actually, I had prepared myself for something to be broken.  I just expected it.  I really thought that it might be broken in half, but this break turned out to be much better that a clean split would have been.  This one wasn't too hard to fix.

I started by gathering up all of the pieces I could find in the box.  I could hear some rattling around inside the shell, so I shook and shook until they all fell out.  There were about a million (almost ;-).  My first plan was to try to piece and glue them all back together, but the more I thought about it I knew that wouldn't work.  This thing is heavy and the broken part is on the bottom, right where all of the weight would rest.  

So, I brainstormed with my sister and she suggested trying clay.  Brilliant idea!  I went to Hobby Lobby and picked this one.  I had no idea what kind to get other than I knew I wanted a clay that would air-dry.

As soon as I opened the box the smell transported me back to my elementary school art class.  We got to do a clay project each year and that wet, gray, mushy clay triggered many memories of those times.  I got to work mashing big globs of the clay into the hole.  I filled it totally in and molded the ridges along the top to match what was already there.

The clay was super easy to work with, and I just added a little bit of water to my fingers if it started to get too dry. 

I wanted to try and match the texture of the shell, so I found an old bottle brush under my sink and pressed the bristles in to match the spots that were already on the shell.  I also used a knife to make long ridges. 

The package did state that the clay would shrink as it dried, so this is what I had the next day:

I thought about filling it in with more clay and letting it dry again, but I thought I would just keep having the same problem with the shrinking.  The clay that was there and dry was nice a solid and attached well, so I just grabbed a tube of paintable caulk and filled in the cracks.  I smoothed it out a little with my fingers when all of the holes were filled in and let it dry.  

Everything looked good!  I picked out a few colors of craft paint and mixed the best I could to match the shell and here's the result:  

I'm happy with how it turned out, considering the big hole I started with!  It's now sitting happily on the dresser in my entry way full of gourds and pumpkins. 


The next time we take a trip, I'm buying something small!

1 comment:

  1. I just found your blog and am your newest follower. This shell fix is amazing and I love the way you displayed the final product in your home. You are one talented woman!


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