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Faux Capiz Shells

If you haven't already discovered the incredible world of Pinterest, I highly recommend you check it out! The site features virtual bulletin boards where you can collect ("pin") images of pretty much anything that inspires you. I'd say I get 95% of my ideas from browsing here. Check out my pin boards here. :)

This post features a rocking DIY tip I found, originally from Making faux capiz (a type of seashell) from....

...drum roll... are you ready for this?...

... bubble wrap. No way, I thought. Then I thought, that's rad :). I've had a clock I've been wanting to jazz up, and it was the perfect excuse to try out this madness for myself.

There were two phases to this project- painting the rim and face of the clock, and then creating the new numbers and bubble wrap "shells" and applying them to the face. I had all the supplies for Phase 1 on hand, so this part cost me zero.

Phase 1 Supplies:
  • "Very Fine" 220 grit sandpaper
  • Rag
  • Aluminum foil
  • Painter's tape
  • Rustoleum American Accent Gloss Spray Paint in Sour Apple
  • Rustoleum Semi Gloss Spray Paint in White

1.  Following "best practice" for repainting glossy surfaces, its always a good idea to buff with sand paper and wipe down with a rag.

2. Prep and spray the rim. I didn't bother cutting a circle out of paper, instead I folded a few pieces of aluminum foil into a circle and secured it with painter's tape, then applied a few coats of the Sour Apple.

I liked the shade of green, but after trying it out in the house with the rest of the colors, it was a little too neon. So I toned it down with a little white paint applied with a paper towel, and it did the trick!

3. Spray the clock face with Rustoleum Semi Gloss. Nothing to it, this took about 5 seconds.

Now comes Phase 2, creating the faux capiz shells from bubble wrap. I had no idea how to pronounce this word up until yesterday. KA-peez? KA-pis? ka-PEEZ? So I broke down and did the un-lazy thing and Googled it. The audio pronunciation from cracks me up! Turns out it's ka-PEEZ. These shells are used in swanky chandeliers that sell for up to 2k. This more affordable one is just over $300 from The Nature Company.
Or this gorgeous placemat, 2 for $148 from F L & B Fine Linen and Bath.
So here we go with ours for virtually $FR.EE
Phase 2 Supplies:
  • Bubble wrap (use the kind with the small bubbles). I used a 9.3 squ ft roll and had some left over, how much you need just depends on the size of your project.
  • Parchment paper
  • Iron
  • Scissors
  • Tacky glue
  • Silver spray paint
  • Something to cut out circles with (I used my spaghetti serving measurer! :)
All I bought for this phase of my project was the parchment paper, which was like $3, and the bubble wrap, which was like $2. So far so good on this diy!

    1. Pop all the bubble wrap.  I cut strips and wrung them out like a wet towel. It didn't pop every single bubble, but the ironing process should finish off any survivors. :)

    After all that popping, the strips should resemble a shed snake skin. You know, like the kind they made you touch in grade school. Side observation- I found that one either finds the sound/process of popping tons of bubble wrap extremely satisfying, or extremely irritating. Maybe a little of both.

    2. Iron the bubble wrap. Place 2 pieces of bubble wrap on top of each other. Put them between two layers of parchment paper. Set your iron to "wool" or medium and iron over the parchment-bubble wrap-parchment sandwich, holding for 30 sec. in each spot. Press firmly to pop any last bubble stragglers. 

    3.Wait for it to cool, then add another layer of bubble wrap and iron it to the stack, as in step 2. Continue until you've ironed together 7 layers of bubble wrap. It should look something like this:

    When I finished ironing I was pretty impressed! It actually looked a bit like shell, and the plastic gives it a shine like seashells have too!

    4. Cut out circles. I used my spaghetti serving size measurer, which was pretty effective. I made 3 different size circles, about 2 in. diameter, 1 in, and 3/4 in. You could also cut squares or rectangles and use them for a frame or any other surface that needs a little bling bling for that matter!

    5. Time to bust out the Tacky Glue. Apply glue to the back of a circle and place on your object. Wiggle the piece around a bit to make sure the glue spreads to every part of the circle. I layered my pieces like a dish of Potatoes Au Gratin, two rings of the large circles, 3 of the medium size, and 2 of the small ones.

    6. Paint the hands and numbers. I painted the existing clock hands gray. I tried a few options for the numbers and sprayed them silver. Can you guess what I used?

    Yes, that's "googly eyes" as in the kind you use in Kindergarten. I think I should win a prize for Most Creative Use of Googly Eyes, or maybe Any Use of Googly Eyes :) You can use whatever you like, I also considered scrapbook sticker numbers, house address numbers, or glass pebbles for the hour markers. Ultimately the googly eyes won out, and it just makes me happy like a little kid when people ask what its made of.

    Handy Tip!:
    After 3 failed attempts to put the hour markers in the right spot (* embarrassed ; / ), this possibly no-brainer but none the less brilliant idea hit me. When gluing the hour markers, set the clock hands in the "12" position and glue down the first marker. Then wind the clock so that the minute hand is at "12" and the hour hand will show where "1" should be. Repeat this all the way around the face for flawless time keeping!

    Here's the almost finished product, googly eyes and all:

    I have to say I was super stoked by how the faux capiz turned out! This is the essence of my blog: making something look like a million bucks with BUBBLEWRAP!!! winning! :)

    7. Assemble everything back together and hang where it can be admired by all, hehe.

    It's hung in the perfect spot, next to the front door. It adds the perfect amount of bling to the living room, and goes great with my curtains!

    This shot really shows the shine.  It's not this neon in real life, its more subdued. Sigh, time for that new camera already! So to recap- Phase one= $0, Phase 2= $5. Upcycled bubblewrap clock for $5? boo yah :) Of course if you don't have all the supplies it will cost more. My strategy is to do projects where I already have most of the supplies. What is that adage, "cheapness is the mother of resourcefulness"?

    Baby days :)

    I'm ba-aack!
    lol, I ended up taking a month-and-a-half break from blogging for a very good reason, our son Andrew Carter was born! I'm loving mommy life and seeing him change so fast before my eyes.

    Welcome to the world, Andrew! :) He's our little munchkin, and after 24 hours of labor, he arrived perfectly healthy. I can't believe how much he's grown just in the last month!

    I'm totally copying Sherri from Young House Love's idea of taking pictures all throughout the first year. She took them every week, I'm not that hard core, so I'll try to keep up with it every month! Check out her finished product here. Here's our first month installment:

    And another,

    Not sure which I like better yet. I'm hoping to get a better camera this month (thanks to my Sweetie!), I figure now that Andrew's here I don't want to be taking grainy, crap, out of focus shots anymore! I'm excited! :) I'll post when I actually take the plunge and make the purchase. 

    Looking forward to blogging more regularly from now on! Between feedings and changings and flirting with my little guy, I actually have managed to continue diy-ing. Tata for now,

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