Mylifesamess's Blog

Refurbished Clam Shell

Posted in crafts, Etsy, home decor by mylifesamess on 03/26/2011

I found this clam shell jewelry dish on the miscellaneous crap table at a flea market.  I’m a bit dubious of its “antique” status, but I thought it could be a nice decor addition with a little work.  I purchased it for 99 cents and set off to the craft store to obtain supplies.

Clam Shell Before

I needed to clean it up and replace the missing rhinestones.  I also decided to replace the fake pearls as their surface coat was cracked or worn off in some spots.  I searched at two craft stores, and was only able to find flat backed rhinestones, none of whose colors matched the remaining stones.  I was also unable to find non drilled fake pearls, and I worried that the holes on either end would look tacky.

I would have liked to go with a clear, white, somewhat muted rhinestone, but ended up going with an opaque, white rhinestone because I couldn’t find the former in the proper size.  I went with the same hue pearls and figured that it would look all right as long as I positioned the drilled ends as close to the next pearls as possible.  It was actually a bit of a struggle to find comparably sized and colored pearls.

I got home and gave the shell a good toothbrush scrubbing to clean off all the grime, especially the dust that had collected in the crevices :

Minty Fresh

I then used a small flat head screwdriver to remove the pearls and rhinestones and the remaining glue.  It turns out the pearls were pre-molded into circlets for the shell, instead of being individual pearls.  I’m always in need of extra rhinestones for old jewelry, so removing them was actually useful to me.

Narked Clam!

The only glue I had on hand was a liquid paper glue.  I tried to use it, but, obviously, it didn’t work very well.  I got a more gooey adhesive which worked 100 times better.  First on were the rhinestones.  I used tweezers to place them so I didn’t end up with rhinestones stuck all over my fingers.  Also, the time limits of working with glue are a little stressful.

First, the rhinestones

The way the light is shining on them in this photo takes away from some of the cool detail of the rhinestones.  But, with the tweezers and new glue, they were affixed quickly and easily.

Then, the pearls

The pearls also went fairly quickly, and were easy to place in the way I wanted thanks to the tweezers.  Since they aren’t molded to each other, there’s more space in the circlets than there was originally.  Once everything was glued, I surveyed my work and wasn’t sure how I felt.  Did it actually look better than it had before?  Did I make the wrong call with the rhinestones?  Was it worth the cost of the extra pieces to re-do?

I think I still would have preferred the clear rhinestones, to be honest, but I do enjoy the muted, pinkish accent given off by the opaque ones I ended up using.  The inconsistencies of the metal molding holding the pearls is more apparent now than before, but there’s not much I can do about that.  I definitely prefer the more delicate replacement pearls to the ones before.  The drilled holes are visible, but I don’t it detracts from the piece.  All in all, I’m happy with the results.  Not elated, but happy.

If interested, the listing for this item on Etsy can be found here : Refurbished Clam Shell Jewelry Dish

After Clam


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