Years ago my grandma gave me a pair of funky vintage seashell earrings. They were the rimmed in gold and were the perfect blend of tacky and chic (if that's even possible). I would put them on in the first days of summer, and they would stay until the fall chill started creeping into the air. Sadly, a while bag they got crushed in my luggage after some careless packing. I was devastated and I still miss them when accessorizing on particularly beachy days. With summer fast approaching I felt it was time to reinvent my old favorites.
You will need:
metal leaf sealer
metal leaf adhesive
metal leaf (gold)
round nose pliers
Applying Gold Leaf
Step 1: Paint a thin layer of sealer on the shell and let it dry before applying a thin layer of metal leaf adhesive. Paint adhesive wherever you want the gold leaf to stick. I painted the entire inside of the shell and a 1/8" border around the front. Let the adhesive dry about 20 minutes, it should be tacky but not wet before moving on to step 2.
Step 2: Press gold leaf onto the shell, it should stick.
Step 3: Using a soft bristled brush, smooth the gold leaf onto the shell. Apply more to fill in any cracks or holes.
Step 4: Fold gold leaf over the edges, applying more if needed to cover the adhesive completely. Keep brushing to smooth down the gold leaf, and remove any excess.
It should look like this when you are done. If you are using metal leaf, rather than the real gold, you will need to apply another layer of sealer to prevent the metal from tarnishing.
Step 1: Drill a hole in the top of your shell using a dremel and a 1/16" drill bit. I find it is easiest to do this from the inside out.
Step 2: Thread a small bead on your headpin to keep it from slipping through the hole. It doesn't matter what the bead looks like as you wont really be able to see, but try to choose something neutral.
Step 3: Grab the wire about 1/8" from the top of the shel as twist around to make a loop.
Step 4: Thread your earring onto the loop.
Step 5: Grab the loop crosswise with your pliers and wrap the wire around itself like a tiny noose. For more info on this step check out my wire wrapped necklace tutorial.
Step 6: Snip the excess wire.
It's as easy as that and I have fancy new seashells to wear to my next bonfire at the beach!