Thursday, May 27, 2010

Fabulous & Frugal Fun: A Shell of a Mirror!

Whenever I'm at the beach, I can hardly resist picking up seashells and marveling over the shapes and colors that magically appear in the sand. They say that Sanibel Island is the seashell capital of the world, so if you love these gorgeous treasures from the deep, then this is most certainly a destination, just as it was when Rick Miller visited the island a while back.

He hit the jackpot in a shallow sand bar pool.

"I looked down and there were shells everywhere," he told me. "It was if the sea had deposited all the empty shells in one spot. I ran back and got a bag and just started pulling up these beauties as fast as I can." Three hours later, he had amassed so many shells that he had four huge boxes filled and ready to ship home.

When it came to adding a decorative element to his Fire Island beach house, Rick found just the right opportunity to make use of all those shells. He carted them out along with his hot glue and got to glamorizing a plain, gold framed mirror.

Since using a hot glue gun to apply the adhesive would take too long, Rick melted the glue sticks in an electric skillet and spread it onto the frame with wooden sticks. (Note: Once you dedicate a skillet to hot glue melting, there's no going back to frying chicken or whipping up an omelette with it! It's forever your glue melter!)

Then in a matter of hours, and careful placement, he rode his wave of creativity and patience to achieve this sensational, seashell mirror.

Thanks to Carl & Co.'s Mark Ciolli for sharing his photos with me.

Always Frugal, Always Fabulous,

The Elegant Thrifter


  1. Love this mirror - Every January I visit FLORIDA and walk on the beach gathering seashells... I've made a variety of projects from picture frames to hot gluing shells to my lamp shades!
    Great post!

  2. A classic and gorgeous tradition--these pieces become instantly collectible! Thanks Stan!


  3. Hi Toma,
    It's great to take a gift from the sea from a vacation and create something that reminds you of that special time and memory. I truly had a blast putting it together.
    Note: No sea creatures were injured in the process. All shells were abandoned by their owners.The sea had cleaned them all for me. The ultimate shellwasher.
    Rick Miller

  4. Rick Miller is such a creative,passionate and talented person!! What a fantastic shell mirror for the house on Fire Island! Great work, Rick! TBW

  5. Amazing !!! That Ricky is amazing :)

  6. I know and love Rick, we ahve been deear friends for years, and I must tell you, this is only a titch of his genius! For my 50th birthday, he gathered the most amazing silk flowers and created the most incredibly stunning arrangements I have ever seen. "Twas some years ago, but with tender care, they are still as beautiful as when he first made them for me. He has decorated my home for Christmas, created fresh floral arrangements and catered the most amazing and elegant baby shower for a dear friend's daughter and with his partner, has the most magnificent gardens. When there is a celebration of life or a loss in death, Rick is there to rejoice with you or give comfort with spectacular florals as you have never seen. He is a gentle, loving genius and a super person.
    I am blessed to have him as a dear and treasured friend, and it is fantastic to see his work showcased so nicely!

  7. i just LOVE beach combing and this mirror is beyond good... have a wonderful weekend xx



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