House Beautiful

Big Tacky Plastic Clam Shell Re-Do: VOILA!

Purchased: January 2012

Where: Goodwill Store in Santa Monica

Price: $3

Size: 18″ x 12″

Thoughts: Why would anyone pay any kind of cheddar for a large, plastic, found-in-a-Big Lots-in-Naples-lookin’ clam shell?  Well, I’d been eyeing giant clam shells for quite some time to use as a lovely, natural accent piece in our apartment.  This summer I even participated in an epic, Saving Private Ryan-esque, hour-long haggle fest with some poor vendor at the Pasadena Flea Market.  He wanted $75 for a shell; I acted all hard, then pouted, then melodramatically stomped off, sulking to my visiting mom.  I guess these things are really, really rare (the clam shells… not my tantrums), so you’ve either got to fork over major dough for the real thing, or pay a good amount for a fake version like this one from Z Gallerie.  No thanks to both.

So this DIY was the easiest I’ve ever finished. First, I took it out back like Old Yeller and spray painted it white.  I made sure to leave the tiniest bit of the original blue color to seep through, giving it a slightly more bit of depth:

Then I went to town and filled it with darling little succulents just purchased at Home Depot.  PS, they’ve got some great cacti/succulents for those with a history of killing off regular plants.  Anywho, so I filled the shell, and


My formerly cheap-a@@ looking tchotchke became a pretty miniature succulent garden that’s provided a nice organic touch to our place.  I love it.  And if I defy the odds and am the .001% of the population to kill the succulents, I’ll probably end up using it as either a magazine holder…


Or as a fruit basket on my kitchen table, to hold my new obsession, clementines:


The moral of the story?  As Steph’s pointed out a ton in her Goodwill Hunting posts, you gotta look in the most unexpected places for little gems to emerge.   Go to your Goodwills, go to rummage sales, go to Salvation Armys.  Put on your No Excuses overalls and slap some paint, some new knobs, or some new fabric on your find and there you go: a little dime piece that cost you a fraction of the fancier newer pieces out there in stores!

Jam out with your clams out, people.

Yours truly,

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