DIY: “Oyster Catcher” Decor

I love building and creating stuff. Whether it’s building new software for automation, problem-solver (any computer language), analytics, arts, crafts, or experimenting with plants. In this post, I want to share a simple craft I made out of oysters from the oysters we thoroughly enjoyed eating fresh (RIP) at one of our favorite local shellfish farms in western Washington state.

After consumption, I saved the oyster shells, cleaned them, and wanted to keep make something as a mementos. Below is a quick notebook sketch of what I thought how I wanted to memorialize them.

Draft plan

I wanted to create multi-layered rings and some fish-netting with back covering of about 190° (but not 360° for sure!). And then I wanted some oyster shells to be hanging down from the horizontal wreath in a way that would not be stiff but would move with the wind and movement. So I needed swivel joints.

Of course, that meant I needed to hook the oysters to the swivel by making some holes into the oysters—the top tiers having 2 holes, while the bottom-most having just 1 at top to hold. Drilling holes into oysters is not something I’ve done before but knowing its properties, it was clear that I needed some drill bit that would be strong enough to cut through glass and tiles cleanly.

My tungsten carbide bit was perfect! And glad to note that it managed to make 100% of the holes perfectly without cracking any shell at all. And I had several swivel hooks (I always keep all kinds of hooks around the house…you never know when you’ll make good use of them!). So far so good. But I still needed a net and a way to wrap it artistically around a wreath and hang it correctly. That’s when my wife came into play. With her help and creativity (she hand-makes incredible jewelry by the way), we hung a couple of nets (one made of ropes, another smaller of nylon) along the wreath. I was able to collect a net of 48″x144″ and another one of about 18″x6″ size. [The wreath frame can be bought at any hobby store or at a garage sale, etc.]

Finally, I needed some hanging chains which are typically used for hanging flower/plant baskets. So, from the draft design to implementation, the dimensions look like this:


The final result looks pretty good I think…of course, art is subjective. We are very happy with it and it’s hanging by the front porch and we love it. The photo shows 6 shells, but there are 10 shells (hidden behind the others depending on the angle and wind).

Finished contraption that I call “Oyster catcher”

All the dimensions and ideas are shared 🙂 What will you build next? And please share your contraptions.

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