Painted Shell Necklace with Beads

In my last post, I had polished up a plain This was the original shellbleached shell to prepare it for painting.

First, I made sure there was sufficient varnish before I put any paint on the shell. Acrylic paints work well, but there can be some visible cracking sometimes as the paint dries. 

At least three coats of varnish on both sides to seal it- even before any paint goes on

My paint pens seemed to do a better job keeping the coat opaque and crack free. I had decided to choose two bright, fun beach colors to paint the shell. I chose bright green for the outside, with a sky blue on the inside. I tipped the outer edge of the shell with a metallic silver paint pen just to give it some detail. The metallic helps to “class it up” a touch, in my opinion.

These are the same type I use to paint my surfboards

Be sure to varnish after painting as well

Next, I used some FIMO clay large hole beads I made in fun swirls of color to make a cluster of pearls/barnacles/use your imagination/whatevs.

I made these with bits and pieces of leftover FIMO…trippy, man

I measured off some lengths of Linhasita cord, then braided the middle section to make a loop for the Pendant, then tied a simple overhand knot to secure it under the shell’s hole at the top.

The Pendant loop will be a simple braid


Fold the braid over, and knot it


I used the natural hole at the top of the shell

Next, I strung each bead on a couple of strands of cords at different lengths in the shell’s cup and knotted them off. I slightly melted the knots using a lighter (outdoors, of course).

Frontside of the Pendant finished

Using Kumihimo braiding, I made a matching cord for the necklace with the Linhasita cord, with a small toggle also made from the same batch of FIMO clay.

It’s waterproof!

It’s reversible!

A funky, freshy, beachy necklace from a simple local bleached out shell. 

This could have been a worse craft. I could have been like Lisa Simpson’s friends and bedazzled the surfmobile with shells. Yikes.

Sweet Merciful Crap.

Taking Color Wax Stains off of a Surfboard

Now that it’s January , I’m looking forward to getting back into regular surfing some, not just bodyboarding on my Beater board. One board that’s probably going to be on the bench for a while- while my ankle finishes healing- is my 6’10″funshape. I REALLY love this board, but I think I’ll need to break out the stable longboard more often until I build up some strength.

So, in the meantime, I wanted to paint some more sea creatures on it, since I just had the seadragon on it I painted this year, like what I did in my last post. It is like getting new tattoos, kind of addictive. But, no pain. The only tattoos I’ll be adding to is on the surfboard.

My friend and I waxed it with some blue  and yellow color wax to jazz it up some over the

Evil color wax…don’t go there

blazingly hot Florida Summer this year. I loved the colors, and it really stood out.

Now that I want to repaint it, the wax’s gotta come off. There’s A LOT to come off, but I scraped it off well.

Time to see what lurks beneath!

However, this groovy looking wax left a not-so-nice trace of blue tinge behind after scraping it off. Super. 

Tail of the board, where I had spray-on traction

Looking towards the nose

Tail of the board, you can see where the spray on traction starts!

My favorite wax remover is the Pickle. Essentially, it’s surfboard foam dust in hosiery. I’ve actually made some in the past, it’s a super easy DIY, but for some reason, I’m partial to the Pickle. It must be the hosiery they use, or the grade of the dust, who knows? I just like them better. Dennis at Core Surf even had one for me that was *like* the Pickle, that I used for this project, so it’s RED instead of green. Boo. It’s called the “Fireball.”

The holy Pickle couldn’t take off the stain!

It did okay, but the blue stain remains, especially the stripe over the seadragon, and over the area on the tail where I had applied spray traction (Monster Grip). Sheesh. Lesson learned, no more color wax for me.

But, I did get to do some research on what would get a stain off! First, I tried some Sticky Bumps Wax Remover. I’m not thrilled about using any chemicals, but I thought it would be best to give it a shot.

Dennis told me to poke holes in the foil so it all doesn’t come out at once

Got some blue up, but not much. I started to suspect this might be a baked in STAIN from all the Summer heat. I even tried NON-acetone nail polish remover. Got some more off.

I also found out from Dennis at Core Surf that my surfboard is sealed even after it’s glassed. Because of this, I could get away with a *hair* of sanding.

Enter the Magic Eraser (or whatever melamine sponges are named these days). Not my first pick to try to remove a surfboard stain, but I was willing to give it a go. It technically micro-sands the surface, which is why it’s effective at cleaning.

I had to end up using a fresh one to scrub, and I mean SCRUB. Like I’m fine sanding it. Which, in essence, I am.

It worked very well. The stain was greatly reduced, but I can still see it. That means a bigger repaint job’s going to happen soon.

On the very tail of the board, I had to scrape the spray on traction off with a blade, since the traction stained VERY easily.

I did more scrubbing/sanding with the Magic Eraser, but figured that was about as good as it was going to get for me to paint it. I’m going to have to get creative with my coverup paint job. Looking forward to it. 

After I paint, I will need to use spray sealer to keep the paint job in place, so anything I scraped/sanded off in the cleaning process will be replaced.

So, in my best Mommie Dearest voice, 

“NO MORE COLOR WAX!!!” Hehe. Kinda.

Painting My Surfboard


***Originally published on 19th February, 2016.***

Since I can’t ever leave well enough alone, I wanted to paint my new 6’10” funshape surfboard since I haven’t painted one in a while.

The paint pens I used for this project.

This time, I used fine point Montana paint pens, since they were up at Michaels’, and they have the 40% off one item coupon. Not kidding you, I got a lot of my markers one at a time over a couple of weeks so I could use the coupon. Paint markers are pricey. I’ve “heard” Poscas are the best, but they do not take sealant very well if you need to preserve your item (which you do). I used to use Painters’ Paint Pens- they sell them at craft stores and WalMart- but ever since Elmer’s Glue bought them, they’re pretty awful.

Some people will recommend sandpapering the area of the surfboard you want to paint, for it to “stick better”, but I think that’s a quick way to ruin a good paint pen nib, and gives you no way to undo errors cleanly. I just make sure the board is clean, wax, water, and chemical free!

I had a few aquatic photos of seadragons I wanted to try and paint for inspiration. First, I sketched out the main body and the head in pencil so I could get an idea of the overall proportion I wanted.

My sketch of the head. Yikes- I need that mail-order art class

Next, I started filling in with color (I started on the eye in the photo above). These are pump-style markers, so you have to press the nib down to get them to feed more paint, so I keep a scrap of paper nearby to start a new feed of paint.

Scrap paper to start new paint pens

These markers are pretty decent, I did need to go back over the main fields about 3 times to get the really bright colors. To shadow and highlight, I found it was fun to bring Pointillism back! Paint pens are perfect for this, and blending colors is neat-o. Just remember to let the paint completely dry before moving on to the next layer, and DON’T lay it on thick- it should go on kind of marker-like.

Shading and highlighting with dots of paint

Showing off the phat marker collection

Technically, when these markers dry, they’re waterproof. And yes, if you kept a light coat of wax on this (if the painting’s on the deck), and kept it from getting scratched, it MAY not chip off for a while. But it will. And that can be a good thing, especially if you’re concerned about resale.

If you want to lock your creation down, and protect it from sun, sand, and wax comb scrapes, I recommend sealing it- no matter what side you painted.

This is where is gets tricky. A lot of people claim that paint pens bleed badly when you put sealant on them. I think this typically happens when the paint is put on too thickly, or the painter didn’t leave enough time between sealant coats to let it dry. 

To set up for this, I took the surfboard out to the garage with the door open, fan on, with my FILTER MASK and SAFETY GOGGLES ready to don when getting ready to spray (HINT). I taped off the board with Frogtape (painters’ tape) and butchers’ paper to prevent any other areas from getting sprayed.

Covering the areas I didn’t want sprayed

I used a “2 in 1” Rustoleum “Ultra Cover” spray, but I still used 2 light, even coats. I had no problem with running or bleed with the Montana markers.

Pretty decent stuff, you can get it at the hardware store.


Gee, I hope I like the board. It’s all mine now, like a tattoo on the butt.