Oyster Art: Decoupage Oyster Shells

Creating beautiful pieces via oyster art and oyster decoupage is super easy and a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon crafting! These beautiful pieces can be used for so many things. You can frame them in a shadow box, fix them to a painted canvas, use them as jewelry dishes or name card displays in a table setting to name a few. No matter how you display them, these oyster art pieces are truly a treasure. In this post, I am sharing exactly how to make some beautiful oyster decoupage pieces of your own!

Before we get started, be sure to follow me on Instagram and click the DIY highlight in my profile for my latest video tutorial on how to decoupage oyster shells.

How Do You Hand Paint Oyster Shells?

Oyster Art and Decoupage Oyster shells are some of my biggest topics on the blog and the first question that comes up is, how do you hand paint oyster shells? Would you be blown away to know that these beautiful oysters are NOT hand painted? The beautiful designs are actually created with napkins and/or decorative paper. That’s where the ”decoupage” comes in.

Oyster Art | Oyster Decoupage

What You Need to Decoupage Oysters for the Perfect Piece of Oyster Art

  1. Oyster Shells (I love eating oysters, so I collect them from dinner. You can also purchase a box of oyster shells on amazon)
  2. Acrylic Paint Brushes
  3. Printed Paper, Tissue Paper or Napkins for decoupage design (I get all mine on Etsy-linked)
  4. Gilding Paint
  5. White Acrylic Paint
  6. Mod Podge

Start out by painting the inside of your shell white. This helps to mute any discoloration or the darker circular part of the inner shell that can show through the tissue or paper design.

Next, Mod Podge the inside of your shell so that the printer paper, tissue, or napkin can be attached to the shell.

Then, after the Mod Podge drys, paint the edges and bottom of your oyster shell with guiding paint.

Finally, once your gilding paint has dried, cover the oyster piece in Mod Podge. Don’t worry, Mod Podge is used for decoupaging and will dry completely clear and slightly shiny.

Trendy Napkins for Oyster Decoupage

Want to know where I get my trendy decorative napkins for my oyster art and oyster decoupage crafts? Recently, I created another batch of beautiful oyster jewelry dishes, paper weights, and pieces to bew made into oyster jewelry and glued on to oyster canvases. Check out another one of my Oyster Decoupage posts, Decoupage Oyster Crafts for napkin recommendations and a more metallic gold paint option!

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Hi! I'm Alexandra

I am an entrepreneur, author, and mom of 3 from Memphis, Tennessee. I fill my days pursuing the dream of being my own boss as a full time influencer and sensory marketing specialist while spending my evenings playing superheros, helping with homework, making dinner, and tucking in my littles.

Leave a Comment


  1. 6.23.22
    Peggy Schuetz said:

    I can’t wait to make some of these beaitiful shells!!!. What is the difference in gilding paint and gold paint? Also, I assume you cut the paper to fit the shell?
    Thank you!

    • 6.24.22
      Alexandra Nicole said:

      Yay! You will have so much fun making these. The gilding paint truly looks like shines gold. Gold paint dries with a more matte look. I have tried both and the gilding paint is WAY better! I cut the paper a little larger then the shell. Once you press it into the shell you will find that you need it a little larger. 🙂

  2. 12.3.22
    Marisa Renn said:

    I wish I could become successful, I don’t know how!

    • 12.5.22
      Alexandra Nicole said:

      Which one have you tried? I would be happy to help!