Collector of starfish? I had this project in mind for quite a while, it just took time to find the right inspiration.
What caught my eye? A display at Anthropologie. Glass containers decorated with starfish, glass, shells, branches and coral. In fact, I kept this inspo catalog tear sheet of the decor on my fridge for at least a full year.
They’re earthy and non-functional, and simple, yet ornate in design. I know, because I checked them out in person a few weeks ago to see if I could figure out what the black sealant they use to bind the glass and the object; to my dismay, I couldn’t determine what it was was made off of, but it seemed to be meticulously applied as a liquid, even though the end result looks sort of like a seamless black electrical tape wrap.
FYI, before I get started, I did find something called liquid electrical tape, and am curious to know about the method of application and in what instances it’s used, if anyone out there has experience with it. Friends suggested trying a wax/soldering technique which I’d still like to attempt someday.
Anyways, my project. I figured I could DIY this decorative piece once I found a glass or vase or jar with a narrow mouth. There were lots of legit options at the craft store (priced in full at 99-cents, even before the standard 40% discount). Don’t believe me? I can think of about 400 other projects I’d like to make with these glasses.
In the end, I splurged when I found this sweet white ceramic container at Anthropologie in the sale section ($4). It was there, I was there, it was calling out to me. I’m taking a guess, but I think it’s a decorative perfume container based on the plug that sat on top of the canister. And for selecting a new topper of choice, I pulled a few starfish from my collection to choose from.
The adhesive I decided to use wasn’t metal-based, and isn’t an adhesive at all but makes the project much more DIY-able — I had a white package of Sugru on hand, which is a silicone putty that dries into a durable form. You’ve probably seen me write about it before; it really is just that usable.
I molded it carefully to the end of one of the starfish legs, which were small enough to fit inside the top of Anthro container (the smaller of the two starfish worked better so the decor wasn’t top-heavy). Over the course of a day, I let the sugru dry outside of the container while still checking in to make sure it was molded into the right shape to fit and seal and balance on top of the container.
Success! What a quick and easy project. Differently from the original Anthropologie inspiration, the Sugru didn’t fully bond to the container the same way as it bonded to the starfish (because it didn’t dry while touching the ceramic), so it more so acts like a little cap on the container. I could remove the cap and use the white container as it was originally meant to, or even swap out the starfish for another decorative topper if I ever wanted to.