I was so excited about this idea that, like the big fat weirdo that I am, the last time I ate oysters, I asked my waitress if I could take the shells home with me. It was embarrassing, but she said it was definitely not the first time she'd had such a request. However, she warned me to be careful. The bacteria that can go along with raw oysters is bad. Like, "it could kill you" bad. Wash 'em thoroughly, she said.
And I did. I took home my stinky old oyster shells, washed and scrubbed each one with a toothbrush, and then left them to soak overnight in a disinfectant bath with a splash of bleach mixed with water.
They're no longer dangerous bacteria-wise, but sadly, they're not as beautiful as they were either, in my opinion. All the pretty green stuff, the browns, etc? All that was organic material, algae and whatnot, killed by my disinfectant bath, which left the shells looking more white than anything else. Le sigh. They've still got nice hints of black, pink and purple, but without the greens, they lose something, I think.
If you bought a piece of vintage jewellery and it arrived to you in the mail, nestled in an old oyster shell, would you be weirded out?
Anyway, if you have any wonderful decorative ideas for 'em, I'd love to hear.