I think artists in general tend to be pack rats, and I am no exception. The mussel shells were leftover from dinner from around a year ago, but they were so cool, I couldn't throw them out, so I cleaned them and stored them away. Fast forward a year, and I actually had free time to start making tons of tiaras, and I pulled out the shells, and discovered I could make an awesome mermaid tiara with them. I've made tons of mermaid tiaras over the years, and they are all radically different. They all utilize shells, which, really, makes them perfect mermaid tiaras. I love the idea of spray painting items to make them look like they are made from a different material than what they actually are. The crown above is all gold, because that's what a sea Empress would wear, right? The shells are reinforced with epoxy glue, and then wired to the tiara frame. A very elegant piece, it would go well with mermaid costumes but also any other type of costume.
Mermaid tiaras are incredibly popular, believe it or not. I never keep them in my shop long, even though my designs are all radically different. There is a craft and party supply store near where I live, and I found these sparkling green "seaweed" or sea kelp sprigs. They were destined for a mermaid tiara, and luckily I had a huge supply of both clam and mussel shells. I reinforced the backs of the shells with epoxy glue, and I painted the tops with an opalescent paint. Simple, but very recognizable as a mermaid tiara.
I am posting this tiara again, as it is really more a mermaid tiara than a "silver tiara." I see a lot of shops on Etsy selling handmade, elaborate headdresses, so I wanted to try making one. The whole base is made from wire, with securely attached real crab claws, all painted silver. I then glued shells, sea glass, and sparkling silver craft eucalyptus leaves to the tiara base. Additionally, I've wired real pearls, and silver and clear crystals to the piece. Dangling from silver ribbons are more crystals. This is one my most ambitious pieces. I've been wanting to make larger, more elaborate tiaras, so this is a good start.