March 17, 2016

How to Wall Mount a Turtle Shell

Earlier in the week we shared the newly complete corner gallery wall in our front office. Amidst the collection of art and photos are a few natural curiosities, for instance the ivory colored turtle shell that adds a little dimension into the mix:

A few years back, Mary's mom had given it to us — she'd uncovered it from the ravine overlooking the river at her home and had never quite seen a one like it. At first we wondered if it came from a specific species or perhaps belonged to a rare albino turtle, then quickly learned with a little research that the scutes (similar to scales) can shed or fall off to reveal the bone underneath. This particular shell retains 6 of the original scutes near the opening of the shell, hinting at the coloring this turtle would have had.

We've had the shell for a few years, not really sure where we'd place it before deciding on the wall — it made a nice touch within the art collection. With the help of a power drill and a few basic framing supplies, wall mounting a natural turtle shell can be quite simple — very similar in fact to the method we used to wall mount the pair of deer antlers we found in the same location some 4 years back. In the following steps, we detail the process...

  • Power drill
  • Wood drill bit
  • Wall hook and nail
  • Picture hanging wire
  • Hammer
  • Paper, pen, scissors & tape (optional)

Using a wood compatible bit, drill two equidistant holes one quarter from the top of the shell where the natural points fold in towards one another.

String the picture wire through each drilled hole, overlapping the extra wire back onto itself to create a secure hold. The shell is now prepped for wall mounting.

To mount the shell on a wall, first trace a template of the shape and tape in the desired position. Doing so helps ensure exact placement if needed in a project like a gallery wall. Hammer the frame hook into the wall directly over the paper template:

Remove the paper and hang the shell by carefully catching the wire in the hook. 

Reposition to display straight if needed and enjoy the look of a perfectly floating piece of natural history in your art display:

Pretty simple, right? We're partial to the new corner gallery here in the front office — especially how packed with personal details and memories it's collected. While this little shell sat around for a few years before the idea sparked, it always feels good to make it happen when inspiration strikes.

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