These cute little Pistachio Shell Flower Magnets are a direct result of my bad habit of hoarding “someday this might be useful” stuff or, in this case, pistachio shells. Sometimes, my collections end up being thrown out or recycled because I can’t come up with anything clever to do with them. Happily, I found a great use for the pistachio shells! 🙂 We eat a lot of pistachios – the kids take them almost every day in their lunchbox, so it was pretty easy for me to accumulate a decent sized stash.
I first started saving pistachio shells for Mo. She participates in a fashion show each year where the garments are required to be made from recycled materials. I had visions of sequin-like layers of pistachio shells painted in metallic hues. Mo had other ideas and wasn’t really interested in the shells. But, I had saved so many, I thought there must be something I can do with these. Some were used for drainage in planters and I was thinking about composting the rest when I saw a picture of these pistachio shell flowers. They are pretty easy to make and look really pretty as magnets on the fridge.
The natural colored ones were the fastest to make because I just had to make sure they were clean. Painting the shells was not that easy and I’m looking for a better way. Of course you could hand paint them one by one, but I’m not sure I have enough patience for that. For these bright colored ones, I put some shells in a sandwich bag with a squirt of acrylic paint. I added about a teaspoon of water to thin it out so that the paint would smush all around and cover the shells. This worked for about half of the shells. I could probably touch up the blank spots with a brush – I’ll save that for a day when I’m feeling especially patient. 🙂
After I got the shells sorted out, with the painted ones dry and the natural ones clean, I cut out small circles of cardboard and felt. Using a mini wine bottle as the template, I just traced around it and cut out the circles.
Then, I got my hot glue gun out and started gluing the shells onto the cardboard. On the first one, I started in the center and worked my way out, but the next ones I did the opposite and started from the outside first and I think this method creates the cleanest circle.
Whether you start with the middle or outside, the center shells end up being more upright.
This is a natural one that I started from the outside and prefer this method.
Just keeping adding the hot glue in small sections and attaching the shells.
I think they are super cute and I love both the natural look and the bright colors. I was also thinking that the natural ones could probably be spray painted once assembled. I’m going to experiment with that when I have time.
Once the flowers are completely assembled and the glue is dry, glue the felt and magnet onto the back.
I picked up these heavy duty magnets because wimpy magnets drive me crazy when I am trying to keep things organized on the fridge.
That’s all there is to it. These are pretty fun to make. Older kids that can handle a glue gun could make these easily. And if you have some time and patience, I think the painting could be fun as well. There are probably many different designs or ways to paint these to make them even more interesting.