DIY Trinket Trays using IOD Moulds and Transfers

Need some beautiful trinket trays to hold your car keys, loose change, or jewelry? Display your creative talent along with those precious things you don’t want to lose!

Earlier this year, so many of you went crazy over these beauties in the Iron Orchid Designs Creative Tribe.

These gorgeous trinket trays were created by Tribe Member and maker, Carla Beven, using seashells, decoupage tissue, and IOD Moulds. Luckily, she kindly shared her step-by-step process with us so that one of our stockists could create this tutorial for you.

Now you can make your very own trinket trays!

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Many thanks to IOD Stockist Susan from Vintage Restore & More located in Inman, South Carolina. She made the jewelry trays you see above and shared all the juicy “how-to” details.


All IOD products can be purchased from an approved stockist. To find a shop local to you, click here. To find an online store, click here.

(This post contains affiliate links.)

Note: If this is your first time using IOD Moulds or IOD Transfers, please check out our beginner tutorials before you get started.


Step 1: Clean, dry and scuff the surface of the baking shells

Clean the shells in warm soapy water and let them dry. Using 320 grit sandpaper, scuff up the shell to help the paint adhere to the smooth surface.

Step 2: Paint and seal shells

Susan painted just the interior of the shell since she wanted a white background and liked the natural look of the outside of the shell.

Step 3:  Make the air dry clay castings

For her project, Susan used IOD Air Dry Clay and IOD Classic Elements, Acanthus, Gen 1 Fleur Moulds to create the castings. A light coating of cornstarch dusted inside the mould cavity acts as a release, if needed.

Smooth out the back of the casting against the micro rim with a putty knife (or credit card) so it’s nice and flat. Then flip over the mould and fold it back so that the casting falls out without any pulling or tugging.

Susan discovered that the small round flowers from the Acanthus Mould make great “feet” so the tray will be level and won’t wobble!

Step 4: Glue the castings in place

To create a base, glue the small round flower castings to the bottom of each shell, set it down on a hard surface and slightly put pressure on the top of shell to make level.

Glue the decorative castings to the rim of the shell to create embellishment on your trinket tray.

Be generous with the glue to ensure good adhesion. Wipe off any glue that seeps out of the sides with a wet rag or small wet paintbrush. Remember to stick your paintbrush in soapy water when you’re are done to make cleanup a snap!

Step 5: Paint the castings

Let your casting dry – ideally overnight. But, if you’re in a hurry, wait at least until a crust is formed to preserve the design details.

Using a small artist brush, paint the castings with your color of choice. Susan chose the same white as the interior of the shell.

Let everything dry overnight.

Step 6:  Apply your transfers

You just need a few small pieces of transfer for this project — this is what you’ve been saving all your scraps for! Use them up and layer them on.

A small popsicle stick or end of an artist’s brush can help you rub on the transfer in any tight spaces where the provided tool is too big. Make sure the transfer has good contact with the shell.

Step 7:  Burnish and seal

Use the transfer backing to burnish the transfer, then seal the transfer using an acrylic sealer or top coat.

Step 8: Apply Liquid Gold Leaf to the high points of the castings and around the shell edges

Apply the Liquid Gold Leaf using the flat side of the artist’s brush. Since the Liquid Gold Leaf is oil-based it needs to be the final step. Now let your trinket trays dry thoroughly before use (or before giving them as gifts!).

If you’re looking for a more coastal vibe for your trinket trays, check out this tutorial by IOD stockist Goodson Vintage Treasures in Lincolnton, NC using the Sea Sisters Mould and Painterly Floral Transfers.

What did you think of this tutorial? Please let us know in the comments below.

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  1. Julia Ussery on March 31, 2021 at 3:43 pm

    Love it and will definitely be on my list to try.
    Julia 🙂

    • IOD Customer Service IOD Customer Service on April 1, 2021 at 10:47 am

      Awesome! Thanks Julia! ❤️

    • Vee Aiken on April 8, 2021 at 5:15 pm

      Beautiful, what a great idea!

      • IOD Customer Service IOD Customer Service on April 9, 2021 at 12:13 pm

        Thanks Vee! So glad you like this post ❤️

        • Denela on April 13, 2021 at 10:00 am

          Beautiful! absolutely beautiful! Very inspirational! 😍😊 Thank you sharing this wonderful craft idea, definitely one I want to try.

      • Татьяна on May 29, 2023 at 1:41 pm

        очень здорово, попробую повторить , спасибо за вдохновение

    • Fiermans Joelika on March 24, 2023 at 5:29 am

      Dankjewel Julia, het is prachtig 😍

    • Teresa on September 16, 2023 at 1:36 am

      M’ha agradat molt!

  2. Nancy on April 7, 2021 at 8:10 am

    Fabulous! I’ve been wanting to try this and really appreciate the detailed instructions and your beautiful pieces!

    • IOD Customer Service IOD Customer Service on April 9, 2021 at 12:12 pm

      Wonderful! So glad that you find this helpful, Nancy! ❤️

    • Tiffany M Chever on April 9, 2021 at 5:28 pm

      This is such a great idea & it turned out beautiful! I wanted to ask you if the shell came from the IOD mould? Thank you

    • Robin S on April 13, 2021 at 7:40 am

      Beautiful! Thank you for the tutorial. For those of us who don’t have access to the beautiful shells have you found a place to buy them?

      • Isabelle on April 13, 2021 at 8:46 am

        You can find the link in the materials list.

  3. carmen daumer carmen daumer on April 8, 2021 at 5:21 pm

    Absolutely Beautiful

    • IOD Customer Service IOD Customer Service on April 9, 2021 at 12:14 pm

      Thanks Carmen! We absolutely agree. Carla and Susan did an incredible job!

  4. Miss D on April 8, 2021 at 5:28 pm

    yes just gorgeous!!! always love new twists on ways to add/use my same IOD molds on!!! Really well done job to Miss Susan and a big thank you for sharing your process!! Def wink be trying soon

    • IOD Customer Service IOD Customer Service on April 9, 2021 at 12:19 pm

      Thanks, Miss D! We would love to see what you create when you try this out! ❤️

  5. jeani miner on April 8, 2021 at 5:35 pm

    These are stunning. I’m thinking gifts for Mother’s Day, hostess gifts, thank you gifts for hairdressers, manicurists, teachers and for bridesmaids.
    What a great way to use up the little bits and pieces.

  6. Sue on April 8, 2021 at 5:56 pm

    Absolutely gorgeous! Will be trying this technique!

  7. Leslie on April 8, 2021 at 7:08 pm

    Thank you so much for the information on making the beautiful Trinket Trays. I will definitely attempt to make some. I love them……….Leslie

  8. Sandra Malbrough on April 8, 2021 at 8:05 pm

    Beautiful shells. Really like this project. I really never thought about embellishing my baking shells with moulds.

    • IOD Customer Service IOD Customer Service on April 12, 2021 at 1:25 pm

      So glad you like this project, Sandra! If you try it out, we’d love to see what you create!

  9. M.nakai on April 8, 2021 at 8:16 pm

    Thanks so much for sharing! I have a stash of shells waiting to be crafted with. I think all my family will be receiving some if these as gifts 🙂

    • IOD Customer Service IOD Customer Service on April 12, 2021 at 1:26 pm

      Love it!!! We’d love to see what you come up with. Happy Creating!

  10. Vicky on April 8, 2021 at 9:20 pm

    Wow 🤩 I’m off to beach to get shells I normally throw in water for dog to chase !

  11. Mireille THESSART on April 9, 2021 at 12:17 am

    Merci pour toutes ces magnifiques idées de déco. Les moules et tous les autres produits sont de premières qualités.

    • IOD Customer Service IOD Customer Service on April 12, 2021 at 1:27 pm

      We agree – these do look very high quality! Thanks so much, and we’re glad you enjoyed! ❤️

  12. Astrid on April 9, 2021 at 1:26 am

    Was für eine großartige Idee! Die „Verzauberung“ der Muscheln ist echt märchenhaft! Ganz toll 😊!!!
    Liebe Grüße,

  13. Debra Hammond on April 9, 2021 at 5:31 am

    These shell dishes are gorgeous. What a great way to use up left over scrap transfers. I think using Christmas transfers on them would be good too. I’ve done this with tissue paper but the transfers would be much easier. Using the moulds is also brilliant. Please keep the ideas coming for small items! I love these and will be doing it tomorrow! Thank you for sharing! Debra

    • IOD Customer Service IOD Customer Service on April 12, 2021 at 1:28 pm

      Absolutely! So glad you are loving these ideas – we will keep them coming! ❤️

      • Judy Sollazo on April 13, 2021 at 1:17 pm

        Where can you purchase the 4inch shells?

  14. Rohini Grant on April 9, 2021 at 6:14 am

    Thank You!!
    I live on Whidbey Island, and I have a beach themed business called Island Treasure Chest.
    I look forward to selling IOD very soon and this is just one more beautiful thing I can teach my clients at my “soon” to be held workshops.
    I love everything IOD!!!

  15. Linda Weeks on April 9, 2021 at 7:02 am

    what a lovely project! when coming home from the beach, I would bring all these shells back with me, and then I’d think, what in the name of lawrence welk am I going to do with all of these shells?

  16. brenda glad on April 9, 2021 at 7:32 am

    Once again you have amazed me with your tutorials, your products and your generosity. Thank you, these shells are beautiful and timeless. I can’t wait to create several and give as gifts to dear friends.

  17. Deb Henderson on April 9, 2021 at 8:51 am

    ok – these are a must-try for me!! they are so beautiful and professional-looking, but accessible!

    • IOD Customer Service IOD Customer Service on April 12, 2021 at 1:30 pm

      So glad you like this one, Deb! We’d love to see what you create when you try it out! ❤️

  18. Nicola Teckoe-Adams on April 10, 2021 at 2:42 am

    I’m looking forward to giving this a go. I’ve been given a box of these shells by my mother and I haven’t had the faintest idea what to do with them.

  19. Mary M. on April 11, 2021 at 5:05 pm

    I love love love these. Thank you.

  20. Carol C. on April 12, 2021 at 3:58 pm

    According to the steps, the decorative casting is applied before the transfers. However, in the photo there is no decorative casting when the transfers are applied, Am I missing something? It seems these two steps should be reversed, showing the transfers first, then the decorative casting being applied, If the casting dries, it won’t bend properly to the shape of the shell. Again, am I missing something? I do love this, but will do it a little differently.

    • Susan Robinson on April 13, 2021 at 7:22 am

      Hi Carol, This is Susan. I am sorry, you are absolutely right. I actually did a first run and found it difficult to get the transfers close enough to the Moulds. With the second set , it was much easier to put the transfers on first and then the Moulds over top and looks better as well. . Sorry for the confusion! Please share when you’re done! Happy creating😊

  21. Victoria DeJohnette Fischbeck on April 13, 2021 at 8:43 am

    I made these also, using all of my scraps.
    Love the results

  22. Susan Karger on April 13, 2021 at 9:44 am

    Love these. Have found the shells on UK Amazon and will getting some soon, Brilliant presents,

  23. Janice L Radigan on April 13, 2021 at 4:05 pm

    How very cool and gorgy……I am going to be very busy!!!!!! Thank you!

  24. Ann Kinney on April 14, 2021 at 5:06 pm

    Love this idea. Already ordered everything I needed for this project. Thank you for sharing!!

  25. Angela on April 26, 2021 at 2:08 pm

    A question please. Was there wax or a glaze or something applied to the castings (either before or after the gold leaf paint was applied)? In the picture there looks to be a greenish tint in the crevices. I don’t see anything in the instructions about this. So I was just wondering how the effect was achieved. Thanks.

  26. jeani miner on May 6, 2021 at 8:32 am

    I am just a wee bit confused by the order of operation. The photos suggest that the transfer is applied prior to the casting on the rim, but the directions state the opposite. It certainly makes sense the transfer is first so the casting is ‘over’ it.
    Many thanks.

  27. Anonymous on May 23, 2021 at 9:10 am


  28. Yaayaa de Heer on May 21, 2022 at 3:55 pm

    Please send me the brochure

    • IOD Customer Service IOD Customer Service on May 23, 2022 at 12:44 pm

      We do not have a brochure but you can look at our catalog on our website❤️

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