View Full Version : bonding shells to bra?

12-19-2011, 03:13 PM
Hello, mers.

For the tail I am making, I was originally going to just cover a bra primarily with matching neoprene and decorate it, however, I did fall on a very nice deal for large shells, so I decided I would also attach those. Wondering, though, because attempting to drill holes in them makes me VERY nervous - would hot gluing them to the bra likely hold them on? The bra has lace on it, so there is pretty good texture for the glue to hold on. Has anyone ever tried this? Opinions on the idea? Etc?

Mermaid Sirena
12-19-2011, 06:33 PM
I don't know about how it would work in general but from other threads around mers have suggested using crazy or super glue instead of hot glue as it seems to have a habit of falling off when it is exposed to hot and cold environments (like a few feet underwater)

Mermaid Photine
12-19-2011, 06:45 PM
Definitely not hot glue!

I read about some mers who manage to drill holes in the things and tie them on, and also of mers who use various kinds of glue. I Haven't done shells to fabric, but I have glued together small shell baubles with E6000 glue I get from my craft store. If you use it, just make sure there's ventilation. It smells BAD! :)

12-19-2011, 08:23 PM
I used E6000 on my tail but I haven't put it in water yet since the addition so I don't know if that will hold up. Aquarium silicone may be another option but it dries a little messy.

12-19-2011, 09:27 PM
If you go to a crafts store, simply ask a representative to show you the water proof glues. I know that marine epoxys work really well in water. You just have to rough the inside of the shell a little bit.

12-19-2011, 11:48 PM
Thanks. Saved me an almost big oopsy XD That would have made for an amusing wardrobe malfunction. Must go back to the craft store tomorrow. Always save receipts!

12-20-2011, 03:56 AM
I used hot glue on my first shell bra - it lasted a few weeks and was fine for a bunch of dry gigs and one swim but the shells fell off on the second swim :P I learned my lesson!

Mermaid Star
12-26-2011, 11:10 PM
I used a Marine Adhesive bought at Walmart. It is VERY strong, Used to hold items to boat hauls. It smells very bad and you need something to clamp the bra and the shells together, but it hold extremely well. I have swam in it 4 times and I haven't had any problems at all.They are holding the same as they have the first time I attached them. Great stuff.If you need a brand name I can get it for you.

01-24-2012, 07:40 PM
I use weatherstripping adhesive from the automotive shop. It's been holding the tubing to my monofin wonderfully. I have not yet swum in my shell/bra top but it seems to be holding well and I've had many costumers ask me about the adhesive. Some adhesives can lose a bond in chlorine too. I didn't even rough up the insides of the shells for this one. I'm actually going to try it out this week, swimming in a pool ^_^

Mermaid Saphira
01-25-2012, 09:28 AM
I to want to make a shell top and need it to adhere (srry!bad speller!) a spandex bra...what do you suggest?

01-25-2012, 03:51 PM
With respect to drilling holes in the shells, I don't think you should be so intimidated by it- it isn't too hard. You can practice drilling holes on smaller shells to make sure you won't crack them, and if you're really worried you can drill small holes and then open them up with larger drill bit sizes until its large enough for whatever string you're tying it with.


Mermaid Lorelei
01-25-2012, 05:34 PM
I've heard Gorilla Glue works well too.

Mermaid Saphira
01-25-2012, 06:01 PM
^ Really??? interesting

01-26-2012, 12:08 PM
The E6000 glue worked like a charm, but a friend of mine mentioned recently that it is highly toxic... to the point that it would poison a small marine environment, even when cured. Does anyone know much as to the validity of that statement?

If so, I'll try that marine adhesive from Walmart :(

01-26-2012, 02:47 PM
Any time I've used Gorilla Glue it didn't stay bonded in Chlorinated water.

I swam in my shell bra for the first time yesterday. It's just a bra and a shell. The angle that the shells are on means there's a nice lip at the top and the drag is intense, trying to pull my bra off. I either need to redo it completely, or put some vegetation and decoration in that top area to create less drag.

Mermaid Lorelei
01-26-2012, 02:51 PM
Thanks for the Gorilla Glue report. I hadn't tried it yet, but I was going to. :3

07-09-2012, 12:45 AM
E6000 or Loctite Marine Epoxy from Walmart.

07-09-2012, 02:37 AM
I agree with the E6000 I just used it on my shell bra

Winged Mermaid
10-19-2012, 03:19 AM
Any time I've used Gorilla Glue it didn't stay bonded in Chlorinated water.

That's curious. I use gorilla glue for the strongest bonds on the back side of things (since it doesn't look pretty). I've been wearing my top and other accessories in mostly chlorine water for well over a year and there's not any sign of it losing hold! Even after the hot glue has started to break down the gorilla glue is solid.

You just need to make sure that you get it to adhere right. With gorilla glue cleaning whatever you can well before hand (like the underside of the shell) and dampening it slightly (as per the directions) then clamping it is VERY important. The tighter you clamp the items together, the stronger the bond. I actually bought a few pairs of different sizes of clamps just for this reason, and it works amazingly! I've used both and I prefer gorilla glue if I can get away with it. Obviously it can't be seen (so back sides of things) and needs to be able to be clamped (so not anything that's fragile), so if you can't do that then E600 or super glue is the next best thing. But beyond that I love using GG! Plus I would be very wary of using large amounts of E600. Have you seen the warning labels on that stuff? O_O Crazy.

10-19-2012, 12:51 PM
I like the reports of Loctite Marine Epoxy. Is it safer than E6000 for in water and around marine life?

Winged Mermaid
10-19-2012, 05:42 PM
You'd have to check the packaging warnings and MSDS (Material Saftey Data Sheet) on them to find out. You can usually google "MSDS -product name here" and it'll give them to you in PDF.
Although the warnings on e6000 says not to allow even the cured stuff to come in contact with drinking water.

Sea Pearl
10-19-2012, 11:20 PM
I made my first shell bra a little while ago and in my experience I used E6000 to attach two large shells to a bra, which had a layer of netting in between, it stuck fine and have had no problems. It has been exposed to water and still works fine. Hope you find something that works well for you.