Art, DIY, Family Life, Home Decor, Inspiration

How to Turn Beach Finds into Home Decor

It has become an annual tradition for my husband and I to load up our four kids, wave goodbye to our small farm town, and head to the ocean each summer as a family.

Every time we visit the beach I make a point to snap a picture of my children, with their backs towards me, looking out over the water.  It makes me happy every time.

While at the beach, I also love taking pictures of my kiddos holding the treasures they find while exploring.  They are always so proud and pleased to show them off to whomever will take notice.

Once we bring our goodies back to our beach home, we spread them out on display for further inspecting.

You can tell we love finding sand dollars; even the ones in pieces.

Upon returning home, I have always kept these shells and such in jars and boxes, but something about the look of the shells and sand dollars all spread out across the table gave me an idea this year that I had never considered.

What about mounting our pieces on a board so we can continue to enjoy each creature’s marvelousness and remember what year we found our masterpieces and which beach we were on when we found them?  Perfect.  Let’s do it!

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First up, I’ll show you how I made the simple frame for this little guy:

This is not necessarily a tutorial or anything you have to or should copy, it’s just to give you an idea of what can be done, and hopefully inspire you to make your own creation with your beach beauties.  It’s so fun and extremely simple.

I began with a small square of scrap wood that I found in the garage.  To make the picture frame, simply cut two pieces of wood the exact length of either side of the wood square.  These will be your side pieces.  To form the top and bottom piece of the frame, just add on enough length to line up with the edges of the sides of your picture frame, and cut accordingly.

After all your wood is cut, sand the boards smooth.  I like to use a mouse or orbital sander.

For the frame, I used a dark walnut stain, allowed it to dry completely, and coated it with a matte polycrylic.

I love using polycrylic.  It’s water-based, leaves a great finish, and dries super quick.  I used a chalkboard paint on the center board because I wanted the option to label the year under my sand dollar, but you can easily just use an acrylic or latex paint in the color of your choice.  I always try to go with what I have on hand.  No need to make things difficult.

I attached each piece of the frame to the center wood board with some gorilla glue, but regular old wood glue would obviously work great as well.  I used the gorilla glue because I already had it out to attach the sand dollar to the chalkboard.  I clamped my frame around my chalkboard for a bit until the glue dried.

Once the frame was dry, it was just a matter of attaching the sand dollar, and done!

To make the next sand dollar frame, I used remnant lath from the Mulberry house.

Again, this is just to show you that you don’t need anything fancy, and you don’t have to be technical at all about sticking to the rules when people show you how to make things online.  Be creative!  Have some fun.  Use your imagination.

I didn’t have any little wood squares that were thick enough to sit nicely against the depth of the lath frame, so I glued two little squares together to make them a little more substantial.

And I again used the same technique as the first frame, cutting two boards the same length as the sides of my center piece, and two boards a bit longer for the top and bottom pieces.

Sanded them down with my mouse,

gave them a coat of natural stain, and allowed it to completely dry. I used the polycrylic on this frame as well.

Glued and clamped.  And again, used chalkboard paint on the center board.

I used gorilla glue to attach my second sand dollar, and done!

Isn’t it so cute?  I just love it.  Sweet and simple.

Next up, the large board of treasures.  I think you get the just of the process at this point…

I hope this will inspire you to save your little shells and creatures from your next trip to the beach, and do something fun with them.

Thank you so much for reading!

Please feel free to ask any questions you might have in the comment box below and I would be happy to answer them.

I would love for you to pin any of these images to your Pinterest boards.  Pinterest is a wonderful place to be inspired to create!

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