Sand and Seashells in a Bottle Beach Souvenir TUTORIAL {Arts and Crafts}

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Every summer we head to the beach.  Every summer I collect a pail full of sand and seashells.  Every summer I don’t know what to do with the sand and shells and they end up being tossed in our driveway.  This is neat in it’s own way because every once and a while I will see a shell in the driveway and it takes me back to the days at the beach.  Still, I have always wanted to do something a little more special and a little more permanent.  I have seen hundred of “Sand and Seashells in a Bottle” type souvenir at all the little shops along the beach.  They are neat – yet impersonal and probably contain seashells from China.  So I decided to make my OWN Sand and Seashells in a Bottle Beach Souvenir.  It turned out pretty cute!


Sand and Seashells in a Bottle Beach Souvenir Tutorial

Seashells and Sand from a recent beach trip
A jar (I used a mason jar but any kind will do.)
A photo from your trip printed on regular computer paper
Mod Podge
A sponge brush
Craft Paint
A small detail brush
Printed text for your jar

Let’s get started!

1. Collect you sand and seashells.  Make sure your sand is dry and your shells have been cleaned and dry.

2.  Print off a picture from your vacation onto REGULAR computer paper – not photo paper.  You should choose a size that will fit easily on the back of your jar.  I printed my picture to 3×5 inches.

3. Carefully cut out your picture and gather the Mod Podge and a sponge brush.

4. Use the sponge brush to paint a thin even layer of Mod Podge onto the jar where you will place your picture.  I prefer to paint the glue onto the jar rather than the picture because sometimes the ink in the picture may smear.

5. Carefully press your picture onto the glued area.

6. Smooth the picture onto the glass and use the sponge brush to paint over the back of the entire picture.  Smooth out any wrinkles as you go with your fingers.  Don’t worry if you get Mod Podge on the other areas of the jar. It will clean off easily with a damp towel or baby wipe before you move on to the next step.

7.  Use your computer to type up what you would like painted on your jar. I chose “Panama City Beach 2012”.  I sized the letters to my liking and selected a font that seemed “beachy” to me.  I then printed my words, cut away the excess paper and carefully taped them in place.

8.  I selected some craft paint in a beachy color to paint on the letters. I chose the color Caribbean.

9. Very carefully use the printed words as a guide and paint the letters in place.  I used at least two coats of paint allowing the paint to dry between coats for the best coverage.  The great part is that you can just wipe it off and start over if you mess up!

10. When you have finished add your sand and shells into your jar.

The Finished Product:

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5 thoughts on “Sand and Seashells in a Bottle Beach Souvenir TUTORIAL {Arts and Crafts}

  1. It is a very cute craft, but next time, please please please leave the sand and shells on the beach. I would really appreciate it if you would take down this post to avoid adverse environmental impact and adverse health impacts on your readers.

    (1) Beaches are a national treasure. Please leave them intact for future generations. Sand is not a renewable resource, except over thousands of millennia.

    (2) Beach sand and shells contain biological matter. Storing it in a mason jar allows it to ferment into a highly toxic bacterial soup.

    (3) Hawaii gets about 16 million visitors annually. If each visitor took away a mason jar of beach sand, year after year, the effects will be visible in the not so distant future.

  2. Hello,

    I am going to be making scenes in jars using sand, pebbles, stones and miniature figurines. Do you know what I can use to keep the sand, pebbles, and stones from shifting when moving or transporting these. I know the miniature figurines will be glued in but not sure how to keep the sand and such in place and not shift.
    Thank you

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