Step-by-Step: Beach Keepsake Box


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Article Courtesy by Julia Sandvoss

Every time we have gone to the beach I always bring home a bottle or two of sand with me, along with shells.  In fact, it’s a family tradition.

I've now used that sand to fill hurricane vases , decorate shadow boxes and embellish  keepsake boxes. Keepsake boxes are fantastic gifts to make and give, and even better, they serve a purpose.  I love those kinds of gifts. This one is a winner as it can hold special keepsakes and mementos from a trip and much more!



  1. Paint the sides and top face  of the box. This doesn't need to be perfect. I went for the beachy, painted, weathered look. So I wasn't too concerned if it wasn't fully covered and coated. It looked better if it was a bit imperfect.
  2. Once the paint is dry,  turn the box over and trace the top onto the back side of the paper. Trace and cut out. Ink the edges and set aside.

  3. I knew I wanted it to look like there was an ocean on the design so I just hand drew a wavy shape and then cut out two layers. Ink the edges and glue onto the background paper.
  4. Punch out a circle and ink the edges. Set aside. Select chipboard shell shapes. Use Stickles Glitter Glue to add glittery accents to the shells. Allow to dry.

  5. Cut out the "sea" quote from the die-cut sheet. Wrap twine or raffia around the quote. Use 3D adhesive to adhere it to the background paper.
  6. Now add various chipboard shapes to the background paper. Leave a ¼” space on the bottom for the sand border.
  7. Adhere the background paper, with the elements, onto the wood box.
  8. Using a paintbrush or finger, add a line of Mod Podge adhesive to the bottom of the paper. Generously sprinkle sand onto the adhesive. Allow time to dry and then shake off any excess sand.

  9. Hot glue wood beads onto the bottom on the box to serve as feet for the box. 


Consider decorating the inside of the box as well. Add photos, brochures, tickets and more to remember a special trip!

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