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Sand Dollar Shadowbox

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I grew up in the Pacific Northwest, so I adore cold, rocky beaches. Every time I went to the coast as a child, I always, always wanted to find a whole sand dollar, but never found anything more than some broken pieces. When I moved to Texas, it was hard for me to realize that I wouldn’t get to see those beaches again for a long time, so I planned a trip with some friends as a kind of farewell, and much to my delight I finally found my first sand dollar!

I stood there on the beach, staring at the perfect shell in my hand, cherishing a moment I’d been waiting for my whole life. It was like a sign, a miracle – the coast saying goodbye to me with this last, lovely gift.


Moments later, one of my friends inexplicably smacked the sand dollar out of my hand, and we all stared in shock at the broken pieces on the ground.

Luckily, I found another one farther along the beach, so looking back on that moment and how dramatic it was just makes me laugh. And I finally figured out how to display my sand dollar, so now it serves as a lovely reminder of both the coast and that ridiculous moment on our trip!


I used this tutorial from Epbot to convert an IKEA frame to a shadowbox. I really wanted a square one, but the smallest square frame in this series was way too big and I didn’t feel like trying to track one down somewhere else (actually, I did later find a square one about the right size at Michael’s, but they only had it in black and I’d already gotten my IKEA frame at that point).

The only thing I really did differently from Jen’s tutorial was the foam part – she used a white frame so it blended in nicely, but my frame was tan.

Hideous, right?

Hideous, right?

Yeah, not a big deal, but I decided to cover the foamboard with scrapbook paper so it would match the backing. And with unprecedented foresight, I did it before gluing the foam in place!



Sadly I didn’t do as great of a job planning ahead with the depth of my shadowbox, and wasn’t able to attach the backing properly the first time.



Easy fix, though – the glue hadn’t dried yet so I was able to pry the foam out and trim it down to size. Overall, the biggest struggle was to stop myself from needless “embellishment”. I have a tendency to over-do it with crafts and then regret it, and I felt like having only the sand dollar pop out didn’t look right. Fortunately, making the waves at the bottom pop too was enough to satisfy me… be impressed that I kept it that way instead of adding little anchor and shell craft punch shapes all over the place (yes, that was going to be a thing).



One thought on “Sand Dollar Shadowbox

  1. Pingback: Liebster Award! | endlessly creating

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