Introduction: Saving a Day at the Beach in a Jar

About: Procrastinating uni work by making things.

Want to keep beach memories in a jar, and never have the water get murky or have to clean it out? Resin is the answer! Combining sand, shells, resin, and some optional LEDs, you can create a lovely memory of summer days at the beach for your windowsill or shelf.


A jar of your choice

Two-part clear resin

A beaker of sand


Lollypop sticks to mix the resin

Jug and beaker to measure water

Silicone beaker or disposable beaker to measure and mix resin in

Blue glow in the dark powder

Unicorn skin glitter flakes

Blue alcohol ink

White alcohol ink

A straw

4 white LEDs

4 x 330Ω resistors

Solder and soldering iron

Hot glue and hot glue gun

One short red jumper wire

9V battery clip

9V battery

Step 1: Working Out Resin Quantities

Start by filling your jar with water, up to the height you'd like the resin to be. Pour some of the water out into a measuring jug, leaving the correct amount to the point where you wanted the sand level at the bottom to rise to. Record the volume of water in this jug; this shows the volume of resin you'll need. For me, this was 400ml. This layer will contain both clear 'water' and a 'wave layer' of blue-coloured resin and white 'waves'.

Pour the remaining water from the jar into another jug - this is the volume of sand mixed with resin required.

Step 2: Making the Sand Layer

The bottom layer of the jar will be sand saturated with resin. Mix up two-part clear resin (the second volume you removed when testing with water) and add about the same volume of sand to this. For extra sparkle, four scoops of glow in the dark powder can also be added. Pour this mixture into the bottom of the jar, and sprinkle about 10ml more sand on top of this. Leave this to cure - your resin mix should give curing times.

Step 3: Adding the Shells

Once the resin has cured fully, lay out the shells in the arrangement you would like. Remove this when happy with the design!

Next, mix-up 20ml of resin. Once this is well combined, take each shell one by one and brush on a small amount of resin onto the base of the shell, before placing them into the jar. Repeat this for every shell.

In a separate pot, mix a small amount of the resin with some blue glow in the dark powder and unicorn skin glitter flakes. Drop a little of this inside of any open shells to look like tiny pearls.

Finally pour of the remaining clear glitter over the shells and leave to set.

Step 4: Filling the Jar With Water (...Resin)

Next, use clear resin to fill the middle section of the jar - this is the section between the shells and the wave layer. I used about 200ml clear resin, added in two 100ml steps, but this will vary based on jar size. This should be approximately half the volume calculated for the 'water' section in the first step. Remember to pass a lighter over the resin once in the jar to remove any surface bubbles, and always leave the resin to set fully before you add the next layer.

Step 5: Making the Waves

The final layer to add is the waves section. Mix enough resin to bring the 'water' layer to the top of the jar. Pour a small amount of this clear resin into a mixing cup, and then pour this into the jar, adding a layer around 2mm thick.

Mix five drops of light blue alcohol ink into the rest of the beaker, stirring well. Pour all of this resin into the jar. Before this resin sets, mix 3ml resin quickly and add 3-4 drops of white alcohol ink and mix well. Draw a line across the centre of the jar with this resin, and then, using a straw, blow the white resin towards on side of the jar, covering half of the surface. Let this all cure, and the resin stage is now complete!

Step 6: Lighting Up the Lid

For this step, you'll need four LEDs and four 330Ω resistors. Start by shortening the positive wire on the LED, and soldering this onto the resistor. Do this for all four LEDs. Next, wrap a loop of 0.04mm copper wire around the negative of the first LED wire, and then solder this in place. This ring will go around all the LEDs. Repeat with the other three LEDs, soldering all negative wires onto the other copper wire ring, with all resistors pointing into the central area. Gently bend the LED wires 90° to make them lie flat, so that they will lay nicely against the lid of the jar.

Solder all the resistors together onto a small red jumper wire. The other end of this should next be soldered to the switch, and the terminal of the switch attached to the red wire of a 9V battery clip. Insulate these wires with electrical tape or heat-shrink tubing.

Finally, solder the end of the copper wire to the black wire of the 9V battery clip. Turn on the switch once this is done to check the connections. If everything works, use a hot glue gun to attach the circuit to the jar lid and make sure everything stays in place.

Step 7: Finishing the Lid

Place the metal ring back onto the lid, making sure the switch goes between the hinges at the back and sits on top of them. Attach the lid hinge to the base hinge and glue the switch into position. Snap a battery onto the 9V clip and switch on - if everything is still connected, your jar should be illuminated and complete!

Step 8: The Jar Is Complete

Enjoy your seaside memory jar!

Mason Jar Speed Challenge

Participated in the
Mason Jar Speed Challenge