Ocean Delight in a Box

The reason for why I made this box and got the idea, is that my mother loves to visit the ocean in North Carolina. We live in Virginia and we could not make it to the beach this year, so I wanted to make her something that would recall the beautiful memories and special moments that we had by the ocean as a family. It is simple to make and lots of fun! When I finally gave it to my mother, she was so delighted and had only to lift the lid of the box to be reminded of God's amazing ocean with its warm sand, beautiful seashells, and delightful waves!

What you will need:

1) Numi Bamboo box (this specific box is used for delicate teas) or other wooden or bamboo box with lid will do.

2) Plaster of paris/water

3) old mixing bowl with spoon

4) mini starfish/ sea animals/ lots of small and large sea shells you find on the beach

5) sand

6) glue gun with glue sticks

7) clear candle wax gel

8) plastic bag (Walmart size)

9) Scissors and tweezers

10) super glue

11) clamp clips

12) books for tilting the box

13) cardboard box

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Step 1: Step 1: Getting the Box Ready

First, place the plastic bag inside the box and cut it to fit inside just to the top, then take it out. Then cut the cardboard and fit it into the box leaving at least 2 to 3 inches at the top. Then place the plastic bag back into the box over the cardboard and use the super glue to glue the plastic bag to the edge of the box. This will ensure that the plaster of paris will not leak through and go out of the box. Use the clamp clips to hold it until it is dry and until the plaster is dry as well.

Step 2: Step 2: Pouring in the Plaster and Sand

First, tilt the box away from the lid, using the books, (Please excuse the picture, I placed it the wrong way and had to flip the lid to the other side.). By doing this it will make the ocean affect, making the ocean deep and the sand just about half an inch from the top of the box. Mix the plaster of paris in the old mixing bowl and follow the instructions on the box of how much water to use. Depending on the size of the box you use will depend on how much plaster you will need. I made several batches until I was satisfied with the depth and height in the box. Careful when pouring it in and do it slowly. Then just before the plaster dries cover all the plaster with the sand, brushing it over carefully. I got my sand from a previous trip to the beach and had it stored in a water bottle, which made it easy and more authentic. Then, wait until it is completely dry (about 24 hours). After it is completely dry brush away all access sand.

Step 3: Step 3: Gluing in the Details and Adding the Waves (Wax Gel)

Now tilt the box the opposite way, towards the lid to get it ready for the wax waves. Pick out the seashells and sea creatures you wish to use and arrange them in the box atop the sand. It took me awhile to finally get the scene I liked. Once you are satisfied, with each piece, use the glue gun and secure it in place. Then heat up your clear wax gel on the stove and pour it into the box starting at the deepest part of the ocean. Do it one layer at a time, meaning don't pour the wax all at once. Pour some and then let it dry some. This will create a wave affect on the sand near the shore. Now to cover up the plastic around the inside top, you can glue sea shells. See the pictures for the end result.

Step 4: Step 4: Making the Outside Shell Designs

Now gathering all your large shells figure out the design you would like for the lid of the box. For the Trinity Starfish-like shells, gather about 26 small, medium, and large shells, separating them. Start with the large and glue them to form a circle, using the glue gun. Do the same for the medium and small, then stack them on top of each other, moving them around until they find a lock position. Then glue it together and then glue it to the box. I arranged mine on the side and the front of the box.

Step 5: Step 5: a Look at the Grand Finale!

There you have it, an ocean in a box! I would suggest not to leave the lid open for display over long periods of time because dust would collect inside and it is hard to clean it of the wax. Otherwise peak into it occasionally and enjoy a great memory of God's ocean creation! I would love to see others rendition of this craft and please post pictures. God bless!

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    8 Discussions

    Simply delightful! Great gift idea and an amazing way to remebr such beautiful memories, such as a time at the beach with your family. Thank you!


    4 years ago on Introduction

    What a great gift, I can't wait to make my own version, thanks so much for sharing your creation! God bless you!


    4 years ago on Introduction

    What a wonderful and thoughtful project!

    I'd love a version of this, but with a pacific northwest forest inside... got my gears turning! Thank you!

    1 reply

    Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

    Thank you Seamster! I am excited and would love to see yours when you are finished! Good luck!