Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Sand Dollar Frame

Happy New Year! I have missed you my blogland friends.

I decided to take some time off and really enjoy Christmas Vacation with my kids. It was WONDERFUL! It started not so well as we proceeded to get sick one after another the first week of vacation. Yuck. But we have really enjoyed the last week just being together. So my kids say "THANK YOU!" for allowing me to give them my undivided attention.

I am sure for most of you my sand dollar project seems out of season. The beach may be the farthest thing from your mind as you shovel your way out your house. Or maybe it is a glorious fantasy during these long winter days. I have a confession...we turned on the air conditioner in the car this weekend because it was to hot. Seriously. It was 84 degrees on January 1st. Not that I am complaining...but my kids sure were!

So today, to spark a warm weather fantasy in your chilly little soul, I bring you this lovely sand dollar frame:

What? Not what you were expecting? You think I have a loose screw from my long Christmas break? (Get it...the tools...the screws...loose screw...I know it is cheesy, but I couldn't help myself!) Would it help to know this was the before shot?

Now don't get me wrong...this piece is cute. If I had a playroom with an area where my little guy could build, I would have been tempted to keep it as it was. But I don't. With this great coastal location comes a teeny tiny coastal cottage. We don't have a lot of room. So as cute as this may be for someone else, it didn't work for us. A change was needed.

I think the price was $4.99. This piece is big, solid and well built. I knew it would be a great foundation for something, but when I purchased it, I honestly didn't know what I would use it for. It sat around for a couple months before the idea hit me.

The first step was to take out the center of the corkboard. The back side looked like a picture frame that you could remove. But after removing the back, I found the cork board did not easily pop out. Bummer. So I taped off the cork board before painting. I sprayed the frame with a coat of Rust-Oleum Painters Touch Ultra Cover Primer. I then applied a coat of Rust-Oleum Painters Touch Ultra Cover Heirloom White Satin Finish.

When the paint was dry, I pulled out all of our sand dollars. We have a lot of sand dollars. A LOT. (Or we did before this project!) This is a photo of our treasures from one hour at the beach last spring:

One hour! The entire bucket is filled with sand dollars! Not a single shell. It was right around Easter, because we talked about this being WAY better than any Easter Egg Hunt we had ever been to. We found over 100 sand dollars in an hour. More than 100! It was crazy!

**Quick Disclaimer** For those of you who are worried about the little guys...we never take the purple ones. We are big sand dollar advocates in our house. Did you know that live sand dollars are purple? Yep...purple. I don't know about all species, but here in Southern California they are purple. They are beautiful! One of these guys looks like he may be purple, but he was black, and already dead. No sand dollars were harmed in the production of this product!

I sat down with my freshly painted white cork board frame, my sand dollar stash and a tube of E-6000. I didn't plan it out. I know some of you are cringing right now. I just started gluing. It wasn't a quick process, but it was simple.

When I was finished I just wasn't impressed. I had several problems I was seeing. First, since I wasn't able to take out the corkboard, I had this problem:

A big blob of glue dripped down from one of my sand dollars onto the board. It was just not attractive. I probably could have figured out how to slice it off carefully with an exacto knife, but I had another problem.

I just wasn't pleased with the corkboard look. It is casual, but it looked to fancy for a corkboard. Not to mention, this piece is SUPER fragile. There is a reason I don't see anyone with sand dollar creations out there. They are so stinking fragile!

A corkboard has the possiblity of being touched and bumped A LOT. That just wouldn't work. So I decided to use it as a frame instead.

Since it is such a large frame and such a meaningful piece, I thought of putting a photo of my kids at the beach in it. However, sand dollar collecting is really my daughter and my "thing." To be honest, my little man has only ever found one sand dollar on his own. It just doesn't interest him. He would rather search for washed up toys or broken oars. So I decided to use this picture of my little girl from the day of our big stash.

I like the simplicity of the photo in black and white. It keeps your focus on the image instead of the colors. I printed it out at Costco for around $3 for a 12x12 photo. Costco has the best deals on photos and they do excellent work!

So here it is, the final product:

I absolutely adore it! It is so special and has so much meaning since my daughter and I collected all of those sand dollars during walks together. It is truly priceless.

I am linking up here:

Passionately Artistic


  1. That had to have taken a lot of time. I know how delicate those sand dollars are! But it looks beautiful and I love that picture of your daughter in there. It completely fits. Stunningly pleasing.

  2. Amazing transformation! It's beautiful, Heidi! Thanks for linking up to the 1st Project of the Year Party! Please add the party button to your post so that you are eligible for prizes and features. Thanks so much!


I absolutely love to get comments! Drop me a note and let me hear what you think. Thanks. -Heidi