Why not make your family vacation or day at the beach a keepsake?
YOU WILL NEED:
CLEAR GLOSSY SPRAY PAINT
PAINT OF YOUR DESIRED COLOR (if choosing to paint your shadowbox to match your decor)
SANDPAPER ( optional)
OLD CARDBOARD BOX
CONTACT CEMENT (optional)
DAP clear caulking
1. Boil seashells in large pot to clean. Allow to dry.
2. Place dried seashells on box and in well ventilated area, spray all exposed areas of shells till coated. This clear finish will bring out and enhance the natural colors of your seashells. DO NOT SPRAY TOO CLOSELY AS THIS WILL CAUSE DRIP MARKS. Also,two thin coats are best.
3. Allow an hour or two for shells to dry thoroughly. In the meanwhile take paper and trace the back of your shadow box from the inside. This is an important step as the outside of your shadow box is larger than the inside. DO NOT SKIP THIS STEP.
4. In the meantime, if you would like a sandy look to your display box , apply a Contact cement to coat entire back of sandpaper in a thin coat as well as a very thin coat to the back of shadow box. Once tacky adhere the sandpaper to the back of the shadowbox and allow to dry thoroughly. I have used a silicone rolling pin to be sure paper was adhered thoroughly . If you do this I recommend placing a clean cloth or handkerchief across top of sandpaper before you roll as to avoid scratching or making unwanted marks on your sandpaper.
5. Place your seashells on the paper tracing and play with them till you get the look and placement that looks best .
6. Once evenly spaced, and in the place you’d like them to be, carefully tilt each one and mark center point with a pencil on the paper. Do this for the center point of all shells ( center of where shell will touch and can be glued) as they are varying heights and widths and will have different center points as well as areas that can be glued due to some shells having open backs of irregular sizes.
7. Once you have marked all spots take photo of your shell placement so you will be sure to put them all in the place where you want them.
8. Remove shells from paper and place paper onto back of shadowbox and with pencil, press hard on center point pencil marks so as to make dent mark in sandpaper or back of box.
9. Place dap clear caulking in thick enough layer so as it will adhere but not press out of sides. Because dap is washable with soap and water you can practice placement on your traced piece of paper to see if you have too much that will seep out and be noticeable. Then simply wash off shell n dry with paper towel and place dap on shell again and place in shadow box.
10. BEFORE YOU START PLACING INTO ACTUAL SHADOWBOX you may want to put shadow box on a large baking sheet so that it will be easier to move to its final drying space without dislodging or shifting shells. Allow to dry overnight or for at least 12 hrs before closing shadow box.
11. AND IF YOU CHOOSE TO, YOU CAN GLUE A PIECE OF NICE PAPER WITH THE PLACE AND DATE YOU COLLECTED YOUR SHELLS. ie. Our Honeymoon, Hawaii 2008.
IT IS WORTHY TO NOTE THAT SOME SHADOWBOX BACKS DO NOT TOTALLY COME OFF. IN THIS CASE YOU WOULD WANT TO PLACE BOTTOM ROW OF SHELLS FIRST. The reason I do not recommend hot glue is because hot glue can become unstable in heat and cold and your shells will fall off. There is a new glue called E6000 but I have never worked with it. I prefer using Dap caulking or contact cement. My tried and true usual materials . Have fun with this!
Have a blessed day!