Seashell Shadow Box

This seashell shadow box displays a photo and your treasures collected from the beach.

Age: Adult

Difficulty: Easy

Time scale: 3 out of 5

seashell shadow box how to

The beaches in Florida are amazing. They go for miles and there are tons of seashells. This is a way to display them and also make a note of what beach they are from.


  • 11 x 14 shadow box
  • seashells
  • light colored sand
  • spanish Moss
  • small piece of driftwood
  • beach picture on a full sized piece of photo paper size 8.5 x 11
  • beach themed Scrapbook paper
  • tan colored scrapbook paper
  • brown ink pad
  • blue ink pad
  • scissors
  • glue stick
  • hot glue gun/ hot glue sticks
  • white glue
  • masking tape
  • small glass bottle with cork lid

How to Make a Seashell Shadow box

If the frame you have is lined on the inside with a padded black foam, rip it off. It will only make it difficult to try to secure the picture, if it is left on.

Print a beach picture onto a full sized 8.5 x 11 sheet of photo paper. Use a glue stick to adhere to the inside of the frame backing. I put mine off to the left side, with the same amount of space on the top and bottom.

Cut pieces of beach themed scrapbook paper wide enough to cover the space between the picture and the top and bottom of the frame. Add brown and blue ink to the edges of the paper.

Use a different scrapbook paper that compliments this, to cover the space on the one side. Glue the side piece on first, using a glue stick. Now do the top and bottom pieces. I also added a narrow strip on the left side, added a bit of white glue and sprinkled on some sand.

Glue shells to the inside backing, using a hot glue gun.  Stack and overlap but make sure the glass will still fit. Start on the bottom left side and work your way to the right side. Add shells up the right hand side so they cover most of the scrapbook paper and slightly overlap the photo.
Leave a small space around the outer edge, to make sure they don't interfere with adding the glass frame.

If you have shells from different places, group according to the beach. Print the name of the beach on a piece of tan colored scrapbook paper. Cut into small rectangles and glue to the appropriate grouping of shells.


Find out all about collecting seashells here.

Add a few small shells to the upper left corner of the picture.

Use a small glass bottle with a cork lid to put sand and tiny shells in. Glue this on.

Add spanish moss and a piece of driftwood.  You may also have a special rock, a piece of coral or a fish hook to add. Use any other items you have collected at the beach, that you find interesting.

Set some shells on the inside bottom edge of the seashell shadowbox frame to add a little more depth, if you need to. Leave them loose, without glue so they can be wiggled around a bit. Check to see if the back will fit on to the frame.

Put the backing into the frame but hook only the little tab things at the bottom, for now.

Add masking tape to the bottom edge. Now, stand the seashell shadow box frame upright, tipping forward slightly. Pull the top open, but only a little. (This is where a top loading frame would have been handy.) Carefully pour in about 1/2 a cup of sand.

Close the frame and check to see how it looks. Add more sand if you like. Wiggle it a bit, to move the sand to where you want it. When you are satisfied with how it looks, move the tabs to the proper position to hold the backing in place.

Seal up the entire back edge all the way around, with masking tape.
Hopefully you can get this accomplished without redoing it as many times as I did! It is fairly easy to do but I tend to fuss with things quite a bit to get them just right.

Now you can hang your seashell shadow box up on the wall. The best part is, all your special keepsakes are safely behind glass and you still get to see them.

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