Well, I am still coming down from our Vacation High last week. It was a lot of fun seeing the kids play in the sand and surf. Only their second time to the beach. We took a 3 hour trip to a small island to collect seashells (yes, I was hearing the Gilligan's Island theme in my head the whole way there). We had to dig a little, but found some nice ones. I also made sure we took some sand. And, to have enough for the projects I wanted to do, I made everyone fill an empty water bottle with that beautiful white sand. I knew going there exactly what I wanted to do with them when we got home, and got to it as soon as I could. I've seen some nice ideas for displaying them and thought a vase display would look nice on the mantle.
I found the candle at the Dollar Store and the Vase at Hobby Lobby (never go without a coupon!). The seed beads and 24 guage wire were from my stash at home. So, I think I only spent $7.
I also used Mod Podge, water, plastic wrap, jewelry pliers, scoop, funnel, and a chopstick (you'll see why later). You can see I sorted out a few choice shells for the top rim because each naturally had a hole in it.
First, I wanted to preserve the sand dollars because the ones we found were way too fragile to use as they were. We even wrapped them up separately from the other shells for the trip home.
I mixed equal parts modpodge and water so I wouldn't end up with a thick, sticky coating. I dipped the sand dollars in and laid them to dry on the plastic wrap for several hours.
Next, I took the wire and wrapped a piece around the top of the candle glass, just tight enough to fit uner the top rim. I twisted the ends together and used the round tip of the jewlery pliers to turn the ends under together a couple of times. I then took 3 inch pieces of wire and fed a few beads, a shell, and a few more beeds onto it. I then fed one end of the wire under the wire around the candle and twisted the two ends together. Then, used the pliers again to make a loop. I used the shells with holes and the sand dollars for this decoration.
I then placed the candle inside the vase.
I then used the funnel and scoop to put the sand around the candle.
As I dropped the shells into the vase, I used the chopstick to arrange them. And that was it!
What's great is you can easily buy sand and shells at the craft store. I even found some really nice baskets of shells at the Dollar Store, and I'm sure the sand wouldnt be much. You might be able to pick everything up for under $10.