Broken Sand Dollar Project

5 Materials
2 Hours

The last 2 times we've been to the beach near my house, we've found a TON of washed up sand dollars. All different sizes. Some as small as a nickel and some much larger. However, the little ones are so delicate that lots of them broke before we got them home. I hated the thought of throwing them all away so I searched the internet for ideas on what to do with broken shells and saw some cute ideas that inspired me. Here is what I came up with...
broken sand dollar project
I decided I was going to make the shape of Florida with all the shells. The first thing I did was find a good map online and printed it out. You could use any state you want, or any shape you want. A fish or dolphin would look great too! You can probably use different shells too. It doesn't have to be sand dollars.

I had an extra 11×14  gray barnwood float frame from Michaels Crafts from when I made this  sea glass project (and the frames were buy one get one free) that I've been wanting to use. This was the perfect project for it. A shadow box would be great for this too. Or a cool looking piece of wood.

By the way a float frame has no back or mat, it is just a frame with 2 pieces of glass. You usually put a picture between the 2 pieces of glass so it looks like whatever image you put in there is 'floating'. I just glued the pieces to the top piece of glass.
broken sand dollar project
I taped the map to the back of the piece of glass and then traced it using an erasable pen. Then I started filling in the shape with broken sand dollar pieces and gluing them to the glass with my glue gun. I also made sure to use a few of the unbroken sand dollars too.
broken sand dollar project
My 11 year old son helped me with this process and loved it. And he did a great job!
broken sand dollar project
Anyway, you just continue to glue down pieces until you are happy with how it looks.
broken sand dollar project
Once we were satisfied, I erased any pen marks that were visible.

Here it is before I hung it up (bad lighting, I know. Sorry!). It seemed sort of bare so I ended up writing the words Home Sweet Home, on the glass using some paint pens.
broken sand dollar project
And here is how it looks after I added the words and hung it on my wall.
broken sand dollar project
Check out my blog to see more images and more details.
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The House house

Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!


Have a question about this project?

3 of 4 questions
  • Kim
    on Sep 28, 2018

    Your lettering is so perfect; is it vinyl stick-on letters? Or did you print something out and lay it underneath as a guide? Or some other clever technique I need to know about? Tell tell! Thanks!

    • The House house
      on Sep 28, 2018

      I did print something out using a font I liked, and then traced them using a paint pen. You can find paint pens at any craft store and they are awesome.

  • Jackie munson
    on Oct 19, 2018

    Can you wash it if it's a backsplash around your sink and stove?

  • Jolene Nicholson Howard
    on Nov 16, 2018

    Are you on Sanibel island? I am and have founds so many sandvdollars this year. Cute idea!

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