Beach days slip by like, well, sand through your fingers! A DIY Mosaic Beach Box isn’t just a fun shell craft and smart way to spend a rainy day or an afternoon out of the hot sun—it’s also the ideal place to store summer memories of a beach vacation. Plus, it’s a fun project, a great souvenir, and a thoughtful gift to anyone you spent your vacation with or who hosted you at their beach house. It’s a unique way to “shellebrate” your summer memories!

When you make a DIY Mosaic Beach Box, every step of the process is fun!


Step One: Collect Memories and Materials

Start the project by collecting shells, sea glass, and sand from the shore, and setting aside snapshots and other summer memories.

Look for:
Sea glass
Pretty pebbles
Sand dollars

Ticket stubs
Cards from your favorite beach bar or restaurant


Step Two: Decorating the Box

Then, you use glue and water to turn the sand into a paste, spread it on the top of a wooden box (we painted ours gold first so it looked more like a treasure box), and press those glass, shells, and even small pieces of driftwood into the sand. We also added a few piece of mosaic tile for color. That’s how we made ours, but there are so many things you can do!

Paint the box with pretty colors, designs, or an image of the beach or sunset
Cover it with sand
Press on a single, special shell or pieces of driftwood
Cover it in all kinds of shells
Skip the shells and use mosaic pieces


Filling the Beach Memory Box

Once the box dries you can fill it with summer souvenirs, from photos to found objects to special memories written on our shell-shaped printables. Choose from several shapes and sizes, and between blank ones and those printed with the words “Beach Memories” or “Memories to Shellebrate.”

Have each member of the family or each person on the vacation write a memory for one box
Have everyone make their own box and collection of memories
Use it as a guest book box at a beach-themed wedding
Turn it into a hostess gift
Use it as a treasure box for a summer bucket list or any kind of treasures!
Fill it with vials of sand from different beaches or a shell from each beach you’ve visited

Now you have a souvenir to treasure or a thoughtful gift to give.


  • What You’ll Need
  • Beach Memories Printable Template
  • Plain wooden box box
  • Gold paint and brush
  • Sand
  • White glue
  • Water
  • Shells
  • Seaglass
  • Rocks
  • Mosaic Tiles (optional)


Step 1: Paint wooden box gold.

Step 2: Mix ¼ cup water, 1 cup dry sand, and a tablespoon of white glue to create a sticky paste the consistency of spackle. Make sure the paste is dense enough to attach objects to the box.

Step 3: Working in small sections of about three inches each, spread the sand paste onto the box in a layer about ¼”-½” thick.

Step 4: Press shells, glass, rocks, and mosaic pieces into the paste until they stick, working quickly before that patch of paste dries, and covering the edges of each item so the sand mixture holds them into place.

Step 5: Keep working in small sections until you complete the entire top of the box. Let dry completely.

Step 6: Download, print, and cut out Beach Memories shell template. Fill in your thoughts, and fill the box with memories!