Permanent Vacation – Beach Treasure Shadowbox

I’m going to share our secret beach activity with you guys today.  Y’all should feel very privileged…it’s something we don’t show alot of people for fear of competitors :)

When we head down the beach, one of our favorite things to do is not only look for shells but also for seabeans.  When Matt and I started dating, I introduced him to it and he would search with me but then he staunchly created his own separate collection and is very competitive.  I’ve created a monster and it’s a monster that is better than me, or at least has better luck than me.  He is a seabeaning fool.  Same with birdwatching, he’s freakishly good at that too.

These little dudes are seeds from tropical plants that float far and wide across oceans and wash up on our beaches with the Sargassum (aka “seaweed”).  Some of them are super thick and can travel thousands of miles and still be viable seeds wherever they end up.  I’ve had a few of mine sprout long after I found them into a crazy fast-growing vine although I don’t maintain them and they peter out.  There are ones named after what they look like seahearts, hamburgers, brainfruit, golfball, some are named after famous seabeaners like Cathy’s bean and Mary’s bean, and some are just named for the plants they come from like lotus, Jamaican naval spurge, walnut, and so on.  Some of them are more common than others (seahearts and hamburgers) and some are downright rare and result in lots of excitement and s**t-talking when one of us finds one.  Our favorite are the gray nickarnuts, one because that name is awesome, and two because they are more rare and are really pretty.  I like to decorate with the more common ones and have put them in glass vases, put them on little printer’s drawer shelves, and have used them in potted plants to cover up the dirt (where the one then sprouted).

My cousin, her little baby bump, and her husband came to visit about a month ago and we spent the whole weekend at the beach.  They both got into seabeaning and her husband turned out to be a phenom just like Matt!  He had nickarnuts galore and we had one, maybe two, hamburgers each and that was it! What is it with men and seabeans?!  Anyway, she wanted me to make something out of what they found during their visit to use in her nursery so of course I said we’d put them in a shadowbox (much like my honeymoon treasure shadowboxes I made).  Lord knows I love me a shadowbox.

{Supplies for Beach Treasure Shadowbox}

All I used was a black shadowbox spraypainted gold, a sheet of burlap scrapbooking paper, my hot glue gun, and the treasures (all cleaned and dried out).  After spraypainting the shadowbox, I glued the burlap onto the backing with hot glue.  My shadowbox had velvet on the backing so the super glue gel and tacky glue I tried first didn’t really work but the hot glue was good.

Then it was just a matter of picking an arrangement and then hot-gluing the guys down.  I love to arrange things like this in groups because I’m an OCD scientist for a more scientific/collected look. I added in some shells, a crab claw, and some mermaid’s purses that they found as well.  This can be done with all kinds of stuff like stones, trinkets, beads, nuts, leaves, shells, insects, anything you want to showcase and remember!

I still need to ship it to her but she’s already pretty excited about it.  We’re so happy he’ll have a reminder of his first trip to the beach!  Oh, and I’m making a smaller black one for us to go on my office gallery wall.  I mean, what gallery wall doesn’t need a shadowbox?

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22 thoughts on “Permanent Vacation – Beach Treasure Shadowbox

  1. Never heard of seabeans before, interesting! And I absolutely love, love the idea of the shadowbox – so lovely :)

  2. What a lovely representation of the beach! I haven’t seen a beach since 2008. That is ENTIRELY too long…

    My favorite beach find is the coquina, or donax. They are tiny and brightly colored. My grandmother once laid them out on a piece of watercolor paper like butterflies and framed the piece.

    1. Oh man Nicole, that is a long time, I hope you get to go soon! And I love the little coquinas, they are so pretty (and fun to craft with)! We’ve seen clusters of thousands that all come up to the surface after a wave then all go back down, all in a few seconds, so cool to watch!!

  3. Interesting. I have never heard of seabeans before. I love your shadowbox. We collect shells on the beach and have made jewelry but the shadowbox seems like it would be fun to make.

    1. Thanks Erica! Shell shadowboxes are one of my favorites! I’ve made a few (see my guest bathroom pics) and they always look so pretty, shells are the perfect thing to showcase. Seabeans are my second favorite :) Down here we get them in the late summer and you can find them among the seaweed or where any other floating debris accumulates, usually further back by the dunes. Keep your eyes peeled next time you’re out :)

  4. Congratulations! This post is featured over at Diana Rambles today and has been pinned in the Featured at Diana Rambles board at Pinterest, Tweeted, and Recommended on G+. Please grab a featured button off my sidebar or via the link under the features. Thanks for sharing this awesome idea!

  5. This is such a cute idea! Love how it turned out! Thanks for sharing with us at Your Designs This Time.
    Emily & Erin

  6. What a fun idea! Thanks for sharing at our Motivational Monday party last week! Be sure to stop by again tomorrow to link up a new diy/home post.

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