Monday, September 7, 2015

Creating a Family Beach Vacation Keepsake

Family Beach Vacation Keepsake

Every summer, my family meets up with many members of our extended family at a relative's beach house in the Outer Banks (OBX). It's a wonderful time for the cousins to play together in the sand and surf and create a strong bond! This year, as we finished a bottle of maple syrup, I decided we would make a keepsake of our trip. So we hit the beach collecting sand and seashells. Since we have to fly home, I put everything in the maple syrup jar, loaded it in my carryon (wrapped in paper towels), and when we got home, we assembled our keepsake (shown above).

Here are the steps:

1. Find a cool bottle, finish/empty contents, peel label, use Goof Off (or similar product) to remove the adhesive, wash and dry bottle (tip: use a hairdryer to make sure inside is completely dry):

2. Gather what you'll need: bottle, cork (one that fits the bottle mouth snuggly), twine, small piece of dark brown cardstock (punch hole in top), white pencil (or silver Sharpie):

3. Hit the beach with the family! Find a variety of shells small enough to fit through mouth of bottle. Seek out various shapes, types, colors, and textures. Include small pieces of sea glass, sea rocks and starfish if you find any. We did this over 3 days. The best time to collect is at low tide when the seashells become exposed:

3. Wash your collection, and air dry them on doubled up layers of paper towels:

4. Layout sand on an 11x17 sheet of paper, dab the sand with a paper towel, and air dry for about 20 minutes (until sand is completely loose and separated):

Soak up excess water with paper towels

5. Carefully rolling the sheet of paper with sand, pour the sand into the bottle, drop in seashells, saving the best for last (so they are on top). Many of the shells will land upside down, using a thin straw or pipe cleaner, flip over shells so their best side is visible:

6. Add cork and twine:

7. Using the cardstock card, add a reminder of your trip to the back of your jar (i.e. family name, location, year), slip through end of twine, tie a knot in twine to keep card in place:

8.  Prominently display your beautiful Family Beach Vacation Keepsake:

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