I did them in two varieties because I wanted to do them in a set, but not have them identical, so we have surf and sand.
What I used:
- 2 premade shadow boxes (50% off from Hobby Lobby)
- Modge Podge in matte
- 2 - 8 x 10 vacation photos
- Sand (I used the real stuff from the beach trip, but you can buy it at your local craft store, also.)
- Shells - same as above
- Acrylic craft water
- Foam brush
Next, I took the Modge Podge or other decoupaging medium of your choice and coated down the back interior portion of the shadow box with a foam brush.
Then I layed the photos down onto the shadow box back and rubbed them down so that there were no bubbles underneath.
Once you have let the glue dry you can start coating down the front of your photos. Don't worry it is supposed to look funny. It will dry clear.
Do NOT touch them while they are drying! I let mine dry over night and cure so that when I started the next step foreign objects would not stick to the surface of my pictures. My photos were not tacky at all when I started putting the shadow box together. For both types of shadow box you will put your back onto the shadow box and take tape, duct, packing, or whatever sticky variety you have and tape across the bottom outside portion of the back so that your sand or craft water do not leak out. If you do not do this you will have a mess. Since this is on the back of my shadow box and I will be hanging mine anyway I just used clear packing tape.
Then I just pulled the top portion of the backing open just a smidge so that I could pour some sand down into the shadow box. When I got the amount I wanted into the shadow box I put in a few of the shells we collected and closed up the back securing the latches. The sand will move around so you will want to keep it sitting upright.
For the surf variety I started the same way by taping across the bottom back portion. I then prepared the Craft Water as directed on the packaging. I pulled the top back open slightly I put in a small amount of sand and shells in the very bottom. Then using oven mitts I poured in a little of the Craft Water and closed the back, securing the latches. Be careful not to tilt your box or you will have waves and splashes in your shadow box, which can also be a neat effect if that is what you want. Then just let it sit and cure. Every variety of craft water is different but the one I used started to turn to gel within 15 minutes.
Now go make your own. :)