DIYP-Making Summer Memories Permanent

My kids love gathering seashells from the beach.

We have a small collection of shells and they are scattered around the house.

I saw this idea years ago in a magazine and I've always wanted to try it.

But let me tell y'all, even though I managed to finish this project, it was doomed from the beginning.

I found a wooden tray at Goodwill when we arrived at Family Camp a day early. It was perfect for this project.

It also looks perfect on the dresser in the cabin, because that's where I accidentally left it.

I found another, not nearly as charming, but cheap at Hobby Lobby's half price aisle.

I used the remainder of a can of Satin Ivory Indoor Paint I had in the garage to give it a crisp look.

My kids helped me arrange all of our small seashells. We even dropped in some sand to make it look realistic.

Once we got it the way we wanted it, I sent them away because it was time to mix the chemicals. {Disclaimer: If your blog is title We are THAT family, don't use chemicals. Ever.}

I found this clear pour-on high gloss hardening epoxy at the craft store. It is not cheap, even with a coupon I spent $10. But we're talking about priceless memories here, so I justified it.

There are very specific instructions for mixing and remixing the two chemicals. I poured the mixture on top of the shells and sand. It takes hours to dry and it makes a hard, clear, plastic-like surface over the shells.

I put the tray on top of my refrigerator to keep little hands away.

That seemed like an absolutely perfect solution. And it would have been if the epoxy hadn't leaked thru the half-price tray onto the top of my fridge, creating a very permanent fixture.

I'm not even kidding.

It took my hubby a terrible amount of time with a hammer and chisel to remove it. The top of the fridge was left with a couple of scratches that will tell a funny story. Some day.

He is a good man.

But amazingly, the tray ended up unscathed in it's epic battle.

I whitewashed a little blue paint on the edges of the tray to make the seashells pop and it turned out pretty cute.

It's a nice reminder of a great summer.

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