Bring a touch of the beach into your home to add whimsical reminders of times spent at the shore. You can use sand dollars in craft projects -- from bathroom accents to table settings and Christmas decorations -- that you can do with your children. Prior to hunting for sand dollars at the beach, check your local ordinances and laws. Many locales limit the number of live sand dollars you can take, and in some places, you may need a fishing license. Alternatively, purchase clean sand dollars in bulk at a craft store.
1. Preserving Sand Dollars for Craft Purposes
Clean and preserve the sand dollars before attempting your craft project by first letting them soak in water until the water turns brown. Repeat the process until the water stays clear; then soak the sand dollars for 5 to 10 minutes in a solution of bleach and water. Run the bleached sand dollars under water for 10 to 15 minutes and repeat the process of soaking and rinsing if needed. Let the sand dollars dry thoroughly. If desired, harden the sand dollars by sponging on a mixture of equal parts water and white glue. You can now use or display your sand dollars.
2. Wall Art
Make sand dollar wall art. Using acrylic craft paint, you and your children can paint the canvas any color. Let the canvas dry completely. Attach the sand dollar to the canvas using heavy-duty craft epoxy, and allow the glue to dry thoroughly. To display, hang on a wall. Make three canvases and display them by hanging in a row, or make four and hang them in a square formation. Displaying them in a grouping creates a larger piece of wall art that becomes the focal point of a room or hallway. Alternatively, make a wall hanging by stringing five sand dollars vertically together with white ribbon or raffia. Stencil the word "beach" onto the sand dollars in blue paint. Hang from a ribbon or piece of raffia.
3. Centerpieces and Table Accents
Use sand dollars in a centerpiece display. Fill a clear glass bowl halfway to the top with sand; in the middle of the bowl, place a white pillar candle. Scatter sand dollars and small seashells around the candle. Craft sand dollar napkin rings for your summer tablescape by gluing raffia to the backs of small sand dollars. Tie the raffia around your napkins with the sand dollar on top. Use sand dollars as place cards by simply using a permanent marker to write your guests' names on the sand dollars and placing them on their designated place settings.
4. Holiday Accents
Create a beachy twist on the traditional Christmas garland. String a ribbon through the hole in the sand dollar and tie it off. Continue by repeating the process, tying the ribbon each time so that the sand dollars hang about 2 inches apart. Repeat until the sand dollars cover the desired length of ribbon. Using acrylic craft paint, turn the sand dollars into snowmen or Santa faces, or use the markings on the sand dollars as a guide and paint flowers or angels on them. Let them dry and hang from your tree with ribbon.
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