I had never heard of ‘brain vacations’ until a professor of mine included them in his power point class lecture. Some days it’d be the Grand Canyon, other days a tropical location- and they always followed with personal stories or facts about the location.

This easy to make “Beach in a Box” would look great on a work desk or in a home office- anywhere you might need a visual brain vacation!

Supplies Used:
A Beach in a Box - Supplies

KAISERCRAFT makes these cute shadow boxes that are the perfect size to house a small collection or a few special trinkets. They also have a fabulous selection of paper, die cut shapes, and pretty much any other scrapbooking material you can think of. The paper pad I used was the “Salty Kisses” collection, along with the “Sandy Toes” pack of die cut shapes. Putting together the shadow box was like a mini puzzle, but I powered through (and there’s a photo to help you out!)

A Beach in a Box- Shadow Box

Keeping the box pieces in order is key in this project – mostly because the gluestick I used works really well – it would be very hard to peel off paper that was put somewhere you weren’t intending it to be. A Beach in a Box - Pioneer GlueIt was my first time using the PIONEER Embellishment Glue Stick and it did not disappoint! You can find it for under $3 at Craft Warehouse (www.craftwarehouse.com/). I didn’t have any peeling or bubbling problems at all. It’s a must have in your craft box for sure.

After figuring out what paper I wanted where, the next part to do was the bottom of the box – or in the case – the ‘sand’. I could have used paper or paint, but I thought I’d try for a textured effect. I did start with paper though, a wavy sand print. I used Golden Gel Meduim Molding Paste A Beach in a Box - Molding Pasteto add some texture. I just painted it on, following the sand lines on the paper, and used some toothpicks to swirl it around and a tissue to blot here and there.

Since I didn’t want the sand to be white, I used Distress Ink by Tim Holtz (www.timholtz.com). The Vintage Photo ink, when watered down, makes a good sand color. By patting the inkpad with a tissue then spritzing with water, you can dab some color on the textured area and be in control of how much color you are putting on.After paper is glued on and the sand base is completed, then comes the real fun part! I chose a few shell die cuts and quotes for the sand and sides but the real focal points was a beach chair and little red pail. Darice has a line of minis that are so cute and are perfect for projects like this. The little pail comes from their Timeless Minis collection. I filled it with some of the molding paste to add some realism – there are no clean, empty pails at the ocean! If I was the kind of person who saves sand, I would have sprinkled some on at this point – maybe just a reason to go to the coast!

A Beach in a Box - Distress InkFor the edges I used more of the Distress Ink but in a different color – Evergreen Bough. I just stamped it on the edges and then with a wet paintbrush dispersed the color to places that were hard to reach with the ink pad. After assembling the rest of the box (I just used the Golden Molding Paste as a binding agent but you could easily use hot glue too), all that was left was the cardboard drawer for the bottom.

The planks were on the same paper as my background ocean so I was able to utilize the whole sheet. I taped a little piece of paper to the inside that hangs out a little to serve as a handle until I can find a little shell to use as one. (Another reason to go to the coast!)

The KAISERCRAFT paper pad was full of so many gorgeous beachy designs it was hard to not go overboard on the outside of the shadow box. I did the sides with one sheet and the back with one that reminded me of a sunset. Add a couple more of the die cuts and voila! The brain vacation shadow box is complete!A Beach in a Box - Back

I didn’t seal the top on just yet, I’m determined to bring some sand from the coast to add to this later. I love the quote on the top – fits just perfectly for this project. Hopefully you are inspired to create your own mini brain vacation! Here’s to daydreaming of sand, the sea, the breeze in your hair.. ahh, summer.