Easy Beach Sand Souvenir DIY

How To Make A Simple Keepsake with Sand From Your Beach Vacation | Petit ElefantYou want to make this beach sand souvenir for yourself. I know, because, well, if the amount of sand we shake out of our suitcases, vacuum out of the car and wash out of our hair every summer is any kind of indicator, then we are definitely a family of beachcombers.

And no matter whether we drive to a local lakeside beach or fly to a more far flung oceanside locale, our modus operandi is always the same: build sandcastles that never stay up, hunt for pretty shells/interesting rocks until sunset, and bring a little bit of beach sand home in a bucket.

It’s become a beloved family tradition, especially now that I figured out how to make beach sand keepsakes from our found treasures.

It takes less than 20 minutes to make a display-worthy beach sand souvenir that you’ll  enjoy year round, and all you need are measuring cups and a few empty jars with tight-fitting lids. Plus your beach sand and little shells, of course!

How To Make A Simple Keepsake with Sand From Your Beach Vacation | Petit ElefantMaking sure your jar is clean and dry, start by pouring sand that you’ve already sieved (to remove bits of driftwood and seaweed) into the bottom until it’s filled about halfway. Gently shake to make the sand level, then layer on top with shells and rocks.

That’s it!

I like to add a handmade, hand-stamped tag–tied with ribbon or colored embroidery thread–to each jar when it’s all said and done. Not only does it add a little something unique, but that way I can write the beach location and date on the tag, making it a true memento.

How To Make A Simple Keepsake with Sand From Your Beach Vacation | Petit ElefantAnd there you have yourself a lovely little beach sand souvenir–for yourself or your family, or a gift for a friend who misses the beach! What do you like to do with your family’s beach finds? Do you have a similar tradition?

Photography by Pilar Clark

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A native of Chile with deep Chicago roots, Pilar and geekdom have been mutually exclusive since tight-rolled jeans and slap bracelets were in fashion, making it rather fitting she married a Star Wars nerd, made two nerdlets, and became the world’s okayest mom. An award-winning writer, social media strategist, photographer and geeky pop culturalist, her commentary has appeared in and on some cool sites like Babble, CNN, Huffington Post, Yahoo and Fandango (where she's Contributing Editor of the Family Room).


  1. Tina :

    Hi – very nice pretty idea. My son did something similar when he visited Australia. He found a plastic tower of little cups that screwed together upright and filled each one with different sand from places he visited. It was awesome. Some were white or black sand or red.. some were crushed shells, a bunch of different varieties … it was a really really nice souvenir!

  2. Jodi :

    I love this, thanks for sharing!