• wood box
  • cat figure
  • seashells
  • sand
  • glue,
  • paintbrush, hobby
  • paper
  • sandpaper

Finished Wood Box Craft Project

cat on wood box at beach seashell craft
Credit: Angelo Rodriguez Photos

The Wood Box

The round wood box I used in this seashell art project is made from a light wood. It is about 3 inches in diameter and a couple of inches high. The box lid is hinged to the body so that it opens like a clamshell. This box was purchased at a craft store. When looking for a box, you want to find one that has a flat surface on the lid. A square or rectangular hinged box will also work for this seashell arts and crafts project.


Check the wood box for stickers and remove them. Remove any dust and loose bits of material. Check for rough spots and sand them smoother. Also give the outside of the box a light sanding with fine sandpaper to open up the wood. It will help make everything stick together better.


To darken the background look, use a stain. I used an Oak stain to darken the wood slightly - both on the outside and the inside.


If you want to use it for a jewelry box, consider adding a felt or silk lining to the inside. You could also add rubber buttons or felt to the bottom of the box to protect whatever you put it on. These materials should be available from a craft supply store or craft website.

The Cat

The Cat for this wood box craft is a figurine bought from a gift store. They were a having a clearance and I wandered in and bought this one. I like cats and their independent ways. This one is tan with green eyes.


You can use any cat that appeals to you. The figurine should be between 2 to 4 inches tall and fit nicely on the box lid with a little room to spare for seashells.


Remove any stickers that are on the figure especially any that are on the bottom of the figure.

The Seashells

The seashells are natural seashells I have found while beachcombing. They are a mix of carditas, scallops, turkey wings, bubbles, clams, and others. The seashells have been cleaned and any loose stuff has been removed. This will help them stick to the wood better.


If you can't go beachcombing for your supply of seashells or prefer more consistency between the seashells, there are various seashell stores that will be happy to sell you some. Try one of the online seashell stores.

The Wood Box Craft Project

Start your cat craft with the cat figure. Position it right in the middle of the lid. Its rear end should be in-line with the box hinge. You can move the cat around a bit until you are pleased with how it looks on the lid. Now apply glue to the bottom of the cat and place it on the lid. I use white all-purpose glue although you can certainly try something else.


Now apply a thin coat of glue over the rest of the lid top. Put down a few drops and spread the glue around with a hobby paintbrush. Paint the lid with the glue so there is a thin but even coat of glue on it. The glue should go right up to the cat.


Sprinkle beach sand over the glue while it is still wet. Cover the glue completely.


If you don't have beach sand, you can use craft sand. If you like colors, try one of the tinted sands. Craft sand can be found at discount stores, craft stores, and web stores.


Once the glue is dry, remove any loose sand. Just tilt the seashell art project and the loose sand should flow right off. Consider placing some paper under the figurine to catch the sand. It will make it a lot easier to collect the unused sand for later use.


Do the sides of the lid and the box in sections. I started by gluing down the seashells first - waiting for each section to dry - then moving on to the next section. Once the seashells had been placed I applied glue to the rest of the box, spread the glue around the seashells and sprinkled sand over it.


Watch how you apply the glue. Two things you DO NOT want to do are:


            Glue the lid to the box

            Glue the hinge


Either or both of these actions could result in a permanently shut box.


Once the glue is dry, the loose sand has been removed, and you've checked that the lid opens freely finish the lid design. Add some seashells around the cat.


Although I used clam and scallop seashells for the sides of this seashell art project, around the cat I used round type seashells. There are sea snail seashells and even a small cowry seashell. The flatter profiles of the seashells on the sides of the box, makes holding the box easier.


To protect your seashell art project apply a coating of clear gloss or semi-gloss polyurethane. This coating will also help brighten the seashells and bring out some more colors and markings.



Use it, gift it, or sell it. This is a pretty seashell art project that you or the new owner, are sure to enjoy.

Completed Wood Box Craft

cat on wood box craft
Credit: Angelo Rodriguez Photos


Small objects (choking hazard) and small children don’t mix well. Please provide adult supervision.


Use paper or a flexible plastic mat under your project. Makes it easier to collect leftover sand.


Take your time. Let the glue dry before moving the shell craft around.


To keep the box lid from gluing shut try propping the lid up. I used a large seashell placed inside the box.