Do you love the beach? Display your vacation treasures all year long with this simple DIY nautical decor shadowbox. Seashells, sea glass, and more can be displayed in this fun decor piece. I used the 6 inch squares for my shadow box but this one can be personalized with different sizes of the Darice wood panels.
DIY Nautical Decor Shadowbox Supplies:
- Studio 71 wood panels (I used four 6 x6 inch panels other sizes are available if you want to make your finished project another size.)
- Gel stain in Walnut
- Americana acrylic paint (Driftwood, Warm White, and Ice Blue)
- Paint brush
- Wood glue
- Wood strip
- Sawtooth hangers
- Wood letters
- Faux wood grain paper
- Mod Podge
- Seashells, starfish, sea glass, and other mementos
- Hot glue gun
Start with four of the wood panels. When you turn these wood panels over to the “back” they make an amazing tray or shadowbox. We will be using the “back” for this project. Apply the gel stain in an even coat over the sides. I did not stain the bottom of my tray or shadowbox because I am going to be covering it with paper. Wipe away any excess stain with a rag.
Using a VERY dry brush with VERY little paint applied, brush on a THIN coat of Driftwood paint first. You are going to leave some areas so thin that your walnut stain will be peeking through. The one shadowbox is painted in the picture below.
I felt that the frames needed more white to make them even more worn looking. So again using a VERY dry brush with VERY little paint applied, I added a layer of Warm White on top of the Driftwood. Again the layers underneath will be peeking through your paint. In the picture below, the top frame has the white applied while the bottom is still just the driftwood. These steps go quickly as the paint dries almost immediately in such a thin coat.
Next up is making this one shadowbox instead of four separate ones. Grab your wood glue.
Turn your panels OVER first (I learned this the hard way!). Apply glue in between all of the panels. Then use your wood strip (saw to length) to hold everything together. Use the nails to attach to each of your four panels as shown. I also added my sawtooth hanger while everything was upside down. Allow this to dry completely before continuing.
In the meantime, if you would like to spell anything out inside your DIY nautical decor shadowbox, now is the perfect time to paint your letters. I painted the letters SEA with Ice Blue paint. Allow these to dry completely as well.
Now that the paper is the proper size, you can break out the Mod Podge. Apply a thin layer to each panel and smooth down your paper. I had to weight down the paper while the decoupage was drying in order to get it to lay flat. Allow this to dry completely before continuing.
Once you are done, your DIY nautical decor is ready to hang on the wall or add to a shelf. Mine will be hanging on the wall in a few weeks as my bathroom is getting a little facelift and this will be the star of one wall.