How to Make a Beach Diorama With Glue and Sand

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Things You'll Need

  • Empty shoebox

  • Scissors

  • Light and navy blue acrylic paint

  • Clear cellophane

  • Cotton

  • Glue stick

  • Sand

  • Seashells (optional)

  • Cocktail umbrella (optional)

Use a shoebox to create a beach diorama.

You may not be able to bring your class to the beach, but believe it or not, with a little creativity you can bring the beach to your class; capture the essence of the sand and the sea and put it in a shoebox for a tropical diorama project. All you'll need to get started creating your beach scene is an empty shoebox, scissors, glue and a few decorative materials like sand and seashells. It may not be the same as taking a vacation to a tropical paradise, but at least you won't need any sunblock.


Step 1

Remove the lid from an empty shoebox. Use scissors to cut away one of the elongated sides of the shoebox. Discard the piece you remove.

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Step 2

Use light blue acrylic paint to coat the inside surfaces of the three remaining sides of the shoebox; this will be the beach sky. Use the navy blue acrylic paint to coat the bottom of the inside of the shoebox for the ocean. Allow the paint to dry. Check with the label for the paint manufacturer's estimated drying time.


Step 3

Use a glue stick to coat one side of the bottom of the shoebox. Sprinkle sand over the glued side until it is completely covered. Wait a few moments before overturning the shoebox and discarding any sand that didn't stick to the glued surface; you can save the sand to reuse for a later project if you'd like.


Step 4

Cover the blue half of the bottom of the shoebox with clear cellophane, using glue to make it stick; its shininess will give the illusion that this is actually water.

Step 5

Glue tufts of cotton to the edges of where the blue half of the bottom meets the sandy half; this will give the appearance of breaking waves. Glue the remaining cotton tufts to the light blue sides of the box to look like fluffy clouds in the sky.


Glue a cocktail umbrella and a rectangular piece of construction paper or fabric to look like a beach encampment. You can also paint the sides of the box with seagulls or distant boats to create a horizon or glue small shells to the sand.



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