beach making


“Hey, everyone! Today’s tutorial is on this beach’s sand!”

Yup.  Before I do the ocean water tutorial, I have to do the beach tutorial, because you know, the sand needs to be under the water, too!  🙂

First I painted the Styrofoam base in sandy color with acrylic paint.

While waiting for the paint to dry, I mixed some sand – the kind that is used for sand art.  You can use other kinds of sand, but in many places, taking sand from the beach is illegal, so I don’t recommend doing that.  Plus, the sand used for sand art is super fine, which scales better with a diorama than normal beach sand.  I mixed 1 part normal sand color, and 2 parts white sand for the base part.

Then I sealed the painted surface with clear drying glue.  This is just to be sure that the resin that I was going to use for the ocean water wouldn’t seep through, and also for the base sand to stick on the surface.

Before the glue got dry, I covered the whole area with sand.  Now, if you aren’t trying to be cheap like me, I recommend first making sand, water, and glue mixture in a container and spreading it out on the diorama for the base.  It makes the ground look much smoother and nicer.


It’s time to make the shore.

Mix the leftover sand and watered down glue (clear matte finish type).

Spread out the mixture on the areas you want to have the beach.

Before the mixture is dry, I sprinkled some lighter color sand mix to make it look like dry sand.  It adds pretty nice effect, so I highly recommend it.

Once the sand is dry, you’re ready for the ocean water! See you next time!



4 Replies to “beach making”

  1. It came out beautifully, especially the tidewater mark with the lighter color. Might be fun to sprinkle some tiny broken seashells along that line too. You have made this tutorial look so inviting and easy. I was wondering if it is OK to use white PVA glue like Elmers or school glue instead of the pricier Modge Podge for the base sand, or does the MP have special qualities that make it best for the job ?

    1. Thank you! I liked the idea of color gradation on the sand that I did this time. Yes, my husband was so insistent on adding some tiny seashells and fish etc in the water, but I just couldn’t do it….lol I have a problem with getting bored so quickly! I just had to finish up and move on to the next project.
      Yes, it’s totally fine using other types of glue, but I don’t recommend school glue, because it will yellow after a year or so. Not that it matters in this case as it’s painted over, but I just want to make sure you know it.
      I had a butt load of MP leftover from the toy show diorama, I was experimenting with strength of glue coating etc back then. I usually use cheaper glue, too.

  2. Thank you for the tutorial. I was wondering how you did the sand part. How much fun you must have at your crafting. I am starting to make a smaller town on a bookshelf. When you posted that you used the wardrobe, that gave me the idea. I don’t have to have a large table to display it all at once. I am using many of your tutorials to make the items. Thanks for the effort you put into your beautiful webpage and keeping us inspired.

    1. Too much fun, I’d say! 🙂 I’ve done book shelf display before as well, I couldn’t keep it up as I wanted more depth for the path, but I still think it is a pretty cool display! I’ve got larger dioramas out as they are on displays at the moment, and planning on fitting smaller, more scene focused dioramas inside my wardrobe. I’m happy that my site can be a help to you. This place has become an important place for me, as well.

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