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Page history last edited by Linda McD 3 years, 1 month ago

Miniature beaches and other beach projects for dollhouses, room boxes, and dioramas

This page is about making sandy beaches for those seaside, camping or cottage scenes.

Making a sailor's retreat? see marine, pirates, water

What about fish? or do you need boats? Are you making chairs?

See also mermaids, sushi, Mediterranean, ice  marine and seafood


Links to miniature projects

  • photo albums, blog posts, web pages

Baxter Pointe Villa - extraordinarily real beach house by Otterine

Beach House - 1:48 project by Fern Rouleau

Beach House - by Linda in Ohio

Beach House B&B - by Susan's Miniatures

Beach Hut - from Sherpa, Dollhouse Designs

Beach Hut - from Small Packages

Beach Memory Box - from St Albert Minis

Beachy Keen - Tanya had an old beach chair in her stash that was given to her by a mini friend long ago, She decided to repaint it and give it a new seat, even making a beach bag to match it.

Big Wave Dave's Surf Shop - by Joanne Sian Campbell on Pinterest

Caribbean Cottage - from Petworth Miniatures

Caribbean Vacation - by Paula Isaacs

Crabby's Beach Shack - by Beth Bergman, Minimanor

GD's Beach Scene - from Chris P's Minis and More

Long Island Vignette - by Nasun

Ocean Room - by Peaches

Skeleton Beach - by Wanna in El Paso



  • Blogs concentrating on beaches or categories/labels about them in blogs



  • Discussion groups, forums (or forum categories) and photo groups dedicated to beaches.


Supplies for sale

  • Supplies needed for making beaches projects.


Miniatures for sale

  • Do you have a section for beaches in your shop? Add a direct link to that item here.

House Plaques - from Cottage Kitty (Julie Lawton)



  • Books about miniature beaches projects (also books with chapters about them)


Instructions for miniatures


Miniature printables



  • Wallpapers that go well with beach projects


Other Printies

  • Book/magazine covers related to beaches

Beach Towels - from Towel World. Use Viva 1 ply soft & strong paper towels, iron to freezer paper. 

Beach and Nautical-themed Miniatures - from About.com

Miniature Acrylic SeascapeDecie Merwin, Pictorial Review, 1929


  • links to sites showing how to make items related to beaches

Beach Air Mattress - from The Spruce

Beach House - by Grazhina

Beach House - QS project by Anna-Carin Betzen

Beach Scene - from mini mania

E-Z Water, Using to Make Water Features - The Spruce

Making a Beach - from My Dollhouse Days, using styrofoam

Mussels - CDHM

Oars - 17-17 Miniatury

Palm Tree - The Spruce

Seashells - The Spruce

Toy Sailboat - The Spruce



  •  YouTube videos about miniature projects related to this subject

Building a Beachside Bungalow - from mini a Day


Research/ Inspiration

Beach Color Palette - Color-Hex

By the Seaside - Pinterest album by Kate West

  • tiny jars of seashells with sand or just some sea shells on a shelf
  • towel packages
  • sunblock, tanning lotions
  • swim fins with snorkel and goggles, surfboard, shovels & buckets, sand castle, beach ball, frisbee, water skis
  • beach tote
  • netting, fishing rod, 
  • tourists booklets and travel posters
  • bathing trunks, bikini, bathing cap, beach towels, clothesline with wet towels and swimsuits
  • life preserver, swimming ring
  • sandals, sunglasses, sun hat,
  • rowboat and oars, life buoy and life vest
  • fishing tackle box, fishing poles
  • glass fishing floats
  • a case of beer on ice
  • umbrella, beach chair, side table, windshield, flip flops, paperback books, magazines,
  • picnic table
  • pelican, seagull
  • palm tree
  • camera, binoculars
  • tropical drinks, picnic food, picnic hamper
  • anchors
  • baby boom box, portable radio
  • barbecue grill, barbecue pit or fire pit, driftwood campfire
  • fly swatter
  • bottle with ship or message inside,
  • diving board, dock, 
  • kid buried in sand with head-feet-arms out, kites
  • sandcastles, shovels for castle building




  • The best way to make a beach is with a Hydrocal base with a small amount of sand mixed into it.
  • Spread a layer to cover the base. Allow to dry.........may take up to 36 hours if humidity is high.
  • For the second layer spread the Hydrocal mix piling up mounds as you go. Look through travel magazines or brochures to find a photo of a beach you like as a guide.
  • Allow drying completely up to 3-4 days.
  • Brush on white Elmer's Glue with a sponge brush.
  • Pile the sand on top of the glue covered base. Press firmly as you do this.
  • Allow drying for another 2-3 days.
  • Next step over a large plastic or newspaper covered area, turn the base on edge. Tap gently on edges to remove all the loose unglued sand.
  • At this point, you may either spray with a clear matte fixative or mix more sand with glue and repeat the covering of base. Allow it to dry completely. Remove any loose sand.
  • Use a picture of a beach with real sand leading up to the picture for an illusion of drifting sand. 
  • To make a "bumpier" natural beach sand, I'd try making a fabric base for it using a sand colored cloth soaked in Stiffy fabric stiffener. Starch might work, but I'm not sure if it would be strong enough.  If you can't get the stiff fabric to hold up, try some Rigid Wrap. It's a gauze impregnated with plaster. Just wet the gauze in water and shape. Since gauze has larger holes, you still might want to soak some fabric in glue and lay it over the dried Rigid Wrap shapes.

  • The best thing to use for sand is the sand found in Michael's Floral department with all the silk flowers. The sand comes in small and large bags in varying colors and is of a consistency that perhaps is what you are looking for the sandbox. The second type of sand that is finer in texture is the art craft type used to fill bottles et cetera with colored sand layers. Again this comes in a variety of colors and can be found at Michael's and other art & craft stores.

  • Used a sand coloured fabric, draped over little, scrunched pieces of paper towel, to form tiny hillocks of sand. When satisfied with the shaping of the cloth, paint the surface of the fabric with a slightly watered down tacky glue, and shake fine sand over the wet glue. When the glue dries, the fabric dried into solid miniature sand dunes, and it actually is sandy.

  • Model railroaders would shape the surface out of a block of Styrofoam then fill and seal with a thick paint. Give a final coat of paint in sand color then sprinkle on the sand while the paint is still tacky. NEXT - - - shake off the loose sand and re-sprinkle sand fully cover the entire surface. (The first coat of sand on paint will help this coat not all run off as you sprinkle it on)  Make a thin mixture of water and white Elmer's Glue about 50/50  add a couple of drops of liquid dish soap to the mixture - This helps break the surface tension of the liquid so it will soak in rather than forming blobs on the surface. Use an eye dropper to apply water/glue/dis soap solution. If mixed properly, the glue will quickly soak into the sand. When fully dry, turn over to spill away excess sand and apply a thin coat of hairspray.
  • For sand, use fine sand sifted from the bags of building sand that lay outside Home Depot and Lowes. Do NOT use sea sand as the salt can cause long-term difficulties.
  • Sculpt it out of paper clay.  Be sure to add a few ridges and lines where the ocean would have washed up and receded, a footprint or two...You could even sculpt a little sand castle! Be sure to texture the paper clay with a stiff brush before it dries. Paperclay shrinks as it dries so be ready to do a little backfilling.  Once dry, paint it the base color of the sand you have, then spatter it with a lighter shade and a darker shade of the same color.  You can use an old toothbrush for this by dipping it in the paint and dragging your thumb across it...do it outside, it is messy! Once the paint is dry, brush it with glue, or spray it with spray adhesive and sprinkle the sand over it. Maybe even mix in a very small amount of appropriate colored glitter to give the sand a bit more sparkle as if it were wet.
  • To create the dune shapes carve blue builders insulating foam sheets from Lowe's Home Improvement center.  This product is also called Dow Board and Blufoam by some folks.

    Places such as Michaels and Joann's Fabrics sell hot wire tools. One of those tools is a handle with a rod sticking out of it. You can quickly carve a piece of the insulation foam or floral foam with this small tool. Acrylic paint sticks nicely to the foam. Paint the foam base the color of the sand, let it dry and then brush on Elmer's glue and sift sand over it.

    Fine sand can be purchased in bags at several places. Joannes has it in the floral department area and Michaels also has it. It is used for crafts where people layer colors of sand inside of clear glass jars. Also $ stores.

    To use sand gathered from a salt water beach, sift the dry sand, put it in a pan and run water into the pan,  stirring the sand and letting the dirty water overflow. After it is rinsed and most of the water is poured off, spread it on a stack of absorbent material to dry.

    Use old towels as the bottom layer followed by paper towels on which the sand sits. When dry I pick up the paper and tip the sand into a container for storage.

    Use a combination of the beach sand which has small dark specs in it and also the light colored sand from the craft store so the finished product will not be uniformly pristine on color. Back in the dunes, there is a lot of debris and dirt blown into those areas.

  • Try the foam insulation from a spray can be used to seal around pipes. Spray a bit and if it isn't what you want, cut and smash until you get it looking like you want.  However, you can't use spray glue because it would melt the foam.  You would have to use a water based glue such as Aleene's or Elmer's.

  • there are several aerosol textured sprays which can be used. Make sure to paint your base a sand colour first!


Ideas about what is needed for these projects

  • links to inspiring pages

Miniature Seashore on Pinterest 

  • ideas for shop names

Beach Bums Souvenirs

Star of the Beach (starfish)

  • YouTube videos about the subject


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