Summer at the shore–an altered art miniature beach scene with bait and snack shack

Summer at the shore–an altered art miniature beach scene with bait and snack shack
Summer at the shore–an altered art miniature beach scene with bait and snack shack

Nothing defines summer more than a sunny day at the beach–the sound of waves hitting the sandy shore, wooden docks, children laughing and cold drinks.


I captured an idyllic summer moment by making a miniature scene with realistic water and sand, a bait and snack shack and an old wooden dock that is actually made from paper.

This was my first attempt at making any kind of water scene bigger than a trickling fountain. I wasn’t sure if I could pull it off, but I am happy with the results. I love how the waves crest, curl and crash and how the sunlight reflects all the different blues.


Taking a break from a successful day of fishing to take a dip in the water with his daughter, this father propped his pole up against the pier. You can see how the bobber floats lazily in the water. I made the pole from an old Pick Up Sticks game and painted a small bead to make the bobber.


To make the water, I began by cutting a sheet of thick foam core. As you can see, it had a few creases from getting bumped in my closet, but for this project it didn’t matter.


I  determined where I wanted the waves to be and carved out valleys in the foam core. I then covered the foam core with white gesso and then painted it with four different blue tones of Silks Acrylic Glazes. I added white acrylic paint to where the crest of the waves would be. Then I covered the entire water surface with a thick coat of Making Waves Acrylic Resin.

After the Making Waves dried overnight, I continued to build up the crests of the waves with additional layers of Making Waves.


I stippled more white acrylic paint to the crest of the waves. I painted the shore with light brown acrylic paint and then added beach sand by mixing sand with Mod Podge. I built up layers of sand, building more depth as I got farther from the water.

I added a final coat of Making Waves over all the water and up over some of the sand. I have to warn you, that if you make this project, you will use a lot of Making Waves–I used almost the entire jar.


A staple at our own family beach is our old distressed wooden dock. I saw Alpha Stamps Distressed Wood Paper and immediately knew I had to make a dock from it.


To make the dock, I first adhered the paper to chipboard. Then I cut 12 2″ x 1/2″ planks.


I also made two longer 7″ x 3/8″ planks and attached them to wooden dowels to create the frame for the dock. I wrapped 4″ strips around a thin paintbrush handle and sealed the ends to create the posts.


I used the tallest  of the Cabana Row House Set to make the Bait and Snack Shack. First, I scored lines in it every 1/2 inch. I also cut out a little store window and shelf. Then, I gave it the shack a thick coat of white acrylic paint. I intentionally left it thick and bumpy, as if it has seen many layers of paint over the years.


Next, I used a black pen and a gray felt tip marker to add both smudged and fine lines to the score marks.


I drilled a hole in a Medium Wood Finial and created a weather vane using punch out letters, beads, wire, an arrow a silver fish and silver acrylic paint. Although the shop woman is catching a cool sea breeze during a break between customers, she still has ice cold drinks and fireworks at the ready. Nearby, a little boy sails his toy boat in the water.


I painted the roof blue, and added decorative elements from the Seaside Doors & Windows Set and the Seaside Decor & Beach Umbrellas. I distressed adhesive letters with a little acrylic paint.



I made the fireworks by rolling scraps of paper around small wooden dowels and placing them in a flower pot.



Alpha Stamps teeny tiny bottles, labels and ice cubes are perfect for this beverage tub.


Don’t you just wish you were tiny enough to fit into this beach scene? If you want to make your own beach escape, you can find the supply list on the Alpha Stamps site. Some additional supplies I used include sand from my cabin, acrylic paints and Beacon Fabri-Tac.


7 Responses »

  1. This is SO CUTE! The water just looks amazing. I am reminded of how much I used to love dioramas as a kid….just staring into these little worlds and wanting to BE THERE. So many adorable touches in this, just love it!!

  2. Each time I look I see more and more little details. I love the waves and the dock the most. The little tub of beverages cracks me up. Wonderful work, per usual!!

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