In keeping with our annual tradition, our kids completed their Orcas Island project while we vacationed there. This year’s project was a DIY Beach Sign, using items found on the island to spell a word they choose that reminds them of their experiences on Orcas Island.
You may remember last year’s Dream Catchers project.
We chose this project for several reasons. It can be done with very little help from an adult, other than instruction. It requires some imagination on the part of the child. And it requires a little exploring around the island.
The initial materials are pretty basic. Some wood, stain, glue, nails, etc. As for tools, mostly brushes, hammers, gloves.
Step number one is to prepare their wood. Each kid was given three 1×4 boards cut to 17″ long. We had them sand the edges a little before selecting a color of stain.
Donning their gloves and welding their foam brushes, they applied some stain and wiped the excess off with paper towels. We used a quick drying stain but waited until the next day to continue, just in case.
Some kids chose a dark brown stain. We also had a gray “weathered” look as well as one that gave it a drift wood feel.
Once the stain was dry we connected the three boards together forming their DIY Beach Sign using thin strips of molding cut to 10 1/2″, the height of the sign. We started with some wood glue to make sure it would be nice and solid. Using a foam brush, the kids applied to glue to cover the whole piece.
Once the glue was in place, they used some 3/4″ finishing nails to fix them permanently.
On to the fun part. The kids searched the beach to find drift wood, clam shells, oyster shells, rocks, and anything else they might want to use to form the letters of their words. It was fun to see what each came up with and how excited they would get over a rock.
Each kid laid out the design of their DIY Beach Sign on their board before gluing. Once they were happy with what they had, they glued them down one piece at a time with some of the wood glue.
Novie wanted to use sand from the beach for one of her letters so I drew the letter for her in wood glue and she covered it with sand. Once the glue dried she dumped off the extra.
Wally used the same technique for his border.
All finished! Once we get home we will attach some cables to the back which will allow us to hang them. I love everything about this project from the experience to the words the kids chose.
Here are some of the tools and supplies I used in this project. If you are interested in one, click to take a look. You get a fun product, I get a fun commission. Thanks!