DIY Beach Decor: Coastal Wall Art Collection

Need some DIY beach decor ideas? We’re bringing you breezy, relaxed vibes with this coastal art collection. (And we *may* have snuck in some bling along the edges to give it a little extra glam!)

This DIY home decor project is perfect for easy beach bathroom decor or a beach themed living room on a budget. 

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Watch the video below or keep on scrolling for a complete supply list and step-by-step instructions.

We’re using the new IOD Wood Gallery Blanks and the Sea Shells Mould – silly Sally’s pick, of course!

Here’s a peek at all the casting designs you get with this food-safe, heat resistant silicone mould.

Beyond beach cottage decor, you can use these moulds to make furniture onlays for a coastal dresser makeover or as beach decor embellishments for upcycled home accessories. (Wouldn’t these moulds be just fabulous on a lamp base?)

In addition to DIY home decor, IOD moulds are also great for soap making, DIY jewelry, cake decorating, baking and more!

Here’s everything you need for this Beach Decor DIY project.

All IOD products can be purchased from an approved stockist. To find a shop local to you, click here. To find an online store, click here.

(This post contains affiliate links.) 

Note: Before you get started, if this is your first time using IOD moulds and air dry clay check out this beginner moulds tutorial for all the basics.

Step 1: Prep the Sea Shells mould.

Dust a little bit of cornstarch into the mould cavity. Then tap out any excess powder by flipping the mould over on your work surface.

dust the sea horse furniture applique mold with cornstarch

This will make it easier for the seahorse and shell castings to release from the mould. This reduces any distortion from pulling on the wet clay casting and also helps it retain all the intricate details.

Step 2: Make the beach theme castings.

Approximate how much clay you need to fill each mould cavity and pull that amount off the block of clay (better to err on the side of too much, though).

We made a sea horse and two sea shells but you can choose whatever you like. Now, take a second to put away any unused air dry clay back in a sealable bag while making sure to squeeze out extra air before closing. This will keep it from getting hard and drying out. 

Using your thumbs, push the air dry clay into the mould. Press it in really well so that all the details are captured.

Remove excess clay by scraping the back at a low angle with a spatula. The spatula should be pressed against the raised micro rim of the mould so you get a smooth, flat back and a clean edge on the casting. (You can also just use your fingers for the step if you prefer.)

Flip the mould over and fold it back to release the casting onto your work surface.

Step 3: Glue the casting back side down inside the shadow box side of the gallery blank.

Flip the gallery blank so the framed shadow box side is facing up.

Apply the glue to the back side of the casting. Make sure the entire surface is coated with glue – going all the way to the edges of the casting.

Then place it where you want on the gallery blank. Seat the casting by gently pressing it down, especially along the edges to ensure good contact.

glue the sea shell furniture onlay on the wood

Wipe away any excess glue that squished out with your finger or a clean, dry paint brush.

As the clay dries you may have some minor cracking, which is normal for air dry clay. If this bothers you, you can fill the spots in with more air dry clay or paint. Personally, we love the cracks because it gives pieces character and handmade authenticity.

You can let the clay fully dry and then paint, or you can paint your wall decor before the casting is fully cured – just be careful not to press too hard with the paint brush as you might distort the details.

Step 4: Paint your DIY beach decor with white chalk or mineral based paint.

Using your favorite chalk or mineral type paint, apply an even coat of paint to your project.

You can be a little creative with your stroke pattern, using a cross hatch or other texturing technique, if you like.

Allow the white paint to completely dry before moving on to the next step.

Step 5: Mix and apply the blue glaze to make the details POP! 

Decide how dark or light you want your glaze to be as this will inform your ratio of paint to water. We mixed one part paint to five parts water because we wanted a lighter, ocean mist effect but you can add more paint if you want to go darker. 

Before brushing on the glaze, get a crumpled, wet-but-not-dripping-wet shop cloth ready so you can wipe off the glaze before it dries. 

Liberally brush on the glaze all over the project – especially in the corners and let it pool in the casting details.

Immediately use your damp shop cloth to wipe, dapple, and blot the glaze. Work at this until you’re happy with the shading and texture, but not too much as you don’t want to reactivate the white paint.

blot the blue color wash to get a distressed, vintage DIY beach decor look

Let your project dry.

Step 6: Add some bling to the outer edge of the frame with gold paint.

As you might already know, we just LOVE stinky gold paint and it adds just the right amount of drama and glamour to any project.

Allow time for it to dry.

Step 7: Distress and seal.

If you want a more vintage beach look, use a fine grit sanding block to distress along the front and edge of the frame to reveal some of the wood underneath. Wipe away any dust and then seal with a thin layer of high-quality water-based polyurethane sealer in matte

You can make all three pieces of coastal wall art at the same time. Or, if you prefer, you can DIY each piece separately by repeating the steps above to make your coastal art collection.

For more DIY beach decor, check out this post: Sand & Sea: DIY Wooden Beach Sign

In addition to the Sea Shells Mould, IOD also carries two other DIY beach decor products.

IOD Sea Shore Stamp Set compliments coastal decor makeovers
IOD Sea Sisters Mould is perfect for DIY mermaid decor projects

Do you just love beach house decor and coastal interior decoration? Let us know in the comments below.

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  1. Marisela on October 29, 2020 at 11:22 am

    Just loved it my apartment has the Sea theme so this are perfect for my livingroom wall and porch wall. I’m looking for new crafts to do and at the same time change some things for new things that I would make for my walls. This explains it so well and the materials that are needed just loved it. Thanks

    • IOD Customer Service IOD Customer Service on October 30, 2020 at 9:52 am

      Wow, Marisela! It sounds like these products are a perfect fit for the sea theme in your home! We are so glad that you are feeling inspired. We would LOVE to see what you create! 🥰❤️

  2. Patricia Birtsch on November 8, 2020 at 6:40 am

    I use the Sea Shells mould a lot. I do a lot of beach decore. I love your moulds. Would you please design a mould with turtles and sea weed? I would love to be able to create more beach decore with turtles and sea weed. I have used other moulds that have more beach decore but those moulds are no where near the quality of yours. Keep making your videos, I love watching and learning from you two!

    • IOD Customer Service IOD Customer Service on November 9, 2020 at 12:10 pm

      Thank you for the suggestions, Patricia! We have a running list of recommendations for products that we consult regularly, and I will absolutely add turtles and seaweed to the list of requested moulds! 😄

  3. MyWeb360 on January 23, 2022 at 11:13 am

    Nice article.

  4. Kelly on September 20, 2023 at 9:30 am

    Theses are great moulds! Please Please bring back the Mermaid Stamps 😊

    • IOD Customer Service IOD Customer Service on September 20, 2023 at 12:09 pm

      Hi Kelly!! Thank you! Those mermaids are actually moulds as well! 😍🧜🏼‍♀️ I’ll add mermaid stamps to our suggestions list for the team to go over! 🤗

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