Are you going to a beach this summer?  Today I live in the desert but when I was 9 and 10 I lived in a small coastal town in Northern California.  We loved to scour the beach for treasures.  On one such stroll, we found the beach covered in sand dollars.  We made quick work of gathering up our treasures for closer inspection.  The prized finds were the ones that made it home whole and unbroken!  I will forever think of beaches as a fun place to discover!

Today I want to share a doll accessory sure to gather some fun and discovery at the doll beach!

This doll sized sand pail and shovel is a fun addition to play and imagination!

Let’s take a look at what we’ll need.


  • cap lid (Mine are from a variety of spray cans like cooking spray, hair spray, and spray paint.)
  • ruler
  • tan felt
  • pen
  • scissors
  • chalk
  • thick white craft foam
  • cotton balls
  • sequins
  • duck tape
  • cardboard
  • glue (not shown)

To get started we are are going to make the handle for our sand pail.  I used thick white foam so it would hold it’s shape.

  • Mark the foam 1/4” with a pen and ruler.
  • We are going to make an indention in the foam to mark where we need to cut it.  Align the ruler with the 2 marks.  While holding the ruler in place, take a pair of closed scissors and run the tip along the ruler into the foam.
  • When you set the ruler aside you will see an indention in the foam.
  • Using that mark as a guide cut the strip of foam.  Trim the length to 6 1/2”.

Take a cap and glue the foam strip on either side as the pail handle.  If you want to add a little more detail, glue on a sequin at the end of each side of the handle (see the second image in this post for a visual).

Time to fill the pail with sand!

  •  Fill the cap with cotton balls.
  • Trace around the cap with chalk onto the felt.  Cut out the felt circle.  Put some glue right onto the cotton balls.
  • Place the felt circle onto the cotton balls and pinch it in in the middle if you want it to hold some shape.
  • Glue a few sea shells in place.

Here are a few sand pails made with different sizes and colors of caps.

Now let’s make a cute little shovel to go with our sand pail!

  • Starting with the “shovel blade”, cut a 1”x1” square out of cardboard.  Trim off 2 of the corners.  Cover this piece with duck tape on both sides.
  • To make the handle, sketch a strip that is about 3/8” wide and 1 3/4” long.  Sketch a u-shape on the end of the strip.  Cut out your sketch and cover it on both sides with duck tape.
  • To give dimension to the “shovel blade” bend the cardboard at one end.  Then finish it off by taping the handle to the back.


Now your doll has a little sand pail to tote and collect beach treasures in!

What treasures will they stumble on?

Hope you enjoy this simple beach accessory for dolls that will be fun in a variety of doll scenes and play!

Just in case you are interested, here are a few more details from today’s post!

  • Doll: Julie is an American Girl Historical Character.
  • Outfit: Dress tutorial is here.
  • Hairstyle: Loose pony tail.
  • Scene: Wood crate is made out of cloths pins.  Felt is the “sand”.

Discover, imagine and play!