RELAX DIY Beach Sign (Unique DIY Beach Decor)

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One of our favourite places to go is the seaside. When it’s quiet, it’s such a peaceful place to be and the perfect place to catch up on some reading… or much needed sleep! 

Which is why we’re currently going to town on DIY beach decor in our conservatory. It’s currently used as a TV room and reading nook – and is easily becoming one of the most relaxing rooms in our house!

And it’s also quickly becoming one of our favourite rooms in the whole house because of it!

RELAX DIY Beach Sign

Since agreeing on the coastal theme, we’ve seen lots of DIY beach signs that look really cool and we were determined to create our own. 

Originally we thought we might go for something made out of driftwood or sanded wood but we couldn’t quite find something we REALLY loved. 

Plus it would have also meant spending some money and we’re on a bit of a budget right now when it comes to lust-haves rather than must-haves. 

So I raided our craft stash to see if what we had in the house already could spark some ideas.

We had various beachy supplies like shells, sand and various coastal decoupage papers leftover from a previous project, which may or may not have turned out so well (SPOILER: IT SUCKED!)

Thankfully though, inspiration struck in the form of our RELAX DIY beach sign, which is now hanging proudly above our conservatory door. 

This was dead space that wasn’t tall enough to hang a painting or something like that but also too wide to hang something small. But it’s the PERFECT place for our custom artwork!

Finished DIY Beach Sign

DIY RELAX Beach Sign: The Inspiration

First a bit about our little project and exactly where the inspiration came from. 

I’m a huge fan of Kirsty Allsopp’s home and craft shows. She’s recently created a lockdown special: ‘Keep Crafting and Carry On’, which lasted for a couple of weeks and was full of ideas. 

One of which was a sign she was making for her son’s room, which was his name decorated in various ways with maps.

I probably had this project in my head when looking through our beachy craft stash as it quickly became obvious what we should make… a word made out of cardboard letters and each decorated in a different way with coastal inspired supplies. 

RELAX DIY Beach Sign Finished

Here’s what each cardboard letter is decorated with:

R: Coastal decoupage papers and stick on pearls
E: Ribbons, sand, shells, pearls and feet embellishments
L: Jute rope, shells and an anchor embellishment
A: Decoupage ocean scene
X: Stick on pearls, crystals and gems with strings of beads

The inspiration behind some of the letters are more obvious but I wanted to quickly talk about them anyway as some are a little more abstract.

The ‘R’ is the simplest design as I wanted the fun illustrated decoupage paper to do the talking. 

I then added the pearls later on as I felt like it was missing something. But in hindsight, I probably should have used different coloured embellishments like blue gems or something like that.

Close up of the 'R'

The ‘E’ is an abstract beach scene with light blue ribbon for the sky, dark blue ribbon for the sea, glittery silver ribbon for the waves and real sand for the beach. 

We then glued some shells and shell illustrations onto the sand and finished it off with some stick on pearls and feet embellishments… y’know like someone’s left footprints in the sand. I told you it was abstract!

Close up of the 'E'

The ‘L’ is one of my favourite letters; partly because it was simple to make but also because it’s one of the most fun to touch! 

I made it by wrapping some jute rope the whole way around the letter and then decorated it with some real sea shells. 

Scott thought it would look good with an anchor embellishment as well, so he 3D printed one for me in white to match the shells, which I tied on with some blue and white braided thread. 

And he was right – the anchor finished it off so nicely!

Close up of the 'L'

The ‘A’ is decorated with decoupage magazine cutouts.

I tried to organise my pictures so that it looks like an underwater scene complete with colourful fish, bright coral and a sea turtle to remind us of our honeymoon on the island of Gili Meno when we saw all of this in the flesh while scuba diving.

We then finished it off with strings of stick on pearls.

Close up of the 'A'

And finally, the ‘X’ is another of the more abstract ones. 

I first wrapped the letter in parcel paper as I wanted to mimic what the colour of the sea bed looks like at the very bottom of the ocean. 

I knew this letter was going to be one of the glitziest letters and so I really went to town on adding gems, beads, crystals and pearls. 

As I was sticking them on, it started to remind me a little of the evil crab from one of my favourite Disney films: Moana. 

And so as a little homage to that, I stuck some blue gems in the middle to look like Moana’s symbol. Can you see it? We can… kind of! 

Close up of the 'X'

That’s one of the best things about DIYs and crafts. You can have a really solid plan of how something should be, but as you’re doing it, you never know when inspiration is going to strike and turn you down a different path than you expected to be on. 

Basically, even with the best plan in the world, your craft will still come out as a surprise, which is always fun, right?!

Also, if you’re wondering how I decided which letter would have which technique, then it was all based on the shapes of the letters. 

I wanted the more complex shapes to have simpler designs so I wasn’t giving myself a mountain to climb. 

In this case, the ‘A’ and the ‘R’ both had curved edges and holes in the middle of each letter, whereas the other shapes were more straightforward. So I was less worried about using a more complex technique or adding lots of embellishments to the simpler letters. 

Anyway, that’s enough of my ramble about how I was inspired to create these letters. Let’s get onto the tutorial part of this blog post!

How To Make This RELAX DIY Beach Sign

If you’re feeling inspired to make a beachy DIY relax sign just like this one, or you really like one of the techniques I’ve used, then here’s the detailed info on how I made each letter…

Project Supplies (Full List)

DIY Beach Sign Supplies

How To Make The Cardboard Letters

For this project, you need five cardboard letters to spell out the word: RELAX.

We created ours by first printing templates for all our letters – you can grab ours here.

Making cardboard letters

We used these templates to cut out 4 layers of strong corrugated cardboard for each letter using a rotary cutter. But you could also use a craft knife or scissors.

Making cardboard letters

We then glued each of the layers together to give us strong inch-thick shapes ready for decorating.

DIY cardboard letters

We had some flowers delivered in a medium sized box and I found the whole box was more than enough for this entire project… so get saving those Amazon boxes now!

If you don’t want to make the letter shapes by hand then you can also buy readymade letters online. We’ve linked to examples within the supplies list for each individual letter for you – see below.

How To Decorate The ‘R’

As a reminder, the ‘R’ is one of the simplest designs and uses decoupage paper and stick on pearls.

Supplies

Instructions

1. Choose a coastal decoupage paper or even plain paper as your backing.

Cut a backwards ‘R’ out of it using your cardboard letter as a guide. Make sure you have at least an inch clearance all the way around, so you can completely cover the back and sides of your letter. 

Bit by bit, tape your paper to your letter following all the curves and nooks and crannies. 

At this point, tape is fine to use as you’ll be covering any proof of this with your prettiest decoupage paper on the front.

2. Once you’ve got all the sides and back covered, it’s time to focus on the front and the main part of this design.

Choose your decoupage paper and cut an ‘R’ shape out of it; this time ensuring it is the same size as your letter (i.e. you don’t need an inch clearance anymore).

Glue it to your letter using Mod Podge and finish by embellishing the front and edges of your letter with stick on pearl strips

Close up of the 'R'

How To Decorate The ‘E’

Remember our abstract beach scene? Here’s how to do it…

Supplies

Instructions

1. Choose a decoupage paper to cover the back and edges with – in exactly the same way as the previous letter, leaving an inch clearance all the way around and tape the paper down.

In our case, we used two different papers. The stripes on our paper had a vintage deckchair feel to them, so we used a blue version for wherever our sea and sky was going to be and the yellow version for where our sand was.

2. Using Mod Podge, wrap and glue some light blue ribbon to the top of your letter to mimic the colour of the sky. 

3. Then move onto a darker blue ribbon for the ocean and the middle part of your letter. Glue some sparkly ribbon on top to mimic the look of waves. 

4. Coat the bottom section of your letter in Mod Podge and sprinkle sand across it. Leave to dry completely. 

5. Using a glue gun, add some shells and feet embellishments to your letter. 

6. If any of your glue has seeped out and over the edges of your shells then you can easily hide this with stick on pearls!

Close up of the 'E'

How To Decorate The ‘L’

The ‘L’ is one of the simplest letters to make and uses jute rope and embellishments. It’s my favourite out of all of the letters because of how tactile it is!

Supplies

Instructions

1. Starting at one end, wrap your jute rope around your letter. 

Use a glue gun to glue the beginning and end bits of the rope to your letter so they don’t unravel. I used about 1.5 metres of jute rope for the whole letter. 

Jute rope cardboard letter

2. Glue some shells to your letter using your glue gun. 

Don’t forget you can add stick on pearls to cover any messy glue!

Jute rope cardboard letter with shells

3. It’s time for the anchor embellishment!

If you’ve got a 3D printer then you can quickly print an anchor embellishment the size you want; just remember to add holes on each side for your thread. 

If you don’t have a 3D printer, you can buy anchor embellishments online – like these ones!

4. Using 2 blue embroidery skeins and 1 white one, create a plait/braid and thread this through your anchor to hold it in place. 

5. Tape the ends of your thread securely to the back of your letter.

Close up of the 'L'

How To Decorate The ‘A’

The ‘A’ is another simple one. It uses decoupage and the most time you’ll spend on it is when cutting out your fishes and other sea creatures!

Supplies

Instructions

1. Just like before, you’ll want to cover the back and sides of your letter. 

You can use decoupage paper or magazine cutouts and Mod Podge for this but don’t spend too long on the design as the focus is all on the front!

2. Once the back and sides have dried, it’s time to focus on your underwater design.

Start by cutting out lots of pictures of fishes, coral and other sea creatures from magazines, travel brochures and whatever else you’ve got to hand.

You’ll also want to cut out some plain ocean colours too – dark blues are best.

Magazine cutouts - ocean themed

3. Start by gluing your patches of deep ocean blue to the front of your letter using Mod Podge.

Remember this stuff dries clear so you can really coat your cutouts to secure them in place.

4. Once you’re happy with the background, glue some coral cutouts to the bottom of your letter and then add some fishes, turtles and other sea creatures wherever you want.

We also added a ‘TAKE ME TO THE SEA’ message to the front as a cheeky bonus, which was included in our coastal decoupage papers. But you can skip this if you like; it’s all down to personal preference!

Decoupage letter A - ocean themed

5. Finish off by adding stick on pearls to help enhance the shape of your letter and disguise any messy edges.

Close up of the 'A'

How To Decorate The ‘X’

And finally, the ‘X’ is inspired by the evil crab from Moana and is covered in sparkly gems and jewels!

Supplies

Instructions

1. Wrap your letter in parcel paper to mimic a brown sea bed. 

You can just use tape for this part to keep things easy.

2. And then start adding your various stick on pearls, crystals and gems and anything else that sparkles. 

You could also thread some beads onto embroidery thread and tape the ends of the thread to the back of your letter. 

The design is completely up to you! 

3. Finish by adding some stick on pearls to the edges of your letter.

This helps it to look more interesting when seen from the side, top or bottom.

Close up of the 'X'

AND YOU’RE DONE! 

You now have a cute DIY beach sign to hang in your coastal themed room, which has been completely made from scratch. 

And if we do say so ourselves, this is a fabulous piece of artwork that will SHORE-ly get everyone oohing and ahhing when they see it!

Finished RELAX DIY Beach Sign


If you make this DIY beach sign or use this post as inspiration then we’d LOVE to see what you come up with! Tag us on Instagram @houseofmahalo so we can see it!

Also, we’d love to know which is your favourite letter? It’s definitely the ‘L’ for us as it was the most fun to make and is so tactile to touch!

Think this DIY relax sign is cool? Share it around now!

RELAX DIY Beach Sign

RELAX DIY Beach Sign

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Justine is one half of the newlywed duo behind this home and craft blog, as well as the couples travel blog Wanderers of the World. When not away travelling with her husband and Rough Collie, she's always making something or busying about the house. So really, it's no surprise that House of Mahalo was born!

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