Preserving Sand Dollars

While visiting the coast for a relaxing beach weekend, I went exploring and found a whole bunch of sand dollars on the beach. Taking a break from my electronics projects, I figured I’d preserve my finds for collection and display.

The last time I found sand dollars was after a tropical storm on the west coast of Florida, so I was pretty excited to find some more. I ended up collecting 24 of them, of various grey and stained colors.

After a thorough rinse followed by an hour’s soaking in fresh water to remove residual salt I flushed the sand dollars and added a 1:1 mix of fresh water and bleach, then left them to sit for 15 minutes before a second thorough rinse. Then, onto the drying rack:

Out of the 24 I collected, 22 of them came out great. Two others took on an odd orange color from the bleach instead of turning white, but that’s why I collected so many. The next step is to paint them with a half and half solution of Elmer’s glue and water to protect against chips (the dried and bleached sand dollars are very brittle) and put on display.