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If you ever want to write on sand dollars, here's what you do: Two coats of Pledge Floor Care Finish (with Future Shine) -- apply with a cotton swab -- wait at least 20 minutes to dry and use a Sharpie paint pen to write. The protective wax coating (a) makes it easier to write (no longer a chalky surface), (b) saves the paint pen from drying up faster and (c) prevents the paint pen from bleeding (as it would on the original porous surface).
What to do with your seashells and sand you save from vacations: Buy a shadow box frame and pick a picture from vacation that you took next to the ocean. Place the sand from that beach in the shadow box, add your seashells, sand dollars, starfish, etc. and you have a cheap and easy vacation keepsake!