Sand casting is such a great idea, and has become a popular beach activity for kids. Tons of blogs have been showing great examples of hands, feet, shells, you name it. But what really caught my eye was a YouTube video by Gary Einloth. I liked his idea of using tools to prod deeply into the sand, and thought some interesting miniature landscapes could be created using this method.
- coloured sand
- plaster of paris
- molds eg. plastic containers, paper cups
- tools to poke the plaster e.g. chopsticks, pencils
- spray bottle with water
- old, stiff paintbrush
1. Containers that work well for casting on a small scale are shallow, plastic tubs like for cream cheese, margarine, dips, etc. Paper cups also work well. For the sand, I used a combination of beach sand and coloured sand, available in craft stores.
2. Begin filling your container with sand. It needs to be wet, so make sure to add water. A spray bottle is helpful for this. The top layer of sand is what will be showing on the plaster, so you may want to use a range of different colours and patterns. Gently pack down the sand.
3. Many tools can be used to create holes and spaces in the sand, such as chopsticks and pencils. The holes you poke should hold their shape well if the sand is wet enough. Remind children the plaster will be flowing into the negative spaces they have just created.
4. Prepare the Plaster of Paris according to the instructions on the box. Pour on top of the sand until it is completely covered. Set aside and allow to dry.
4. To remove the cast, gently turn the plastic container upside down to release it. Paper cups can simply be cut off. This can get messy, so cover your work space well, or try and do this outdoors. Use an old, fairly stiff paint brush to gently remove some of the sand. Allow to dry further, before getting it all off. This will allow more sand to adhere to the plaster. You can keep the extra sand for future projects.
If you find not enough sand remains or you prefer the colours to be more intense, you can always spray the plaster with an adhesive, and sprinkle more sand on top.