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Basics on Building a Sand Sculpture

Tools and Elementary Techniques
Publication of Discovery: March 31, 2022
Issue: March, 2022

Imagine you are walking down the shore and you spot something big above the sand. You see a magnificent work of art—a sand sculpture. How on earth did someone sculpt that out of sand with such detail?

It is fun playing with sand at the beach, digging holes and making mounds. Building a sandcastle or any other sand sculpture is a different challenge. I remember spending an hour building a sandcastle only for it to crumble on its own weight in few seconds. I did not give up. Following many years of practice and the kid in me playing on sand, I have learned how to build stable and beautiful sand sculptures. Below I share some tips to follow that may help for the next sandcastle (or any other design) you build along with your kids to be noteworthy:

1) Gathering Utensils

Search for tools you already have at home. Start looking for buckets and shovels. Grab old spoons, butter knives, forks, combs, or any other utensil that can make a mark in wet sand and pack those proper for your kids’ use considering their age. Old measuring cups and spoons that you do not use at the kitchen, plastic tumblers, stainless steel straws and a soft paint brush may be useful too.

2) Building the Base

To create a good foundation, fill the bucket with sand and enough water to hold the sand together. Too much water will make it melt into a soupy mess. As you practice, you will get the right consistency. Turn the bucket upside down. Pat the sides of the bucket to loosen the sand and lightly twist the bucket while lifting. Voilá!

You may also try to do the base using a bucket with the bottom cut out.

3) Get Creative

Now it is the time to let the artist in you inspire. Use the spoons to carve out the windows and doors for the sandcastle or any other structure to be sculpted. You may use butter knives to form surface shapes like ornaments, wall textures, and staircases. Use your imagination.

4) Add the Final Touch

For example, use a soft paint brush to smooth the surface, and a stainless steel straw to blow away sand from delicate places. Try not using plastic straws in order to conserve the environment.

Remember it is all about practice. Take note of what works and repeat. Have fun under the sun along with your kids!

tour provider: Yourself at Nature
book here
where the crew ate: At Home
photograph by: Carlos Rodríguez and José Pascual

Note: This story was accurate when it was published. Please be sure to confirm all details with the pertinent businesses before planning your trip. Please be cautious. The company behind this publication assumes no responsibility for your safety when participating in the activities mentioned in this article. You are responsible for confirming whether you are capable of participating in any of these activities or tours, regardless of the effort level or any other information provided in this website.


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Carlos M. Rodríguez: “Remember [building a sandcastle] is all about practice. Take note of what works and repeat.”


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