One of the best things about the beach is playing in the sand—creating elaborate castles, carving channel systems for the water, or just burying your legs. But the fun doesn’t have to end when you leave the shore. Grab a bucket, and haul some home to make these five sand crafts with your family. Don’t have a beach nearby? No problem. For all of these projects, you can either use dry beach sand (make sure to sift out any bugs or rocks first) or you can purchase coloured sand. If you want to colour your own, use an ample amount of food colouring, mix well, and air-dry overnight.
What you’ll need: 1 lb of candle wax flakes; 2 wax crayons in your preferred colour; 1 silver or gold wax crayon; a long, waxed candle wick with a clip; a bucket of wet sand; a stick.
Make it: Dig out the shape that you want your candle to be from the bucket of sand. Place the wick into the middle of the shape, and hold it upright by attaching the top to a stick laid across the edges of the bucket. Unwrap and break the crayons into smaller bits, then mix them into the candle wax flakes. Melt the wax in the microwave in 30-second bursts, stirring in between each round until melted. Or, you can melt the wax in a bowl over a double boiler. Carefully pour the wax into the mold you created in the sand, and let it sit for several hours.
When the wax has fully solidified, dig the candle out of the sand and rinse it off. Trim the wick as needed.
Bottled Sand Art
What you’ll need: Small decorative bottles; sand in multiple colours; a small funnel for each bottle; toothpicks.
Make it: Place a funnel at the top of each bottle, and pour in different coloured sand in layers. Use the toothpicks to push the sand layers down at the edge of the bottle to make a fun design. Fill the bottle to the top and seal.
What you’ll need: 2 throwaway plastic bowls; plastic wrap; 2 cups of fine sand; 1 7.625 oz container of white glue; several sturdy popsicle sticks.
Make it: Place one bowl upside down on a work surface, and cover it completely with plastic wrap. In the other bowl, mix together the sand and the glue with a popsicle stick. Pour the mixture over the plastic-covered bowl, forming it to the bowl shape with your hands or another popsicle stick. You’ll need to babysit this one a little bit. During the drying process, some of the sand will slip down. Use the excess to patch any holes. Dry overnight, then carefully pull the sand bowl off the plastic bowl, and remove the plastic wrap. If it’s still moist on the inside, leave it to dry longer.
What you’ll need: 2 cups fine sand; 1 1/2 cups flour; 1 cup water; 1 1/4 cups salt; shells; parchment; baking sheet
Make it: Mix sand, flour, water, and salt together into a dough. Line the baking sheet with parchment. Separate the dough into balls, and press down into discs on the baking sheet. Have your child press their hand into the dough to leave an imprint. Press shells into the dough to decorate it. Bake at 250°F for two hours.
What you’ll need: 3 cups fine sand; 2 tbs corn starch; 1 tsp liquid dish soap; 1/4 cup water; a mixing bowl.
Make it: Mix the sand and corn starch thoroughly in the mixing bowl. In a separate container, mix together the soap and water until it’s frothy. Pour slowly into the sand mixture, stirring with your hands as you go, until you reach the right consistency.