Join our newsletter and get a FREE eBook with The Artful Parent’s 10 BEST Kids Art Ideas!

Sandcasting… In the Sandbox!

by Jean Van't Hul
August 6, 2013
Sandcasting in the Sandbox

Have you tried casting plaster shapes in sand yet?

We’ve done sandcasting at the beach a couple of times with great success, digging a hole in the sand, lining it with shells, rocks, and other found treasures, then filling the hole with plaster. It’s fun when you need a break from the water and the result is a pretty awesome memento of your time at the beach.

While we didn’t get to the beach this summer, we really wanted to do some sandcasting. So we decided to give it a go in the sandbox.

It worked wonderfully! Even better than at the beach, really, because the conditions were more controlled.

Sandcasting in the Sandbox

This post contains affiliate links.



Sandcasting in the Sandbox 01

1. First, we dug holes in the sand.

Sandcasting in the Sandbox 05

2. Then, we lined the holes with our treasures, including shells from past beach trips, melted crayon rocks, glass beads (the kind used in floral arranging, but you could use jewelry-type beads as well), marbles, and flowers.

3. The plaster of Paris mixing part came next. I mixed up 2 parts dry plaster with 1 part cold water. I had an extra plaster bucket and just mixed it in that, but you’ll want to do it in something you can just throw away afterward (not your best kitchen bowls). I sometimes measure the plaster and water into gallon ziploc bags and then just use my hands to smush the plaster around until its mixed. The kids love to do that, too.

Sandcasting in the Sandbox 09

4. Okay, moving on… We poured the plaster into the holes, covering the treasures and filling the holes.

Sandcasting in the Sandbox 13

5. The kids really wanted to decorate the tops, too, so they poked in another round of flowers, rocks, and treasures. Kind of like when we did the best art group project ever.

Sandcasting in the Sandbox 18

6. Then we waited. The plaster takes about half an hour to set.

Sandcasting in the Sandbox 19

7. Once the plaster has set, lift it carefully out of the sand, turn it over, and carefully dust off the extra sand.

Sandcasting in the Sandbox 28

Admire! I especially love the combination of the sea shells, glass beads, and melted crayon rocks.

Sandcasting in the Sandbox 20

The flowers are cool, too, but the color won’t last. They’ll dry and peel off, leaving a flower imprint.

8. Place your sandcasts in a protected place overnight to continue the drying process.

Sandcasting in the Sandbox 24

9. Display your sandcasted plaster lovely on the summer nature table, the mantle, or as part of a tablescape. We put ours outside on the patio table, under the umbrella (to protect them from the rain). I think they’d also make pretty good doorstops or bookends, depending on the shape you come up with…

*Plaster of Paris notes:

  • I buy 10 pound buckets of plaster of Paris at big craft stores, such as AC Moore, when I have a half-off coupon. It’s normally $10 a bucket and I end up getting it for about $5. Recently a reader said she gets big 25 pound bags of plaster at places like Lowes and Home Depot for about $16. You can also order something called ArtPlaster casting plaster from Discount School Supply. I haven’t tried it yet, but would like to, although maybe for something with finer detail like playdough casting or leaf casting. And  you can get regular plaster of Paris on Amazon as well.
  • Be careful not to breathe in the fine, dry plaster dust. I usually measure it out when the kids are in the other room. (And am careful, myself, too.)
  • Do NOT pour wet plaster down the sink. It will clog your drains and you will be sad. Dispose of any extra plaster in the trash.

Pin It for Later ::

Sandcasting in the sandbox or at the beach

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

10 Best Kids Art Ideas
10 Best Kids Art Ideas

Join our newsletter and get our FREE Creative Activities

Where can we send you our FREE Creative Activities?

Join our newsletter and get our 10 Best Kids Art Ideas eBook as a gift from us

Your privacy is our top priority and we promise to keep your email safe! For more information, please see our privacy policy.