If you have never done Sand Casting before I highly recommend you try it! This project does not take many materials and is a fun way to remember a trip or time at the beach using the sand at the ocean!
When I was little my Mom and Grandma would have my sister and myself make larger sand castings by digging a hold in the sand, and filling the hole with plaster and adding special shells or other findings we collected at the beach! This project is very versatile, you can variate the sizes and shapes of the product by digging the sand into the mold you wish. When finished the sculptures can be hand held keepsakes or can be hung on the wall (just make sure you make holes before it dries so you can hang wire).
Another neat variation that my family has done before was to use candle wax and wicks instead of plaster! The sand sticks to the edges of the wax and creates a textural feel and look that you can either keep as a decoration item or burn by adding wicks and scents.
The pictures and directions below are from Crafts For All Seasons and they chose to do handprints and footprints which turn out really nicely and are way cute!
So you next trip to the beach dont forget to back a little plaster or wax and create something you can remember forever!
Sand (whether at the beach or in the backyard sandbox)
Plaster of Paris (comes in a powder, usually sold in a container that resembles a milk carton)
Shovel or other mixing tool
Your child’s hands and feet
1. Begin the sand casts by “fluffing” up the sand a little. Use a sand rake or sand shovel to rough it up. You don’t want the sand to be too packed down or you will not get a deep mold. Next, place your child’s hands and feet deep into the sand. Tell them to push down hard. For a small child, it helps if you push down each little finger and toe deeper into the sand. Then, help your child off and take a look at the molds. You want the molds to be deep enough to hold plaster. Re-do them if necessary.
2. Next, mix up the Plaster of Paris in the sand bucket with some water (water from the lake or ocean is just fine). Read the package instructions, it is usually 1 part plaster to 2 parts water. Mix it up using a sand shovel or stick. You want the consistency to be like a thick gravy, but thinner than pudding. Make sure to get all the lumps out. Then gently pour the plaster mixture into the molds. If you make a thinner plaster mix, the mix will have no problem filling in the little toes and fingers, but you can also use a small stick to help guide the plaster mix throughout the mold if necessary. If desired, you can add a small cord or a hook to the back of the mold for a wall hanging.
3. Now you wait for them to dry. Do not be too anxious! It takes a least 30 minutes. It is best to do this activity soon after arriving at the beach, then you can remove the molds later in the day when you are ready to leave. Carefully remove the molds and rinse them off really well in the water. Mark the back of each mold with a permanent black marker with the child’s name, age, and vacation spot, if you like.