Introduction: Sand "Clay" - Preserve Your Sand Creations Forever!

Did you just make that perfect sand castle only to be disappointed when you had to leave the beach? Wouldn't you like some memory of the beach other than the seemingly endless piles of sand coming out of your shoes and socks? Well now that's a thing of the past...safely preserve your sand memories using 3 easy ingredients.

Step 1: What You Need

You will need:

- 2 cups of sand

- 3/4 to 1 cup of white glue

- 1/2 to 1 cup of cornstarch

- A mixing bowl and a mixing tool that will be easy to clean glue and sand off of

- Any modelling tools you wish to use to shape your sand

- Gloves (if you want)

Step 2: Mixing

First, add your sand and cornstarch to the bowl and mix them together. Slowly add glue and continue to mix until it all starts to combine. Your goal is to get this mixture to turn into a dough-like substance. If it starts to get to a breadcrumb-like texture try "kneading" it together with your hands. If it starts to get too dry, you can add a little water if your sand was pretty dry, otherwise just add more glue. If it feels too moist and won't hold its shape, add some more cornstarch (unless you've completely overdone it, in which case you may need to add more sand instead). By now the sand mixture should start to feel like a dough.

Step 3: Playtime

Now that it's all mixed up, you can go ahead and do whatever you want with it! Our goal was to make footprints in the sand, so we shaped the sand into rectangles and then added small rocks to look like feet (it's easier to understand if you look at the picture of it above). Depending on how long it took for you to mix the sand up and how moist it is, you may want to hurry, or else it could start to dry and harden while you're still working.

Step 4: Time to Dry Them

Once you've completed your amazing designs, there are two ways to dry the sand out. You can either just set them out to dry overnight, or if you're a bit impatient (like me), you can put them in the oven on a baking sheet (I lined mine with parchment paper so that the sand wouldn't stick) at around 210 degrees for 2-3 hours, depending on how thick/moist your sand designs are. If you opted to put them in the oven, simply take them out, let them cool, and voilà, your awesome sand creations are permanently preserved!

Oh and by the way, don't forget to vote for me! I'll be your best friend! ;)

Comments

author

These are so cool! I totally want to make one that looks like it has fossils in it!

author

Great idea! Be sure to post pics if you do! You could even put like a small "treasure" inside a sphere you make out of this and then give it as a gift to a kid. Then he/she could break it open to get it (adding to the "coolness" factor of course).

author

Forget kids, I would love it if someone made me a "rock" with a "fossil" hidden inside, haha

author

Good point haha :D

author
Battlespeed (author)2014-07-16

This is even more cool considering that you can buy sand of just about any color under the sun for your creations. You can also mix small inclusions such as tiny pebbles or aquarium rock into the sand, or you can use shallow wood boxes (available at craft stores) as frames and hang them on the wall. Lots of stuff this "permanent sand" would let you do.

author

You're right! You could even make layered things if you let each different colored section dry a little first! Great idea!

author
ArubaGuy (author)2016-07-23

Hi folks,

I am in need of some advice, I have a pile of sand in front of a sign we made out of a boat. Its pretty windy here so I am sure in not much time it will all be blown away. Is there a good way to cover the sand with some kind of spray glue to stop it being blown around?

author
JoanneR27 (author)2016-06-13

I have been looking online for weeks for something like this! Good job, and so nice!!!!!

author
kvlntn16 (author)2016-05-04

can you mix the glue and cornstarch and save it for a future time? I am making a small sand castle for a wedding and want to make SURE that it doesn't fall apart on them. Thanks Great Ida for the foot prints. I would love to capture my grandkids' and put them in my garden. EXCITED!!!

author
kvlntn16 (author)2016-05-03

I am building a miniature sand castle as a gift and wondered if I could just mix the glue and cornstarch as the the adhesive then covering the sand for a firm and permanent form.permanent form.

author
LimJ5 (author)2015-10-06

Hi may i know if the mixture is water proof?

author
4freds (author)2014-12-31

Has anyone used these outside in the garden? (waterproof?) Would look great as garden art.

author
johnstat000 (author)2014-07-16

I have got to try this! The only problem I see is getting enough glue... Super Cool!

author

True...it does use a lot of glue! Fortunately, it's only white glue so it's not *too* hard to find (especially since many schools will be starting in about a month!).

author

Could buy a gallon jug of the stuff too.

author
LynxSys (author)2014-07-24

Excellent! So if I build an entire sandcastle out of this stuff, will it survive high tide?

All kidding aside though, does anyone have any experience with these decorative items being exposed to the elements? Do they hold together? If not, I might be inclined to try doing this with waterproof wood glue (e.g. Titebond III) and spraying or painting my creation with some type of sealant. Does anyone have any other ideas?

author
Ditch Doc (author)LynxSys2014-08-13

There is a concrete sealer you can get from the hardware store, I imagine you could use that to seal this with. We use it on the home made concrete stepping stones to seal. Its not too expensive, and a jug will cover a lot of projects depending on the size.

author
maliboo (author)2014-07-30

you have my vote

author
cheryl60 (author)2014-07-20

I also voted for you!! Love your idea

author
cheryl60 (author)2014-07-20

I wonder if clearing it would be a good idea!! I know my sister had a patio poured and they had a design in it and stain but they put a clear finish on it, it sure made it pop and I'm sure it's to pertect it also!!

author
vbisram (author)2014-07-18

Can I do this but write something in it?

author
austinsimonson (author)vbisram2014-07-18

It depends how runny your sand mixture is when you do it...if it's too runny it won't work out. Also keep in mind that it will shrink somewhat when it dries out.

author
Cats Science Club (author)2014-07-17

Voted for you. Super cool. Now I wish I brought some of the rocks back from the beach. Maybe next time. :-)

author

Awesome, thank you! :)

author
gravityisweak (author)2014-07-17

What kind of container did you use to mold your shapes? Is it a first aid kit of some kind? For some reason that shape with the rounded edges is very aesthetically pleasing.

author

Yes, it is a Johnson & Johnson small first aid kit. I believe it is one like this: http://www.ebay.com/itm/like/380941953570?lpid=82

author
Akin Yildiz (author)2014-07-16

wow amazing stuff

author

thanks!

author
Diaphane (author)2014-07-16

Beautyful!

author
austinsimonson (author)Diaphane2014-07-16

Thanks!!!

author
Tarun Upadhyaya (author)2014-07-16

Great Idea :). Thank you so much for sharing .

author

Thank you! :D

author
adarii (author)2014-07-15

I really like this - what a nice way to preserve some keepsakes from a beach holiday!

author
austinsimonson (author)adarii2014-07-16

Thanks so much! I'm glad you like it!

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Bio: "Things don’t have to change the world to be important." Twitter: @PancakePatrol, Google+: Austin Simonson
More by austinsimonson:Ninja Turtle CupcakesHyduino - Automated Hydroponics with an ArduinoSand "Clay" - Preserve Your Sand Creations Forever!
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