Sand "Clay" - Preserve Your Sand Creations Forever!

Picture of Sand

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.

Remove these adsRemove these ads by Signing Up

Step 1: What You Need

Picture of 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

Picture of 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

Picture of 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! ;)

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

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).

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

Good point haha :D

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.

austinsimonson (author)  Battlespeed1 year ago

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

4freds7 months ago

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

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

austinsimonson (author)  johnstat0001 year ago

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!).

Could buy a gallon jug of the stuff too.

LynxSys1 year ago

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?

Ditch Doc LynxSys11 months ago

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.

maliboo1 year ago

you have my vote

cheryl601 year ago
I also voted for you!! Love your idea
cheryl601 year ago
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!!
vbisram1 year ago
Can I do this but write something in it?
austinsimonson (author)  vbisram1 year ago

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.

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

Awesome, thank you! :)

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.

austinsimonson (author)  gravityisweak1 year ago

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

wow amazing stuff

austinsimonson (author)  Akin Yildiz1 year ago


Diaphane1 year ago


austinsimonson (author)  Diaphane1 year ago


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

Thank you! :D

adarii1 year ago

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

austinsimonson (author)  adarii1 year ago

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