Introduction: Faux-Sand Art

About: I enjoy experimenting and inventing in what little time I have in between high school. (Mostly Raspberry Pi, Arduino, Mechanical Engineering)

I saw the Baking Soda Contest, and decided to go for it.

While thinking of various baking soda related ideas, I thought of sand art - the kind you can buy at the zoo or the store. From what I already knew, it was very overpriced, so I checked the price at $10 Dollars!For some colored sand and clear plastic bottles! This was clearly unacceptable, so I decided to create some sand art of my own: replacing baking soda with sand and coloring it with food coloring.

Step 1: Materials

For this project, you will need:

  • A lot of baking soda. Depending on the size of your bottles, this may range from about 1/4 cup to over a cup.
  • Plastic bags. About one per color. Ziploc bags are recommended as you will be mixing the baking soda in them.
  • Spoons for measuring the baking soda. This isn't an exact science. (At least when I made it.)
  • A wooden skewer, or equivalent. This will be for mixing the baking soda once it is in the container.
  • Food coloring.
  • The container(s) you will be making the sand art in.
  • A funnel.
  • Something to plug the top with. I used silicone earplugs, but a cork, or something similar would work equally well.

Step 2: Preparation

Measure the baking soda into the bag.

Add food coloring. I started with about 8-10 drops and added drops in increments of 3-6 to get to the desired color.

Close the bag securely. Make sure that the bag has air inside - it makes it so much easier to mix.

Shake the bag thoroughly, then check for and continue mixing dark spots where the food coloring did not mix well.

Step 3: Start Making the Art

Start adding the colored baking soda to your container.

Unlike colored sand, the baking soda, once the food coloring is added, likes to clump together. Because of this, the baking soda in the container will clump together. (See the "Before Skewer" photo)

To remedy this, use the skewer to push the soda to the sides of the container; this makes it look way better! (See photos)

Step 4: Continue Creating

Continue adding the colored baking soda to your container. As you push it to the sides, it will become concave and form a dip in the middle, but just add more baking soda to compensate.

Step 5: Conclusion

Add a stopper to prevent spilling and finish the project. I used a silicone rubber earplug, but a cork would work great as well.

Turns out, I made way too much baking soda, so I'll have plenty for next time.

Thanks for reading, and if you have any comments, questions, or suggestions please post them in the comments.

I entered this in the Baking Soda contest, and if you enjoyed it, I would appreciate your support.

Baking Soda Challenge 2017

Runner Up in the
Baking Soda Challenge 2017