Introduction: Super Sized Sand Dollar

Whenever I've gone to the beach, I've always looked for sand dollars - those delicate little discs that rarely make it to shore in one piece. Today, we won't have to go anywhere to find one and they'll be very easy to spot!

I'll be showing you how to make your own super sized sand dollar. You can use these for decorating a beach themed party, wall art or just fun!


  • Paper - I used old newspaper and large drawing paper. Newspaper works great for medium sized sand dollars!
  • Tape - nearly any kind of tape will work for this project. However, if you are planning on hanging these on the wall, masking or painters tape works best (safer for walls!)
  • Spray paint - any color you like will do. If you're using newspaper you will probably want two different colors, so you can coat the newspaper and center star/flower differently.
  • Glue - glue sticks, school glue, etc. Glue isn't necessary for this project, but it will help hold the edges together for a more seemless sand dollar
  • Scissors -

Step 1: Deciding What Kind of Paper, What Size and Spray Paint-

I will be doing a tutorial with newspaper today. It works well for medium sized sand dollars, although it's a little thin for extra large ones.

For the first part of this step, all you'll need to do is make it roughly square. Most paper comes in rectangular shapes. The easiest way I've found to make a quick square is to bring one corner down to the opposite end to form a triangle. There will be a thin rectangle left on one half of the triangle, just cut that off with the scissors. Unfold your triangle to reveal a square!

Once you decide which paper to use and you're shaped up, it's time to decide if you want to spray paint it. If your paper is already how you like it, don't worry about this step. If you are using newspaper like I will be, you'll probably want to spray it. Spray painting is best done outside. You'll want to place some extra newspaper under your piece to catch the overspray as well. Next, read the instructions on your can of paint for dry to touch time (generally around 30 minds or less) and spray!

Step 2: The Folding-

Once your paper is dry, you're ready to begin the folding process. Take your flat square and fold it in half and it'll make a rectangle. Fold it in half once more to make a square, and one more time after that! You should have something that looks like a long triangle.

Now, take your long triangle and trim the base - the widest part - in a slightly curved way (see above images). It doesn't have to be perfect and you should end up, once you unfold your paper, with a circle that has four somewhat pointy sides.

Step 3: The Trimming and Cutouts-

This next part requires a couple tricky cuts, but it'll be very easy. If you look at a sand dollar, you will see five little oval cutouts. One towards the center and four around it. We are going to be making those in this step. Fold your sand dollar back in half so that you have half of a circle. You will see lines from your previous folds, these will help you place your cutouts. There will be one in the middle and two off either side that quarter the paper. You are going to want to place your oval cuts one over each of those "quarter" lines (see above images).

You should only have to make two cuts to make your first four holes as your paper should still be folded in half. To make the next hole, leave your paper folded and determine which end of your sand dollar is the top and which is the bottom. Make your oval cut about a third up from the bottom.

Now you can unfold it once more and you should have something that looks like a sand dollar! We're not done yet though - we're going to refer back to the lines on your paper. You should have five holes, four of those should be on a set of fold lines that look like an X. If you look there should be, inbetween those lines with holes, another set of lines. On these lines, you are going to want to take your scissors and cut a third of the way up.

Step 4: The Shaping of the Sand Dollar!

The next step is to make the slight dome that will give your sand dollar some shape. You should have four new cuts in your paper, each about a third or less of the way to the center. Take one of those cuts and, while looking at the image above, gently pull one side over the other - just until each side has a little overlapping edge. If you pull it too much, you'll end up with a seam that is open - be careful to just pull enough to have the little edges!
I took a little piece of tape and gently taped the edges down on the underside of the sand dollar. You can use tape, glue, or both! The glue also comes in handy if you've got a seam that's just a little open - you can dab a little on and hold it together for a minute or so to fix. Repeat this on the remaining three corners.

The next and final step is to make yourself a stencil. For this, you'll want to take a close look at a sand dollar. In the middle, you'll notice a flower or a rounded star shape - this is what we are going to be making a stencil of.

I used another piece of newspaper and freehanded a simple flower/star shape with a marker. I then carefully cut it out - leaving the newspaper with a stencil right in the center. You can experiment with sizes and shapes, some sand dollars have long and thin patterns, others have short and wide!

The final step is going to require spray painting again - so set yourself back up outside! Place your ground cover down, then your sand dollar and finally the stencil on top. You may need to use a little tape or a few small objects to hold your stencil in place - then gently spray from the recommended distance on your spray paint can.

Step 5: Now You Have a Super Sized Sand Dollar!

You should now have a super sized sand dollar, time for the beach party - these are the snowflakes of summer, put them everywhere! I hope you enjoyed my instructable and I hope you give it a try. Feel free to do your own thing with it, make different patterns, use different materials, have fun!

Super-Size Speed Challenge

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Super-Size Speed Challenge