How to Turn an Office Into the Beach




About: I've worked for Instructables off and on since 2006 building and documenting just about everything I enjoy doing. I am now the Creative Programs founder and manager for Autodesk and just finished building o...

Last week Randyplayed a trick on the office when he was the only one at work. On Monday, when it turned out that Randy was working from home, Nate, Sarah, and myself decided to pay Randy back by turning his office into a beach.

It was meant to be a gift to him as much as it was a prank, since Randy's redecorating was fun at heart, and Randy actually likes the beach very much.

One Monday afternoon and 400 lbs. of sand later, Instructables HQ became equipped with one of the few things that we were missing - the beach.

Please note: many employers may find this behavior objectionable. Duplicate at your own risk. Nate, Sarah, and Noah are in no way responsible if you lose your job. Actually, to amend that statement, Noah will take partial responsibility if you lose your job. Seek retribution at 489 Clementina St. San Francisco, CA 94103.

Step 1: Wait for a Co-worker to Pull a Prank

We all do strange things when left alone. Last Friday Randy was no exception.

Step 2: Remove All of Their Belongings and Lay Down Some Tarp

Before covering an entire office in sand, it's best to remove all of their valuable possessions and cover the carpet in tarps. This is especially so when the office happens to be occupied by an expert hacker whose valuablepossessions could get damaged. This is also a good idea when you rent your office space and your landlord already thinks that you are crazy domestic terrorists running an intern brothel out of your website business front (seriously).

Step 3: Protect Against Dust

Show co-workers that you haven't completely lost your mind by showing concern for the health of your collaborators, and others in the office by covering doors and windows in fabric to keep the sand dust from creating a mess of the rest of the space and the lungs of your interns.

Step 4: Fill Office With Sand

This was actually the easy part.

Fill the office with 400 lbs of play sand.

*Expert tip*
Spring for the extra $5/bag and buy "premium play sand", rather than just the stuff that gets mixed with cement when making concrete. The sand for concrete is really dusty and not pleasing to walk on.

Try to avoid getting caught by the boss. Lucky for us, the dust shield also hid our activities from Instructables CEO Eric. Even more lucky for us, the boss was on board with the project and couldn't stop laughing/peeking in on us to see our progress!

Step 5: Replace Belongings

Very carefully put everything back. Don't tear the plastic, and don't drop electronics or small objects in the sand. They will be lost forever in the sands of Randy Beach.

Step 6: Beachify

What's a beach without an ocean! Fill a large rubber tub with water and carefully slide it back into the beach office.

We blew up some balloons and drew faces, fins, hair and nipples on them to make them look more like fish.

Sarah got to work on creating a sand castle robot village, Noah hung a frisbee from the ceiling and we threw up a beach sign that was just provocative enough to make Randy feel uncomfortable.

Step 7: Reveal

When Randy walked into work this morning he was quite excited to see that his office had magically turned into a beach since he had left work last week. He smiled a lot, and didn't say anything for a long time.


Step 8: Make It Permanent

Clean up is a pain and the sand is actually a much needed improvement.

Rather than get rid of 400 pounds of sand, incorporate it into your life. Add netting, crabs, shells and palm trees.

Wear funny hats and complain about the overcast.

Place a bucket of water outside of the door so you can rinse your feet should you need to leave your beach office. Keep adding stuff and hanging things from the ceiling to pay respect to the fact that the beach is always changing, and as a result, so are we.

Keep in mind Instructables users - this is the office of the man who is the main admin of the site and who steers our "digital ship" if you will...of course, he only modestly refers to himself as "sheriff of these parts".



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    41 Discussions


    2 years ago

    15 most beautiful beaches know at here

    We do this every year at the childcare center where I work. 2000 lbs of sand on the classroom floor . We make a giant sandbox with tarps taped down to the tile and we have at least 2 parent helpers armed with brooms to keep the sand in the "beach". Add a few water play tables, let the kids make lemonade and ice cream, face painters, the works. It's our annual "Beach Day". The kicker is we do it in the middle of January and it all vanishes like magic before noon thanks to 20-30 parent helpers. When the party is over the sand is carted out to our outdoor sandbox on the playground.


    8 years ago on Introduction

    OH my gosh, there's an orange flying saucer in that photo!!!

    Oh I love that. Always pictured doing something like that in a sun room or something if I had one. Currently have a bedroom with bunched up beige carpeting that remind me of a sandy beach since it already has those ripples and or sand dunes. All I need is the palm tree.


    8 years ago on Introduction

    randy's possessions look...weird (check the link o.o)


    9 years ago on Introduction

    "We blew up some balloons and drew faces, fins, hair and nipples on them to make them look more like fish." Classic

    2 replies
    Junkyard Dawg

    8 years ago on Step 8

    Can I do this to my own bedroom? It's not carpeted, and I have been wanting to have a seprate room for the bed (I'm thinking about a hut in my room) Mabe I can even take out my closet, place my clothing in the hut, and just place a fake palm tree in, and use a hammok for my bed. Yep, I'm doing that. Thanks!


    8 years ago on Introduction

    Another prank to do would be if they like it, to take it away.


    9 years ago on Introduction

    NIce! My brother did this to his office and its HUGE it even has those things you put in the fish tank to make currents and it looks like a real beach!
    I would recommend putting a tub of water and towels next to the door so people can wash there feet of and dry..we put a little barrier on the bottom of the door so the sand won't come out...


    9 years ago on Step 5

    that robot has an angry look on his face...


    9 years ago on Step 8

    Dude it's sweet! I'd be surprised to.


    9 years ago on Introduction

    Best. Instructable. Evar.
    One of them at least. :P

    Also, since when do fish have nipples?
    Or can the rare boob fish only be found in Sarafan Ocean?