Sand Mold Craft for Summer Fun

My kids are ready for summer. I am ready for summer!

I went shopping the other day at Dollar Tree for some fun summer toys {Kids Activities Blog sponsor}, when I ran across some beach accessories that reminded me of our favorite summer craft, sand molds! Check out all the Summer Fun at DollarTree.com.

Sand Molds - sand casting at home - Kids Activities Blog

Make Sand Molds at Home

Our family vacations over the last few summers have often included a beach visit. On the beach is a tent where you can make souvenir sand molds to take home.

It is something that we just can’t resist! We have made starfish, whales, our feet, lizards and all sorts of fun creations.

sand casting at the beach - Kids Activities Blog

Sandcasting at the Beach

It has been the same lady who helps us out each year, so this last summer I got to asking about the mechanics of making casts in the sand.

The sand inside the elevated sandbox, has oil in it. That keeps the sand feeling “wet” and makes it easier to keep it in the molded shape while we add shells and sea glass decorations.

When adding the shells and sea glass, you want to put it pretty side down and then push it a bit further into the sand so that the plaster doesn’t creep underneath. She uses some tools like the blunt end of a paintbrush and a rounded wooden dowel end to make sure the sand mold is ready for the plaster.

Once it is ready, she would pour the plaster concoction into the sand and ask us to return in 1-2 hours for the final product.

Make a sand mold with bucket and sand - Kids Activities Blog

Shopping for Summer Fun

We found sand buckets with shovels {$1 each} that we could use. Dollar Tree also has a huge selection of summer sand molds “ many are in sets for $1. My kids weren’t satisfied with using JUST molds made for sand, so they scoured the toy aisle for a few $1 toys to try to “copy” in the sand.

We even found sand at Dollar Tree! It was decorative white sand that is intended for interior design purposes, but since we no longer have a sandbox I grabbed a few bags to use for this project.

It has been the same lady who helps us out each year, so this last summer I got to asking about the mechanics of making casts in the sand.

The sand inside the elevated sandbox, has oil in it. That keeps the sand feeling “wet” and makes it easier to keep it in the molded shape while we add shells and sea glass decorations.

When adding the shells and sea glass, you want to put it pretty side down and then push it a bit further into the sand so that the plaster doesn’t creep underneath. She uses some tools like the blunt end of a paintbrush and a rounded wooden dowel end to make sure the sand mold is ready for the plaster.

Once it is ready, she would pour the plaster concoction into the sand and ask us to return in 1-2 hours for the final product.

sand toys perfect for sand molds - Kids Activities Blog

Make Sand Molds

The first thing I did was to get a bucket full of sand. I then mixed in cooking oil. I used 1 part cooking oil for every 10 parts of sand. For us, that was about 10 cups of sand and 1 cup of oil.

When it was mixed, it felt like the sand was a little wet and when pressed, it would hold the pressed shape.

We then pushed something into the sand to create a sand mold. I made the starfish with a traditional sand mold, Rhett made a whale with another one and Reid wanted to make a flying dragon with one of the toy dragons we purchased at Dollar Tree.

Making sand molds at home - Kids Activities Blog

Make Sand Casts with Plaster of Paris

The next step was to decorate the sand molds with shells or other small accessories. We used some shells that we had and a bag of small mirrors we found in the Dollar Tree crafting aisle.

The trick is to place the item pretty-side down and gently push it into the sand. Using the end of a pen or pencil works great for this.

Once the decorating is over, then make sure the lip of the mold is level. Add more sand to certain areas if necessary.

Starfish sandcasting - Kids Activities Blog

I mixed up a small batch of plaster of paris according to the directions on the package. Please read the package directions because they may lead you to do this part without the assistance of your kids depending on their age and crafting skill level.

We then poured the plaster mixture into the molds.

Pouring Plaster of Paris into Sand Mold

We let them set for 1-2 hours. If you are going to add a hanger, then do it after about 15 minutes. We then lifted them out and brushed them off with a kitchen brush. I recommend doing this outside because the sand will fly!

Sand Mold - Kids Activities Blog

Our sand molds cost a fraction to make at home than making just one does on vacation. Although my kitchen doesn’t have an ocean breeze, it was a really fun summer project to do with the kids!

Dollar Tree Sand Toys

Summer Fun at Dollar Tree

The sand toys are just the beginning of the summer fun at Dollar Tree! In addition to the NEW collection of colorful flip-flops, party supplies, toys and more created to launch you into a fun-filled summer.

Oh, and they cost $1!

Sand molds, beach tools, beach pails, beach shovels, rakes, hula-hoops, flower-shaped pinwheels, swim rings, kick boards, inflatable arm bands, beach balls, water squirters, goggles, and swim masks are all at Dollar Tree waiting to play! Many of these products are grouped together in $1 multi-packs.

If you missed our craft stick flip-flop craft, check it out! It has additional information on how to enter The Summer Fun Flip-Flop Craft Contest worth $500!

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Dollar Tree via Burst Media. The opinions and text are all mine.

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