6th February 2018

Tips on making a sand sculpture

Compaction is what will make the sand stand. There are three basic ways to compact sand soft pack, Hand stacking, and using Forms.

Softpack: packing and patting moist sand into a mound that roughly resembles the shape you want to make.

Handstacking: Setting the wet sand with gentle pressures by hand helps one achieve higher structures while letting water and gravity do the compacting.

Forms: Using some kind of mould or frame is good for getting perfect shapes. Forms can be anything like a wooden boxes, plastic buckets, anything that you can ram the sand into to compact it.Professional sand sculptors generally use a combination of all the three methods.

Tools Needed for Sand Sculpture
You’ll need only a range of basic implements or tools that can be found in your kitchen or garage or anywhere around your home

  • Shovel: A long-handled shovel is a must.
  • Carving Tools: Simple tools- masonry trowels, spatulas, apple corers, chisels, Popsicle sticks, spoons, knives, pastry brushes, melon ballers- all will do.
  • Spray bottle with water: You’ll need it to keep the surface wet to avoid crumbling.
  • Buckets: You will need them to carry water for wetting your sand.

Construction of Sand Sculpture

Use your hands to scoop out a large doublehandful of very wet sand from the bottom of the hole. Pull the sand towards you. Move the sand fast so that the water is not lost before reaching its destination. Start making your sand structure, say a castle, on top of the mound of sand that has been dug from the hole.

For making towers, flatten the wet sand into pancakes by jiggling them with gentle pressure with the aim of distributing the water consistently through the patty so it settles into and binds to the patty below. Stack sand patties piled on top of each other. Use smaller handfuls at higher portions so that the tower tapers at the top and doesn’t get top-heavy and fall over before carving is started.

For making walls, hold the sides of wet sand between flattened hands and jiggle so that the sand takes a brick shape. Lay bricks end to end for the required length of the wall, then lay another layer on top, repeating until you reach the desired height.

Carving the Sand Sculpture

When the rough structure is ready for carving, start working from the top. Work down, and always carve outward to retain structural integrity. Remove like amounts of sand from all sides of the sculpture. Never attempt to complete one side at a time. First build a simple shape as the main structure and add sand later for other structures.

Stand back and admire your creation!