Friday, June 11, 2010

Create a keepsake with the sand from your beach vacation

For all of you heading to a beach this summer for vacation, here is a fun craft that creates a lasting keepsake of the sand you gather on your trip.

From the June/July 2010 issue of Family Fun.

Turn sand from your next beach vacation into this easy-to-use clay, then build a permanent, air-hardened sand castle for a keepsake.


  • 1 cup sand
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon alum (sold in the spice section of grocery stores)
  • Saucepan
  • Wooden spoon
  • 3/4 cup water
  • Shells (optional)
  • Twig (optional)
  • Tacky glue (optional)


Add the sand, cornstarch, and alum to a saucepan and use a wooden spoon to combine them completely.

Add the water and stir the mixture until it is smooth and the cornstarch is dissolved.

Cook the clay over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally. The clay should start to thicken within a minute or two. Stir more vigorously, being sure to scrape the mixture from the sides and bottom of the pan.

After about 3 minutes of cooking, the clay will have thickened to the consistency of play dough. Remove the clay from the pan. Once it's cool enough to touch, you can start sculpting. (For best results, use the clay within a day or two of mixing it.)

Create your sand castle with towers and crenellated walls. We added a shell door and flag (a shell glued to a twig). The clay should dry completely within a week. If any pieces fall off after the clay dries, reattach them with tacky glue.

A sand castle is just one of the fun possibilities that you can create with your beach sand for a lasting memory of your great vacation. For younger kids, you could even shape the sand into an oval disk and get an imprint of your children's hands - sand from their first beach vacation, along with their hand prints and put it in a shadow box frame with a photo of them on the beach. The possibilities are endless for a fun way to preserve a piece of your beach vacation.

If you make this or another keepsake with your sand, please send us photos to share with the group!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for this idea! Cant wait to try it next week on our beach vacation!


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