12 Sand Crafts to Make on the Beach and Beyond
For kids, sand provides endless fun during summer vacation. Even adults know just how many things you can make with sand, or better yet, how many hours of entertainment that it can provide. While we're big fans of making the classic sand castle, there are many other ways you can utilize this medium to create unique DIY crafts once you leave the beach, too.
One of the most common uses for sand is in a curated terrarium, which is a great way to bring bright greenery into the home, regardless of whether or not you possess a green thumb. Terrariums are self-sustaining ecosystems that don't require very much in the way of upkeep. The key to setting up a functioning terrarium is choosing the right species of succulent for your space, and then to create a thin layer of pebbles and gravel for drainage, before topping it all off with sand.
You can feature sand on your tablescape in many other ways, too: We're sharing a few of our favorite candles made from sand, which come together using sand that you can source at the beach or even at your local garden center. You can also incorporate sand into living seascapes to shine as the centerpiece at a beachside banquet. In this case, we're using real sea urchins as votive holders, which bathe guests in natural candlelight all night long.
As for the little ones, sand on its own is entertaining enough—imagine how thrilled they'll be to play with malleable sand that changes color? Our kinetic sand how-tos are easy and involve common household ingredients that you probably have laying around your home right now. Follow along as we share the best ways to use sand in crafts and projects that you'll love all year round.
Building a castle is buckets of fun, so why not make a few with your kids at the beach this summer? All you need are sand, water, household items, and some helping hands. The best tools for sand-sculpting can be found in your kitchen. A measuring-spoon set is particularly useful for adding little details or carving out spaces in walls. For turrets and towers, fill milk or egg cartons, funnels, or yogurt tubs with equal parts sand and water.
Layered Sand Candles
Bring the beach to your Fourth of July celebration with these candles, which are made by simply pouring layers into a glass. Make several, and create a patriotic centerpiece to coordinate with serving ware or linens for outdoor dining.
These mini terrariums make for chic table décor when grouped en masse—and they double as favors for your guests, too! Just layer sand and rocks in the bottom of a fishbowl votive holder to get started.
Thermochromic Kinetic Sand
Remember the mood rings you played with as a child? This kinetic sand also shifts in shape and color: the heat of your hands will change the color of the sand as you play with it.
Colorful Kinetic Sand
Here's a fun sensory activity that will happily occupy the kids for hours: It's oozy, malleable, and uses common household ingredients that you already have stocked like cornstarch.
We revamped this classic planter design by giving it a stonelike, sandy finish, a contrast to the old-world build of the pottery itself. You'll use landscaping sand—found at hardware stores and home supercenters—to complete this project.
Molded Sand Candles
Another project using sand to create one-of-a-kind candles, these candles are bound by beeswax, which creates a finished look that blends into any nautical design motif you might have in mind.
Sea Urchin Candle Holder
Grouped serenely on a bed of sugar-soft sand, these sea urchins prop up skinny candles that light the way to the table for guests when dining al fresco. To secure the tapers inside the urchins, use a small drop of wax. Then nestle them into a mound of sand.
Seashell and Sand Keepsake Ornaments
Not only are these ornaments speedy to make, but they're also incredibly economical. You can churn out dozens using your own mix of shells, sand, and other nautical treasures.
While this project doesn't technically involve sand, the keychain is quite evoking of the beach and summer vacations, so kids and teens who want to savor their trip to the beach can create these as keepsakes.