Life is definitely better on the beach. Just being there, for no particular reason, near the sea, under the sun we feel excellent. I love every activity that gets inspired on the beach. This certainly goes for the sand sculptures too.
Although not many of us can make those artistic nice forms of the sand, plenty of us beachgoers enjoy very much and have fun when building small castles. Like many things in life, building sandcastles needs practice too. So, if you haven’t ever done it or you weren’t that successful I’d like to share a few tips with you that will make your next sandcastle a perfect one.
Depending on your ambitions and vision, it can be a small castle that will require no more than few small buckets and modules or a big one for which you’ll need bigger containers and a little bit more of construction work and digging sand with a serious shovel.
First, get out there and go straight to the beach. When you get there you’ll need to find that perfect spot for you. That spot will require wet sand area on the beach near the water, but not too close. You wouldn’t want to experience disappointment and watch how are waves swallowing your castle. On the other hand, you’ll have to carry buckets of water and you’ll need a firmer base for the castle. That’s why that perfect spot on the beach should be somewhere in the middle, preferably just before the wet sand ends.
Castles are made of sand and water. What you should know though is that there is no such a thing as too wet sand, but only too dry. Water helps sand to stay together in a solid form. Dry spots lead to a collapse. And nobody wants their work to be destroyed.
Except for the shovel, you’ll need bottomless containers and buckets for shaping towers, another bucket for carrying water and a spatula for carving the sand.
Draw an outline in the sand where you want the castle to stand. If you want to build a big castle you gonna need bigger bottomless containers for that.
You’ll have to make a sand pile first, where the castle will seat on. You’ll need to dig enough sand to make the base pile. So, start digging and throwing the sand on the marked area until the pile is big enough. Then you’ll need to get it wet. And the best way to do that is to make a hole in the middle where you’ll pour the buckets full of water. This will look like a volcano. Then you push the dry sand from the side of the pile wall in, to close the hole. After you’re done doing that you should stand on top of it and step over the sand. Actually, you can even jump to make it really compressed.
Next, start building your towers. The best way would be if you use 2, 5 or 10-gallon buckets, cut off their bottoms, and place them on the sand pile. When you use more bucket sizes your towers can be various. So, start making towers with the help of the bottomless buckets. Place the largest in the center and fill it with a sand, add water and mix it together. Repeat that little by little until the bucket is full. In the same way, you can put smaller containers on top for a few layers above, like a cake. When the sand is solid enough carefully remove all the containers. Tap the bucket from the side to release the sand from the walls of the bucket before you lift it. In that way, you assure that your tower stays in one piece and whole, and that won’t collapse. You can make a smaller castle too. Small buckets are great for making towers. Just fill them with sand to overflowing, turn over in the desired spot, and lift.
Your towers can be even taller. For that, you’ll need very wet, in fact, liquid sand. Fill a bucket with a water and pour almost as much as sand, to get the sand very wet. It’s better when you fill the bucket first with water and then to add sand as much as necessary. Scoop a handful of that liquid sand from the bucket and place it as quickly possible on the tower and jiggle it a bit. Repeat that few more times, layering the sand one above the other. Use this forms to add other elements to the castle or to make another tower. You can then link them with a bridge made of sand blocks for example. Hold your hands parallel to stuck a block of sand between them. Place the blocks wherever you think you’ll need more forms to carve.
Starting from the top and working your way down, use the spatula for carving the sand and shaping the towers. You can now also carve out other details such as windows and doors.
Additionally, use a spray bottle to keep your sand moist. It will make the carving much easier while keeping the sand wet. Your imagination can be broadened with forks, knives, spoon or pencils for drawing lines and making a variety of forms. You can use a straw to blow away all the excess sand between the lines. Finally, stones and shells can be very nice for the finishing details and the final decoration of the walls.
All in all the crucial thing when making a sandcastle is the solid, hard foundation for the castle and the fact that the sand should be very wet. The saddest moment that anyone could experience would be if the tower collapses in the middle of the beautiful carving and forming. When your base is good enough undoubtedly you’ll be just one step closer to that perfect sandcastle everyone from the family was working on.