Kids Crafts- Plaster Casting with Sand

Summer is the time for fun kids crafts, and plaster casting with sand is a as easy as making a sand castle!  A fun craft tutorial to keep both you and the kids busy on a sunny day.

plaster casting with sand sun

Years ago, I started collecting suns for my kitchen.  I love Native American art, and they often incorporate the sun in what they do.  So, I would say my kitchen has a Native American look.  In fact, I’ve collected so many suns in the forms of wall art and decorations, that my husband actually asked me to stop.  He was all sunned out, he said.

I’ve been playing around with the idea of creating my own molds and it occurred to me that one of the most versatile ways of creating a mold would be to use sand.  So with that in mind, I located an object that I wanted to mold and created some sweet wall hangings.  Of course it was a sun.  But sometimes you just have to do what you have to do. Right?

This project was featured in Kids Crafts 1-2-3 – a bi-monthly magazine that can be found exclusively at Walmart, Michaels and Barnes and Noble.  For the magazine spread, I re-created this project using bath toy animals to mold, creating a cute piece of nursery art.  This goes to show you that there are tons of possibilities with this concept.

plaster casting with sand animals for nurserykids crafts 123 magazine

For this project I used:

One sun night light for casting (you can use anything here- a knick knack, a toy, a seashell)
About 2 cups of fine decorative sand
A plastic container
Plaster of Paris
Acrylic paint

easy kids craft casting with sandeasy kids craft casting with sand

I found this little night light at the dollar store several years ago.  And of course it ended up in the kitchen.  I just love his smiling face!  So this is what I chose to mold.

easy kids craft casting with sand

I poured the sand into my plastic container.  The container that you choose will determine the size and shape of your casted pieces, so you can create a bunch of variety here.  I chose a relatively square container, as I had in mind a set of four wall pieces.  The sand is a decorative sand that I purchased at my local craft store.  I went with decorative because it is fine and I wanted details in my casting.  Add enough water to the sand so that is can be compacted and hold its shape.  I smoothed off the top with a spoon to create a smooth, even layer.

easy kids craft casting with sandeasy kids craft casting with sand

I then pressed my little night light into the sand, creating a reverse image of my sun in the sand.

easy kids craft casting with sandeasy kids craft casting with sand

Mix your plaster in a separate container.  I used a large plastic disposable cup.  Basically, add the plaster powder to the cup and then enough water to make it the consistency of thin yogurt.  Pour this gently over your sand mold and allow it to dry for about an hour.  Then remove the hardened plaster and use a large brush to brush of the majority of the loose sand.  I then dipped it into a bucket of water to clean off any leftover sand out of crevices.  (Do not put sand down your sink!)

easy kids craft casting with sand
Pretty cool, huh?
easy kids craft casting with sand

I made three more using the same process, and the same batch of sand.  I did have to remold the sand after each cast, but it was a simple process of pressing the sand back into the container, pressing the sun into the sand and repeating the process.   I then allowed them all to dry thoroughly before I painted them.

easy kids craft casting with sandeasy kids craft casting with sand

I wanted to bring out the details, so I chose a dark color as a base, painting each one entirely.

easy kids craft casting with sand

I then used a dry brush and a much lighter color to lightly add highlights to the piece.

easy kids craft casting with sand

And there you have it.  I am the proud owner of four more suns!  Won’t my husband be excited!!

plaster casting with sand nursery animals

This actually was a very simple process and with a little help, the kids might enjoy casting in sand too.  The possibilities are endless!

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