Footprints in the Sand
The Summer’s just beginning which means there is tons of fun on the horizon. Here’s a neat project that you can do weather you are visiting the beach, or playing in the backyard sandbox. Sand cast plaster hand or footprints.
Until I was a parent I didn’t understand why parents love handprint art. Handprint turkeys on Thanksgiving, put two handprints together and make a butterfly, a handprint with a stem painted underneath it makes a cute flower… Now that I’m a Dad, I totally get it. Handprints are great! They are a snapshot of your child. They grow so quickly and anything that captures a moment of their youth we cherish. My Mom did this with me and my brother when we were kids to give my Dad on Father’s day. I remember going to visit my Dad at his office and seeing those footprints get smaller each year.
This project is relatively simple and something that has many variations that make great keepsakes or gifts. Enjoy.
Sandprints: Sand Casting with Plaster
- Plaster of Paris
- Mixing Container
- Stick or Spoon to mix the Plaster
- Make a print – Help your child press his or her hand or foot into the sand to make a print about 3/4″ deep. (tips: Find an area of the beach with little to no traffic. Use dry sand. Help your child make the print by pressing fingers and toes into the sand and lifting them out of the print.)
- Mix and Pour – Follow the mixing directions on the Plaster of Paris container to mix the plaster and water in your mixing container. Pour the plaster into the print. (variations: Cast just the print by pouring plaster only into the hand or footprint. Frame the print in plaster by creating a small sand wall around the print and pouring the plaster into both the print and the walled off area – like the photo to your right. You could even press seashells into the sand around the print before pouring the plaster.)
- Wait – After the plaster has been poured, just wait. Go for a swim, have lunch, build a sand castle, read a book… After about 30 minutes you should be able to carefully remove the plaster from the sand to reveal your masterpiece.
If you try this or have done this in the past, share your experience with us through email or one of our facebook pages and share a photo of your creation as well.