Anyone can make a big mound of sand, drive in a stick and call it a
sandcastle. But to create a beach masterpiece that will have everyone
saying “Wow!” and posting photos on Facebook, you’ll need a few tools
and a little planning. Here are some tips.
First, you need to use moist sand, which is easier to mold and will
hold its shape. The trick to testing for the right consistency is to
take a ball of it and then squeeze it in your hand for a few seconds.
You know you’ve got it right when it stays together when you roll it
around in your palm. You’ll find this type of sand just below the
Then, start packing the sand. You want the structure to stay dense, so
start with a small mound and build it up gradually. A good rule of
thumb is to go in 6-inch spurts, packing each layer with your fists.
When its solid, add half a bucket of water to keep it damp and sticky.
Once you have a solid mound you can shape it into pretty much anything
you want! Aside from a shovel and pail, you can use a stick or plastic
fork to make ridges, cups, sticks, and small stones with sharp edges.
Funnels are great for making coned roofs.
The trick is to start at the top so the falling sand doesn’t ruin the
bottom details. When you are working with finer details like windows
and stairs, use a straw to blow away the extra sand. To make an arch,
go halfway through then dig out the rest of the door from the opposite