Saturday , 6 June 2020
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.

DIY How-To – Plaster Casting with Sand

Plaster Casting with Sand

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?
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
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.
I poured the sand into my plastic container.  The container that you choose will determine the size and shape of your casted pieces, so look you can do 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.
I then pressed my little night light into the sand, creating a reverse image of my sun in the sand. 

Mix your plaster of paris up 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!) 

Pretty cool, huh?
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. 

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

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

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

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

If you enjoyed this tutorial, you might like my Faux Textured Chair Rail Tutorial.  Creating a textured look on your wall using a stencil and joint compound.

Or you might like my Mosaic Monogram Tutorial.  Using dollar store supplies, some grout and little ingenuity, you can create a wonderful table piece.


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  1. Reminds me of mudpies and lots of childhood fun – thanks for the read! Made a somewhat uncomfortably hot evening just a little cooler and enjoyable! Thanks

  2. At nursery our kids one year made a model of their foot using exactly this method (we have no shortage of sand ;-) ) then they mounted the model on thick carton.
    It makes a great keepsake !

  3. P.S. – Your site is great fun Suzy !

  4. That is way too cool. and who knew you could use sand. I have a million ideas running thru my head now :-)

  5. What a fun project! Your new suns look really great.

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