Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Making beach sculptures

This past Memorial Day weekend I went to the beach with my son and his family.

I really don't do very much while at the beach other than lounge on the beach under an umbrella. I certainly didn't stop my beach lounging very much this time, but I did prepare a creative project for my 7 year old granddaughter so we would have a memorable time. I really didn't want her to think of me as just a slug, lying on a beach chair. That is really true but after she had her fill of swimming I was prepared for "beach sculptures." Something to keep her busy and more lasting than a sand castle which only gives pleasure for a short time and keeps me in the sun way too long.

It is a very simple craft. All you need is some plaster of Paris, a beach pail and a stirring stick.

You can use shells and other objects you find on the beach to make the details. I also brought wiggle eyes and some glitter and a bit of wire and wire cutters to put a hanger in the back.

We made the fish first and didn't do the best job ever but it was fun. Then we made the heart at the top which was our favorite.

This is how you do it.

Dig a hole in the damp sand in the shape you like. Start small! Find shells and other natural beach objects and think "backwards." The objects you want to see should be placed away from you. When the "mold" is finished, prepare your plaster.

Put plaster of Paris in your beach pail and mix with ocean water. It should roughly be 7 parts plaster of Paris to 3 parts water. Stir well and if it is too lumpy or dry, add more water. It should be pourable but not too wet.

Pour the plaster of Parish into the hole. It won't hurt your hands and you can wash up in the ocean. If you want, place a wire into the back to hang the sculpture.

After the plaster of Paris is dry, dig it up and wash it off with ocean water. Good ideas for beach sculptures are fish, suns, stars, tropical masks and hearts. They don't have to be perfect, just fun.

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