Summertime means hotter weather and it also means summer break for the kiddos! Growing up in south Florida, I spent most of my summer breaks boogie boarding, hanging out at the beach, or fishing from the beach. My son also loves going to the beach and playing in the sand. In an effort to preserve our summer, as well as our son still being little, we decided to do a sand footprint art project. We found a great tutorial from Paging Fun Mums but opted to do something a little smaller. What better way to encapsulate our little boy’s footprint than in the sand for all eternity.
*This post contains affiliate links at no cost to you.
Here’s what we used:
- 4×6 frame – found at Kohl’s
- 50lb bag of Sakrete Natural Play Sand (We’ll use the rest of the sand for future projects.)
- Dap – Plaster of Paris
- Design Matter – Clear Finish, Gloss
- Blue Painters Tape
- Small paintbrush
- Small seashells
- Super glue
- Piece of cardboard (Used for leveling the sand and plaster)
- Flat surface you don’t mind getting messy (Cardboard from the recycle bin or anything that won’t allow the plaster to seep through if spilled.)
After preparing your work area take apart the frame.
You can put the glass to the side for disposal later because you won’t be using it. Place the backing of the frame back-end facing down and place the front of the frame on top forming a makeshift box.
Now you’re ready for the sand. Place enough sand into the frame to get an impression of your kiddos foot. Make sure to not pack the sand into the space. You want it spread out evenly, but you don’t want it so packed in that you can’t get a good impression. Cut the piece of cardboard to your desired size to fit inside the frame. Use the cardboard to rake the sand into the corners and sides, making sure to not press down too hard.
The object is to make sure the sand not only becomes a flat surface but also fully covers every nook and cranny. Now comes the difficult part. Grab your little artist in the making and carefully place their foot in the sand pressing down enough to gain a bit of depth to the print.
It took a couple tries before we were satisfied with the footprint. If you’re not satisfied with the first attempt, start over from the beginning. Once you’re happy with the outcome it’s time for the plaster. We mixed two cups of plaster to one cup of water. Slowly pour the plaster into the frame starting in a corner being careful to not pour too much causing it to overflow as I did. Oops!
Once satisfied with your pour use the cardboard to carefully smooth out the plaster making sure to completely fill in the open space without putting too much pressure which could possibly irritate the imprint below.
Wipe up any plaster spillage with a damp cloth. There was more than enough plaster to cover the area and would probably work in a 5×7 frame as well. Now the hard part is done. Let the frame sit overnight. Once completely dry carefully lift the frame up from the table separating it from the frame backing. Using the paintbrush carefully brush away the remaining sand to discover your very own footprint in the sand. Make sure not to brush too hard as you don’t want to brush away the sand that is partially embedded in the plaster.
The frame we used did not come ready to hang so we purchased the quick fix you see below. All you’ll need is a hammer and one of the hangers from the pack. Also, notice how smooth the back of the project ends up after drying.
Once satisfied, you can leave the piece as it is or you can add small shells using superglue.
Finally use the painters tape to completely cover the frame before spraying with the sealant.
Spray the sand from 12-15 inches away, making sure to cover all areas with a quick swipe of the sealant. Let dry for a few minutes and repeat two more times or as stated on the can. We really love how it turned out and we’re looking forward to doing more footprint sand art projects in the future.
Have you tried something like this with your kids? What was the outcome? Please share in the comments below.
Thanks for stopping by!