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How to make amazing sand castles

Matt Long has created indoor and outdoor sand sculptures of everything from castles and jungle and sea animals to buildings and 7-foot-tall cartoon characters. Here are some of the professional sand sculptor’s tips for making your own sand creation.


— A sand sculptor must learn about sand quality and how it affects a sculpture. Use “clean sand” that is free of stones or shells and has grains that are about the same size. The finest grains of sand will allow for the crispest carving of details.

— Every sculpture begins with a “pound-up.” Make a pound-up using a pile of sand 12 to 18 inches high and approximately 24 inches in diameter. Thoroughly soak it with water and pack it as tight as you can with your hands.

Use forms to create height. You can buy them or create your own using a bucket with the bottom removed. If the bottom is not removed, the bucket will not lift off smoothly. Place the bucket on the base with the narrow end up. Fill it with sand and lots of water, packing it down tightly as you go. Every grain should be wet.

— After the sand has settled, lift the bucket and smooth the sand.

— Place the buckets of sand close together and keep adding to the width and height until you have a block of sand that is the size you want to sculpt. Have an idea of what you want your sculpture to look like before you start.

— Make sure to start at the top and work your way down to the bottom of the structure.

Take your time. “Carve smart, meaning take chances, but use caution,” Long says.


48 Comments on How to make amazing sand castles

  1. cool

  2. it was a relly cool article

  3. I couldn’t of ever made one of those

  4. can not wait to do it.

  5. sheppenstein // August 6, 2015 at 5:20 pm // Reply



  7. This is real! I was a demonstration once on a beach. The key is to success is to use plastic “forms” like buckets with the bottoms cut off to create super dense towers. You then just need to carve/scratch away what you don’t want. The professional I saw had 5 gallon buckets and also thick plastic sheets that she’d hold a larger barrel shape with straps and clips. Once you’ve got the big forms set up, all you need to do is get out your carving tools and get to work!

  8. Is this real

  9. Jack attack // July 5, 2015 at 3:26 pm // Reply


  10. coolllllllllllll!

  11. cool

  12. Awesome sculpting. I’ve seen that done before.

  13. The sand castles blew me away (with a cannon)

  14. AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!!!!πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘

  15. The sand sculptures are amazing!

  16. dare you to make it

  17. awesome

  18. It’s so awesome!!!!!

  19. That is so cool. AmazingπŸ‘

  20. AmazingπŸ‘

  21. Wow what a sand castle/WWASc

  22. That is awesome

  23. Awesome sandcastle

  24. I have seen lots of pictures of these, but still, EPIC!!!

  25. this is really cool

  26. hey pedro thers afalfa here

  27. awsome!

  28. Cool! I’d never be able to build one that size.

  29. I made one like those.Exept not THAT good.But still good.

  30. i say we look at the whole model

  31. Awesom! You should build lots more.

  32. i can make one ten times the size of that one

  33. awesome

  34. HI I want to know should you start from the botom up?

  35. can you go inside?

  36. it’s great

  37. These sand castels are very neat.But the ones I see in person are small compared to the picture on the computer

  38. GODLOVER11202 // July 12, 2012 at 3:07 pm // Reply

    AWESOME!!!!HE IS GOOD !!!!!!!

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