Friday, August 25, 2017

Summer memories: forever sand castle clay recipe

Although summer doesn't officially end until September 22nd, it seems the season is already winding to a close. Store shelves are  brimming with backpacks, pens and pencils and even festive pumpkins are making an appearance, all marking the inevitable approach of fall and end to those carefree Summer days.
So in a last ditch nod to beach season, I thought I'd craft a fun and easy sand castle that won't be washed away by the rising tide. 
With some easy homemade clay, shells and ocean inspired accents you can channel childhood memories and build your own mini tabletop grown-up castle for a fun centerpiece or summery decorative accent.
A variety of recipes for "sand clay" can be found everywhere online and ready to use versions of it are available for sale at many craft and art supply stores.
 I opted to make my own, and after some rather messy trial and error, found this DIY clay recipe used for delightful sand ornaments from Local Fun for Kids. It was quick and simple using staples you most likely already have on hand in your kitchen and craft supplies.

You'll Need
2 parts whole wheat flour
 1 part salt
1 part water
dash of glitter and craft sand (optional)
paper towel rolls
plate or saucer as base
moss or small faux plants (optional)
patience (these can take several days to dry)

This is sort of a "non recipe" recipe. Simply mix flour, water and salt to a clay like consistency, adjusting ingredients until the mixture is neither not too sticky or too dry. I added a handful of sand leftover from another project and generous sprinkling of gold and clear glitter, but these are optional. 
Then get creative and design your castle. I made a clay base and then created towers by covering a cardboard rolls with the sand mixture. 
I made a quick cardboard cone base for one for a pointed roof
Adorn with your choice of shells, faux pearls, sea glass or dried moss or faux greens. 

photo CPaul
The clay may droop slightly when drying but that just gives it that authentic beachy look. My husband joked that it reminded him of Gaudi's  famous cathedral in Barcelona
I built mine on a terra cotta saucer and perched it atop a smaller saucer to add a little height. Glass disks from a dollar store simulate water 
I then decided to give the saucer a quick light wash of pearly craft paint to work better with the sandy palette, an afterthought but an easy fix.

Simply display with shells a picnic basket or any beachy accents

vintage image from the Graphics Fairy

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