Building the Perfect Professional Sand Castle

Learn How to Build a Sand Castle  Like the Professionals

It doesn’t seem to matter when or where you grew up, just seeing a sand castle takes you back to childhood.  All of us at Archisand are lucky enough to be able to relive our youth each day while building professional sand sculptures for weddings, corporate retreats and other special events, but we still always get such a kick out of seeing the awe on people’s faces when they check out our sand castles and sculptures.  It is as if they are transported back in time to childhood.  You can almost see the gears turning as they begin fantasizing about the sand castles they will make during their next trip to the beach.

The good news for folks like this is that you don’t have to be a professional sand sculptor to make a great sand castle.  While it’s true that all of us at Archisand have won competitions for our sand sculpting, we don’t all have degrees in architecture (though some of us do) or art or design – we all just have a love and talent for sculpting sand (check out our professional sand sculpture bios to learn more about the Archisand team).  And you can too!
While it might be cold outside, it’s never too early to start thinking about building your own sand sculpture and really honing your skills.  Practice is what sets amateurs apart from professionals and there is no better time to start practicing then now.  So no matter if you just want to get a head start on planning a huge oceanfront castle for your summer vacation or if you want to tell your Valentine you love them with a little help from the neighbor kid’s sandbox (check out our love-inspired sand sculptures for ideas), Archisand can help. So without further ado . . .
The Archisand Guide to Sand Sculpting
Step 1:  Plan
Like most things, sand sculpture doesn’t just happen out of thin air.  Yes, there are times when something awesome happens on a whim, but for the most part, planning can take your sand castles to the next level.  Here are a few planning tips:
A.    Make a Design:  Think about what you want your finished sand sculpture to look like and make a sketch.  You can fine tune your sketch prior to building and if you have others helping you with the sculpture, your sketch will help them better understand what you want.  Check out Archisand’s professional sand sculpture design gallery for some great ideas and sketches.
B.    Choose the Right Sand:  Believe it or not, the consistency and structure of sand can make a significant difference in your sculpture.  Most professional sand sculptors use very fine grain sand, as it holds water better and allows the artist to achieve more detail in the sculpture.
C.   Find the Best Location:  There is nothing worse than creating an awesome sand sculpture only to have it swept away by the tides.  Before you build, take a few minutes to learn the tide schedule and be sure to locate your sculpture above high tide to preserve it for as many to view as possible.
D.   Arm Yourself Properly:  You can’t build a professional sand sculpture without some professional tools.  For the best results, put together a sand sculpting kit that contains, shovels, buckets, a hand-held spray bottle, masons trawls and palette knives.
Step 2:  Sculpt
Once you’ve chosen your location, collected all your tools and sketched out your sand sculpture, it’s time to get started. Here’s how to make your sculpture:

A.     Build a Foundation:  A sand sculpture is only as good as its foundation, so be sure to spend some time making your base sturdy.  Start by shoveling sand into a pile and soaking it with water. Once you have your sand pile the approximate size you want, you will need to compact it with your feet, or if you’re really feeling like a professional, use a landscape hand held compactor.
B.    Work from the Top Down:  When it’s time to carve your sand sculpture, one of the most important rules to follow is to begin carving from the top of the sand pile and work your way down to the bottom.  This basic rule is rarely broken successfully.   
C.   Choose Your Tools:  Different tools will give your sand sculpture very different looks. Be sure to experiment with your tools to find out what looks best in your design.  The more you sculptures you make, the more you will be able to envision which tools will work best for your design.
Step 3:  Enjoy
Unfortunately, sand sculptures can’t last forever, but there are a few things you can do to help make your castle stay around as long as possible.  Try these simple steps:
A.    Spray it Down:  Keeping your sculpture moist will help it stay intact longer.  Simply use a hand held spray bottle full of fresh water to keep your sculpture moist.

B.    Capture the Memory:  Be sure to photograph your masterpiece before it crumbles.  So whether it’s the wind, a wave or a destruction-loving 12-year-old that topples your sand castle, at least you will have a photo to remember your sculpture.  Photos last a lifetime and you will enjoy sharing them with your family and friends

So now you know the secrets of the sand sculpting professionals.  Just remember, it takes time and practice to become great at anything, so be sure to try and try again.  And as always, if all of this seems like too much work, contact Archisand to create your sand sculpture for you. You will be amazed at what we can create for you!  And maybe seeing a professional sand sculpture up close will inspire you to try it yourself.

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