Selecting your sand sculpture design

It’s a lovely day at the shore with your toolkit, water and sunscreen. So, what to carve? It may be a special occasion like someone’s birthday or anniversary.

Think of a something that is important or meaningful to them. Perhaps you are a group of 4 working on the sculpture. In this case, be sure your design is long enough/large enough with area and sides for everyone to work and not be on top of each other.


Here are a couple of things to help you decide. First, some designs depend on which method of stacking the sand (soft pack, hand stack, and hard pack) you are going to use. If you prefer to shovel sand into a soft pack, this method is great for sea turtles, mermaids, airplanes, dolphins, and other designs that are not tall. For taller designs such as castles, cartoon characters, and other animals, hard packing with forms and use of hand stacking for additional shapes is best. Your design many be dictated by what size and shape of form you have.

But whichever stacking method you want to use and whatever you may be inspired to carve, a great help is to bring a photo with you for reference. I often Google images of something I am going to carve, print it out and put those pictures in a sheet protector. This allows me to consult the pictures for details, not stress my brain trying to remember specific characteristics, and I can lay it down without fear of it getting wet and ruined. Alternatively, if you have a small toy, figurine, or model of what you want to carve, bring that with you for the full 180º view. Have a toy Minion? They are great fun to carve. Likewise the toy car, teddy bear, Gumby, plastic dolphin or eagle provide good sculpting inspiration.

Having an idea of what you want to try sculpting before you head down to
the shore can save any sense of frustration that might arise as you stare at the sand. And you can bring the right equipment and images to keep you on track.