Sunday, February 25, 2018

Glue and Sand Bowl Craft

Make you own sand and glue bowl!

I LOVE Pinterest, and my guess is that you do too! If you are a fan, then chances are that you have probably seen this pin slide down your screen at least once:

Pinterest Perfection

The subtext promises that this elegant bowl is easily replicated, by simply by mixing sand and glue. Then according to pinterest you simply drip it over a bowl and let it dry.

However, as some have found this is much easier said than done! For fun see this "Pinterest Fail" Video.

Or not!

Still, I knew even after watching that video, that the original Pin had to exists somewhere. I figured that with a little tweaking and testing I might be able to get a similar result. 

In my experimenting I found that by using two different types of glue, I could get a pretty decent version of the sand bowl. For fun I used colored sand, but you could use regular beach sand too.

Here is how I made mine:


Traditional Elmers Glue

Quick Dry Tacky Glue

Plastic Cling Wrap

Colored Craft Sand

A Big Mixing Bowl

Medium size Cereal Bowl

Metal Spoon

Painter's Tape

Step One:

To protect your bowl, turn it upside down and cove it completely in plastic wrap. This will keep the glue and sand off of it, and will also create an interesting texture in the interior of your bowl. I used about two layers of plastic on the outside of the bowl.

I found that it helped to secure the plastic wrap to itself using blue painter's tape. Now your "mold" is prepped and ready!

Step 2

Now comes the secret part!

The instructions on the original pin will tell you to use Elmers glue. I tried that and did not have a good result. The glue dried too slowly and the sand did not sick together.
But, then I discovered that if I used one part Elmers to one part "Quick Dry Craft Glue" with the sand it worked well.

I didn't need to measure exactly. Rather I simply added a little at a time, alliterating between the two glues and stirring. This way, in the end I had about equal parts of both glues in the sand mixture.

Continue adding glue (and if needed, more sand until you reach a consistency that feels like think dough).

It should look and feel like a thick (grainy) play dough. I found that if the mixture is too thin and watery, then it won't hold together when dripped over the bowl. Rather, gravity will pull it apart into pieces. So, you want this to be pretty thick, and just past the point of being crumbly.

Step 3

It's time to start applying the sand mixture to the bottom of your bowl!

I found that it was the easiest to simply scrape the sand/ glue onto the very highest point on the bowl, and then use the back of a metal spoon to gently "coax it downward and toward the sides.

I used gentle pressure in a spiraling motion, form the center outwards to coax the moisture into place.

After about 5-10 minutes gravity will take it's course and pull the sand downwards.

Step 4

Continue adding layers.

If you want to have more control you can wait for each layer to dry before adding the next one. But, I didn't have the patience for that! So I just kept adding more and more!

You can even use your hands to encourage the sand to go in specific directions. Just gently press it in the direction you want it to go. I found this helpful for coving any gaps in the layer below.

For fun, I chose to add my colored sand in "rainbow order" layers. But you can chose any method you like. Or for a more modern and natural look, skip the color and just use plain sand.

Step 5

Allow several days for your bowl to sit and dry completely. The thickest layers take the longest.

Step 6

Once all parts of your bowl feel very hard to the touch, you can remove it from the mold.

Simply flip your bowl over, give it a little wiggle and it will easily come loose.

Next, just remove the plastic wrap to reveal your lovely creation!

This bowl made me think of a coral reef, and lovely things under the sea. So I chose to display it as summertime decoration. I added starfish, but you can use anything you want to fill it, or even just leave it empty!

I've also found that in the off-season this bowl is great for holding remote controls in the family room!


  1. I love this idea. Thanks for sharing. I do have one question. Does the bowl seem very sturdy or is it more fragile.

    Cindy @ Upcycle Design Lab

    1. The very top edges are a bit fragile, I've had a few chips break off. But overall it's held up really well, even to 3 little kids!


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