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Casting With Kids

Christian makes things with cement. He’s made bowls, tabletops, stools, vases and sculptures, and they’re always surprising when they come out of the impromptu molds he puts together. It’s mathematically and spatially satisfying to see something made out of the negative space from another object.

Casting With Kids • Artchoo.com

The kids are always fascinated by the cement, too. The fact that something so goopy and wet can turn into something heavy and hard and usable is pretty cool.

They assisted Christian last summer with a cement project, and this year they assisted with their own projects.

Materials:

  • Bucket
  • Quikrete cement
  • Water
  • Stirring stick (paint stirrers work well)
  • Sand in a sandbox or bin
  • Dust mask
  • Rubber gloves
  • Safety goggles

Directions:

Prepare the Sand 

The sand needs to be moist to hold the shapes they dig out, so moisten it with water if it hasn’t rained recently. Have them scoop out, with their hands or a spoon, their first initial.

Casting With Kids • Artchoo.com

The initial will need to be backwards, since it will be flipped around once the cement is poured into it. Encourage them to make sure there are a minimum of crumbly areas in the sand, because casting always picks up details! Scoop out the letters to be about 2″ deep.

Mix up the Cement

This is the adult’s job: mix it according to the package directions. Scoop the powdered cement into the bucket and slowly add the water. This is when you’ll want to be wearing your dust mask, goggles and gloves. Notice Christian not wearing any gloves; bad boy.

Casting With Kids • Artchoo.com

 

Pour the Cement- Quick!

Casting With Kids • Artchoo.com

 

Smooth out the Back with another paint-stirring stick or something flat. If it’s hot and sunny out, cover over the cement lightly with plastic wrap so it doesn’t dry too quickly and crack.

Casting With Kids • Artchoo.com

 

Wait Patiently

Casting With Kids • Artchoo.com

 

Scoop it out! Once it’s set up, (probably overnight) carefully scoop the sand from around the letter and wiggle it out, flip it over and let it sit for a while to completely dry out.

Casting With Kids • Artchoo.com

What do you think?

Written by The CraftWhack Team

I'm Jeanette Nyberg: artist, author, introvert, creativity-pusher, color-lover.

Comments

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  1. Awesome idea, Jeannette! I love it!

    So, question. Is the sand playable after doing this craft? I would guess so since your kids are being so careful.

    Thanks for sharing. This is an great craft idea!

    • The sand IS playable, because there is an outer layer of sand that sort of sticks to the cement as it dries (you brush this off), but none of the cement stays in the sand! It’s because of magic, I’m sure.

  2. Aah! Love this! This reminds me of the sand candles we did in Girl Scouts one year, but even more rad! I cannot wait until my toddlers get old enough to do stuff like this. Until then, I’ll just have to pin it 😉

    • Oh! We made those sand candles, too! That sounds like a good post…. your kids aren’t going to know what hit them when they get older and have art project time from morning until evening every day. 🙂

    • That’s an AWESOME idea- I think you could probably fit in some heavy-duty picture-hanging hooks into the backs of the numbers after you smooth out the wet cement.

  3. Neato!
    Perfect method for making garden sculpture.
    Sand casting is a wildly used industrial fabrication process used to make engine blocks, metal tools, etc. so that makes it cool too.

  4. Really neat idea! came here looking for sand casting! not what i expected but great thing for the kids to do! bookmarked for later, will try this!

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