Sand Clay for Crafts

This clay is made from ordinary beach sand and is great for decorating cheap picture frames (I get wooden ones from the $1 store) to remember trips to the beach.


  • 1 cup sifted beach sand
  • 1/2 tsp alum
  • about 1/4 cup corn starch
  • 1 cup water


  1. Combine ingredients in an old, heavy saucepan. Stir "constantly" over medium heat. When clay starts to stiffen and hold its shape a bit, remove from heat and turn onto foil until it is cool enough to work with. It cools very quickly, so you will want to mold it soon for best results. The clay can be molded into shapes or around picture frames, bookends, etc.
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  3. To make a sand frame, take the glass and backing out of a cheap wooden frame and set aside. Follow the recipe above for the clay. Spread glue on the frame one section at a time.
  4. Press the clay onto the frame about 1/2 inch thick. Press clay together until the whole front of the frame is covered and all smoothed out. Be sure to scrape any excess off so the glass will fit back in when the clay hardens.
  5. Now spread glue on the back of small shells, bits of beach glass, or stones and press gently just a small way into the clay. Fill any cracks in the clay as you go.
  6. Let the frame harden for at least 2 days. When it is completely dry, it will be like concrete, but looks just like beach sand!
  7. Now spray with a clear, matte finish craft sealer (about $2 a can at the craft store), replace the glass and backing, and insert your favorite vacation pic.

Have fun!

By Lynn

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Diamond Feedback Medal for All Time! 1,023 Feedbacks
December 6, 20040 found this helpful

Where do you find alum for clay sand?

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Diamond Feedback Medal for All Time! 1,023 Feedbacks
December 6, 20040 found this helpful

Alum can be found at the grocery store in the spice or baking powder section. If you can't find it, ask you grocer. It is used in pickle making.



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By Miss Lisa-RainbowGemzz Arts and Crafts Center (Guest Post)
July 13, 20050 found this helpful

Hello everyone. I just want to say that I think this craft is just the best for kids, especially ones with motor skill delays. They think it's like playdough but better... Keep up the good work...

Miss Lisa

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By Chris (Guest Post)
April 6, 20060 found this helpful

I recently made Sand Clay but did not have the recipe that included Alum. Does the Alum make the clay harden so the craft does not crack while drying?

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By Sue (Guest Post)
November 29, 20070 found this helpful

Don't disappoint kids by making this - it grows mold pretty quickly. Had to throw away our projects.

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