The trick to great sand sculpting is the right sand glue

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No, not really. The glue is just sprayed on the finished bits of the sculpture to stop them drying out and eroding prematurely (it usually takes a couple of days to complete a sculpture of this size). The real trick to great sand sculpting is lots of practice.

As an amateur, I never use glue, but that limits me to relatively small scale sculptures (and I can’t claim to be that good at it yet). Here’s one that took 2 hours, and uses no glue:


When I worked with a team to do a huge indoor sand sculpture once, we just used water, spritzed onto the sand just enough to make it moldable. When it dried in place, it was solid enough to hold up very well, just from the weight of grains of sand pressing on each other.

As far as i understand the secret is good sand. It’s not really beach sand but a specific kind sculptors like to use. It has a finer grain size.

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Good sand is essential. If the grains are worn too smooth (which happens on most big ocean beaches), you really can’t sculpt it at all.

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Thanks for posting this. The idea of sand glue made sand sculpting seem like a lie. I’m glad that sand sculpture is what I thought it was - people who are crazy awesome at something.

(Not that making those sculptures out of rock or wood or glued-together-sand wouldn’t be impressive in its own right, but there’s something remarkable about making them out of sand)

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The tricky part is applying the sand glue to each individual grain, and using tweezers to put that grain into the right place before the glue dries.


The sharper the sand, the better it holds its form. Beach sand varies a lot, but the fine silky stuff is practically round, it makes lousy sand castles.

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