How to build an everlasting Sand Castle (and three winners announced)

Once upon a time, in a kingdom not so far away, the children were restless. The queen declared that she had had enough, and ordered the children to get busy making mini Sand Castles. As the children busied themselves crafting their castles, peace and quiet descended on the kingdom. For many moons, the children continued to play happily and creatively with the Everlasting Sand Castles they had made. The end!

Kids who love fantasy play will love making their own, Everlasting Sand Castle. It has a working drawbridge, too. No power tools needed -- it's all made from a sheet of Styrofoam brand foam. If you need a happy ending to these last few, loooong weeks before school starts, this mini Sand Castle just might be the answer. It has a drawbridge that opens, seashell crenellation (that was a new word for me), turrets, and even a moat. A busy kingdom is a happy kingdom, so let’s get to it!

To make an Everlasting Sand Castle, you’ll need:

  • STYROFOAM™ Brand Foam: 18” x 12” x 1” sheet; four, 2” x 3” cones
  • Sand (commercially available as sandbox sand)
  • Small seashells with points
  • Corrugated cardboard, 6” x 6” scrap
  • Masking tape
  • Optional: 18” square of blue felt
  • Thin, white craft glue (such as Elmer’s)
  • Low-temp glue gun
  • Tools needed: Sharp pencil; T-square and/or ruler; serrated kitchen knife*; old candle or bar of soap; toothpicks; newspapers; box or box lid; 1” stiff paintbrush; kippers; optional: disposable bowl

 Note: This is a project best suited to a child working with an adult. Do not allow children to cut with a serrated knife. Let the adult handle cutting the foam with the knife.

You can make this sand castle from sheets of STYROFOAM brand foam, glue and sandbox sand. The drawbridge actually moves up and down!

The drawbridge moves up and down on toothpick hinges.

To make an Everlasting Sand Castle:

1. Following the castle diagram, measure and score the cutting lines for the four walls and corner posts on the foam sheet. Wax the knife blade with a bar of soap or a candle, and cut out your walls:

  • Front and back: Two, 6” x 8” pieces
  • Side walls: Two, 6” x 6” pieces
  • Corner posts: Four, 1” x 6” pieces

2. Make the door:

  • Using the door pattern, cut the door from the corrugated cardboard.
  • Center the door pattern on the 8” front wall, and pin in place. Trace around the door with a sharp pencil. Cut out the door opening.

3. Assemble the castle:

  • Glue the walls together, with the 8” walls at the front and back of the castle. For extra hold, insert toothpicks between the walls, spreading glue on each end first, before inserting them into the foam.
  • Glue the 1” corner posts into each of the four corners inside the castle.
  • Glue the cones on top of each corner. Insert toothpicks between the cones and the castle walls for additional hold.
  • Let glue dry thoroughly before continuing.

4. Cover the castle with sand (you might want to do this step outside):

  • Cover your work area with newspapers.
  • Brush white craft glue on the inside walls, covering them thoroughly. If the glue is too thick, squeeze glue into a disposable bowl, and add water, one teaspoon at a time, till it spreads easily.
  • Holding the castle over a box or box lid, sprinkle sand onto the wet glue.
  • Gently press the sand into the glue with your fingertips. Shake off excess sand.
  • Once the inside is covered, repeat for the outside walls and cones.
  • Leave one cone plain until the very end, so that you have a “handle” to move the castle around.

5. Press pointed shells into the foam along the top of the castle while the glue is still wet to create the crenellation. If additional glue is needed, remove shells, add glue to holes, and reinsert the shells. Let the glue dry thoroughly.

6. Brush glue onto both sides of the door and sprinkle with sand. Let dry.

This mini sand castle has a drawbridge that actually opens and closes.

Toothpicks are inserted in the door, and then into the door frame. The drawbridge opens and lowers on the toothpick “hinges.”

7. Attach the door to the castle. The door will move up and down on “hinges” made from toothpicks:

  • Cut two toothpicks in half using knippers.
  • Gently insert the pointed end of a toothpick half into the side of the door near the bottom. Repeat for the other side.
  • Using the tip of the knife, carefully slice a narrow channel centered in the middle of each wall of the door, toward the bottom.
  • Carefully slide the toothpick “hinges” into the channels.
  • The door should move smoothly up and down, yet fit tight enough so that it doesn’t drop open unless tapped from the inside. If needed, adjust the depth of the channel so that the door will open and close as needed.
  • Place a small piece of masking tape over the channel at the bottom of the castle wall so that the toothpicks don’t fall out when the castle is moved.

8. Optional: Cut out a moat from the blue felt.

Kids will love making this castle, and it's great for fantasy play. No woodworking needed -- it's made from sheets of Styrofoam Brand Foam.

Everlasting Sand Castle by Kathleen George.

In the kingdom of Crafts ‘n Coffee, I have three winners to announce. Congratulations to Talmage Dunn, Amy Pinion and Denise Royal, you’ve all won the downloadable pdf for the O’Neil sisters’ new book, Big Blast of Kids Crafts; one of the FloraCraft Make it Fun® kits; and a craft apron. Congratulations! Please contact me so I can arrange for your prizes.

If you didn’t win this week, be sure to catch next week’s giveaway. It’s a fun one and I’m super excited about it!

Wishing you happy crafting in your kingdom!


This entry was posted in Craft Tutorial, Kid's Crafts, Summer Crafts and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to How to build an everlasting Sand Castle (and three winners announced)

  1. roylcoblog says:

    This is a great project! Love the finished result.

  2. Merycris says:

    Wow! This is really great! Sharon, you gave me an idea for my preschooler’s activity next week.

  3. Me and my son love this idea! Thanks 🙂

  4. Katiria says:

    Congratulations Talmage, Amy and Denise! Sharon that everlasting sand castle would have been great at my niece’s birthday last year. It was a mermaid theme.This can work well with any underwater/shark theme too

    • Sharon says:

      Aww, I bet the mermaid party was adorable! You’re right, this would be a fun centerpiece idea for a birthday party. I have a friend who made mini sand castles for the centerpieces at her wedding reception. It was a lot of work, but they were so special. Thanks for stopping in today. Happy Friday! Sharon

  5. Debbie Kaste says:

    Simply adorable, Sharon! Love it:)

  6. LisaM says:

    What a great sandcastle. How fun is that.
    Congrats to the winners.


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