How to Make Sand Pictures on Canvas

Colored sand poured into a funnel
Colored sand poured into a funnel (Image: xsc.hu)

Sand art is a very fun and simple craft to make. It can be done in bottles or on a flat surface. A canvas backing for sand pictures makes the sand art more permanent and easier to display. It also makes the medium simpler to work with than paper. Canvas gives a solid background that will not shift or bend while creating the sand picture or bend after it is completed. Anyone can enjoy this craft. It is appropriate for most children, too, with supervision for the youngest ones. It only takes creativity, a little patience and a good workspace to make sand art.

Things You'll Need

  • Canvas on backing
  • Pencil
  • White craft glue
  • Foam paint brush
  • Colored craft sand
  • Funnel(optional)
  • Spoon
  • Clear spray finish(optional)

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Pick a canvas backing that is already on a firm backing like wood or board, not loose canvas. If you want to make more than one or are doing this as a group project, buy a bunch of small canvas backings.

Use the pencil and draw the design you are going to make on the canvas with the colored art sand. If you have never made one before, start with a simple design.

Brush white craft glue all over the surface of the canvas using the foam paint brush. Make sure to use enough so the sand will stick to the canvas backing. If it is easier, apply the glue to one area of the pencil-drawn design at a time.

Pour the sand over the glued surface using the funnel and a spoon to control its flow onto the surface. You may find it easier to do with just the spoon to apply the sand. Use whatever colors you want. Try not to pour too much on. Only the part that touches the glue will stick to the canvas. The rest will fall off when the sand picture is finished.

Cover all the glued surfaces with sand in the color scheme you want. Let it sit to dry completely so the sand binds to the glue and canvas backing properly. After it is done drying, pick up the dried sand picture. Let the excess loose sand fall off. To make sure all the loose sand comes off of the canvas, gently tap the picture from the back of the canvas with your fingertips.

Tips & Warnings

  • Put the picture back down flat on the table and spray lightly with an adhesive clear finish if you want to make the picture stay more permanently and not fall off while it is hanging on the wall. You can add more than one coat if you think it needs it. Let the finish dry before you hang up the sand art picture.
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