The instructions I was given consisted of a picture...
...and to use starch and paper towels to make it 'paper mache-ish'.
I saw these coolers being thrown away and liked the roundedness of their corners more than the cardboard boxes that I had intended on using for the base of my sandcastles.
I used the cut-away part to make the "back door" of the castle.
Each paper towel sheet was dipped in the liquid starch and then applied to the foam and cups and buckets, etc.
If the starch makes the paper towels stick to the foam as well as it made newspaper stick to my feet, that will be one sturdy castle. It actually hurt to pull it off!
Here is one castle (in the hoarder carport) waiting for the starch to dry.
My husband offered to put a coat of Kilz paint on the castle to hide the painter's tape and get the starch/paper towel coating ready for more paint.
I was hoping to use up some of the bazillion containers of craft paint I have accumulated to put the first coat on the castles.
Have you ever hear the expression "If you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen"?
Well, here in the summer in Alabama, we go INTO the kitchen to get out of the heat.
Hmmm....I don't really like this color of sand for the castle. We have almost like sugar colored sand on our beaches. I tried sponge painting some lighter colors over the tan.
Meh. Not loving that either but the deadline is looming. Trying a texture paint to give it more of a "sand" look...
I thought I had a good close-up picture of the castle after the texture paint was on it but this really doesn't show that it did help it look more like sand.
If I had it to do over (and when, really, will I be doing fake sandcastles again?) I would have tried to make the starch/paper towel coat look more stippled than draped. I was going for that letting-really-watery-sand-drip-out-of-your-fingers-look that I like to do on real sandcastles. Was the starch/paper towel technique the best way to achieve this? I don't know, but I had not used those products before in combination and I was willing to try it. Maybe you can use some of the ideas in this post to apply to another type of project.
So, in the end, the castles' premiere time was at hand, so they just had to go "as is" and just hope the kids at VBS would get the idea that these things on the stage were supposed to be sandcastles. My husband told me to buy beach toys to sit next to our creations to try to sell that idea.
I don't have a picture of the sandcastles "in action" but here they are with other props waiting to take to the stage.
These foam cut out fish were done for VBS by other ladies at the church. They are so light weight and easy...much more so than wood. I may just have to do a blog post on how to make those sometime!