Build the Best Sand Castle with Tips from the Pros
Start with a densely packed mound of sand. To get the best density, build up the mound gradually: Add 6 inches of sand, pack down firmly with your fists, then pour half a bucket of water on top. (You can never add too much water; any excess will just drain out.) Repeat until you've reached your desired height.
Shave away sand in thin layers. This way, you'll have more control when you're carving design details. Plus, it's easier to take away sand than it is to add it back.
Work from top to bottom. You'll lessen the chance that falling sand or an ill-placed knee will ruin your work. As you create finer details like windows and stairs, blow away excess sand using a straw.
- Can You Dig It Sand Tools Super Deluxe Sand Sculpting Kit ($35; canyoudigit.com).
Household tools work too, though not as well: putty knife, butter knife, melon baller, two 5-gallon buckets (one with the bottom cut out), straw.
Place the bottomless bucket upside down on one side of the sand mound. Fill it a quarter full with sand, then pour in half a bucket of water. Pack in more sand until the bucket is full. Remove bucket and repeat process on the other side of the mound. For the tower roof, pack sand tightly into the funnel, place funnel upside down on top of the bucket-shaped tower, then remove by wiggling gently from side to side (see photo). Repeat on second tower. Use your hands to gently smooth the tower and roof into one shape.