Build The Perfect Sandcastle Every Time

Building a castle is buckets of fun, so why not make a few with your kids during your Ocean Isle Beach vacation this summer? All you need are sand, water, a few household items, and some helping hands. Don't worry, we'll provide the sand, pristine beaches, and beautiful Carolina sun. What more could you ask for?

What You'll Need

The tools you'll need for making a magnificent sand castle are cheap and easy to find. You might even have many of the tools of the trade in your kitchen. Here are the basics: 

Shovel for scooping and packing

Small bucket for shaping towers

Paint stirrer for sketching and smoothing 

Straws for blowing excess sand away

Measuring spoons and melon baller for making windows 

Offset spatula and plastic knife for carving 

Large buckets for hauling water and building

Have A Plan 

Before you start it's a good idea to have an idea of what you want to build. Of course, this might be like herding cats with the really little ones in the family, or it might be an excellent way to give them direction. Either way, for the serious sand castle builder having a plan is an essential first step. 

Follow These Easy Steps For Success

Step 1. Outline & Dig

Before you send the kids on a digging spree, first outline the area you want to have for the sandcastle. Think of this like coloring within the lines. Then shovel sand from outside the lines into the center of your outline to form a large mound, a really large mound. The pile should be a little bit taller than the first floor of the planned castle since you'll probably end up carving a lot of it away. The more sand the bigger the castle can be. 

Step 2. Pack The Sand

With the back of a shovel, pack the sides of the mound to form the walls. Make them higher than the center of the mound, creating a "bowl" to hold water. Keep packing until you get the height you want. Hint, the higher the walls are the wider they need to be in order to support the walls weight. 

Step 3. Add Water

Perhaps this is the simplest and most fun step. Send the kids running back and forth to the surf for buckets of water. Add the buckets of water to the center of the mound to form a pond, and then pour evenly around the inside so as not to create weak spots in your castle.

Step 4. Begin To Build 

Place a large bucket with the bottom cut off (5-gallon paint buckets are perfect) on the mound. Fill the bucket three-quarters of the way full with sand. Pour in water, climb in, and stomp. Tap sides with a shovel or your hands to remove air pockets. Repeat until bucket is full and then lift it off.

Step 5. Make The Towers

What's a castle without towers? To make the towers get a few small buckets which are perfect for molding towers. Fill them with damp sand until they are overflowing. Level off the sand, turn the bucket over in the desired spot and lift. The more sizes of buckets you have, the more varied your towers. Some buckets even come with precast shape

Step 6. Carve Your Designs

Once you have the basic shape of your castle, you are ready to make the sides straight and add windows, doors, and other fun details. Since the sand has been tightly packed with water, it will maintain its shape. For those looking to add advanced design elements  keep reading. 

Advanced Techniques and Tips

Use A Butter Knife

Butter knives have nice round edges, are safe for the kids, perfect for cutting finer details, and they don't remove too much material at one time. 

Find Interesting Molds

Hit the hardware store and look for different size buckets, interesting containers, and even PVC pipe to give you more design features. 

Set Up Near The Waterline

The sand near the waterline is firmer and will provide better support for your castle. Just don't get too close. 

Looking to find your actual Ocean Isle Beach vacation castle? We can help. From oceanfront to canal front we have a large inventory of homes from smaller condos to large homes for big parties. Give us a call today at 800-727-9222 or click the button below to find the perfect vacation castle for your family. 

Did you make an amazing Sandcastle? Share your secrets by leaving a comment below. 

Comment on this post!