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Level: Primary, Junior, Middle School, High School
Grades: K-12 | Age: 5yrs and up | Written by: Andrea Mulder-Slater
[Andrea is one of the creators of]

The Navajo Natives still paint with sand
They make fine designs - they do it by hand.
As well as an art piece, the sand is a way,
To keep all the old evil spirits at bay.
Using sand from the beach and some paint and some spoons,
you can make sand art as bright as the moon.

What You Need:
What You Do:
  1. Draw out a picture on your paper and remember to keep it simple.
  2. Once the pencil sketch is complete, pour some sand into an empty container. Choose a color of powdered tempera and add just a little to dry sand. You will have to experiment when mixing the sand and the tempera to see how little or how much tempera you need. For more vibrant colors add more tempera.
  3. Once there are a few colors of sand mixed up, the "painting" can begin. Work at one small section at a time. First decide where the color is going, put an even layer of glue on the paper and pour some colored sand onto the glue using a plastic spoon.
  4. Repeat until the entire paper is covered.
  5. Let the sand painting dry and seal it using either artist's fixative, hair spray, or spray it with a mixture of glue and water (80% glue, 20% water).


One of the most effective images to create in sand is a landscape. Place a few wavy lines across the paper and fill in with different earth colors for a very compelling sand painting.

After each color has been applied, lift the paper up and shake lightly over a plastic or styrofoam tray to collect the excess sand to use again.

Recommended Books/Products:


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