Colored sand is a versatile material that’s great for arts and crafts projects. Easily available at hobby shops, it can be used in lots of unique decorative accents for your home. Did you know that it’s easy to make your own colored sand, too? Learn how from Treetopia’s simple guide. To inspire your colorful expression, we’re including easy colored sand craft ideas to try with your kids.

children playing with colored sand

How to Make Colored Sand

If you live near the beach or know where to buy sand, try this creative activity. It tends to be messy if you let young kids join in on the fun. But the DIY project tickles their imagination and encourages tactile and visual learning. Gather what you need and follow this step-by-step tutorial to make your own colored sand at home.


  • Sand (The lighter the color, the better!)
  • Spoons (one per color)
  • Bowls or leak-proof resealable bags
  • Water
  • Food coloring, paint, or any non-toxic dye
  • Plates or shallow bowls
  • Paper towels or old cloths
how to make your own colored sand

Tip: Use disposable utensils as these will get stained. Wear plastic or rubber gloves to protect your hands from getting painted.

Step 1: Fill your bowl or plastic bag halfway with sand. Then, pour water to dampen the sand.

Step 2: Add a few drops to a teaspoon of your chosen dye or paint. The more you add, the darker the shade.

Step 3: Mix the combination until the color is evenly distributed.

Step 4: Line your plates or bowls with paper towels or cloths. Norte that you'll be using one bowl per color.

Step 5: Scoop the colored sand onto the dish. Spread it around to keep the pile as flat as possible.

Step 6: Let the wet sand air-dry indoors. Make sure to place them in an area that gets direct sunlight. Take care that the air from outside doesn't blow it away.

Step 7: Once the sand is thoroughly dry, you can use it for different crafts. Enjoy!

Store your colored sand in glass jars or boxes for future use. Dampen it with a little water to make small sand castles or use other craft molds for your projects.

parent playing colorful sand with child

‘Tis the Sea-sun for Colored Sand Craft Ideas

Are you planning a Christmas in July party? Maybe you’re redecorating your home for the summer. Check out these creative colored sand art projects.

Coastal Ornaments for Christmas in July

An ocean-inspired decorating theme isn’t complete without any elements from the beach. Why not make your own sand-filled ornament like Crafts by Courtney? Just look for transparent fillable ornament balls. Courtney filled them halfway with plain sand and topped it with tiny shells.

Why not use colored sand and other embellishments? Match your ornaments with decorations in hues of the sea. Here’s another idea from Kristen Mason of Busy Kids, Happy Mom: make one-of-a-kind glitter and sand art accent. Learn how Kristen made it by visiting her post here!

glitter and sand ornament
Photo courtesy of Kristen Mason

Mason Jar Lanterns with Lights

Another idea: repurpose small mason jars into pre-lit ornaments. Kristi of Chatfield Court painted the covers Christmassy red and attached wires to serve as hangers. Then, she filled the containers with some sand and added battery-operated tea lights. The mini lanterns go well the other campfire-themed ornaments on her pre-lit white Christmas tree.

Colored Sand Bowl and Vintage Sand Wall Art

Photos courtesy of Jennifer Perkins

Our creative friend Jennifer Perkins came up with two colored sand crafts that are infused with her signature funky style. Armed with Tacky glue, sand, and a plastic wrap-covered bowl, she created a sturdy container perfect for storing craft supplies. For her vintage mushroom art, she drew over a small canvas using a regular pen and painted over it with Fast Grab Tacky glue before covering it with colored sand. Find the full instructions for the sand bowl here and the vintage wall art here.

Aztec Centerpiece or Tabletop Ornament

Summer is the best time to surround your home with vibrant colors. These Aztec-inspired glass containers hit the nail on the head. Prepare vases or slender bottles and a selection of brightly colored sand for this unique art project. Flowers are optional. This post by Ruffled shows step-by-step instructions.

colored sand craft idea for your tabletops

heart-shaped glass bottle with colored sand art

orange and yellow tabletop sand craft ornaments

Mini Zen Garden

mini zen garden with colored sand and succulents

desktop garden with colored sand and tiny plants

colored sand art project with succulents as party favors

Make a little desktop sanctuary from colored sand, a clear glass dish or bowl, and a succulent. Create sand patterns or decorate with tiny embellishments. Design terrariums and place them around your home. They make wonderful party favors, too.

Patterned Votive Holders

Fill a glass container with colored sand. Create anything from a playful rainbow pattern. Combine two or more pastel colors or bright hues. Achieve an ombre effect a chic grayscale or go monochromatic! Jen Carreiro of Something Turquoise shows us how to color regular play sand to create an ombre effect. We love the sense of calm the various pink shades bring.

pastel-hued sand votive holder

Picture-Perfect Backdrops

colorful floor backdrop with pink and white flower

a combination of purple, blue, green, and yellow sand

blue, black, and gold colored sand in a wavy pattern

summer-themed colorful floor backdrop

Turn your beach spot or a large sandbox into a photo backdrop—that’s if you don’t mind lying on the ground. Start by transferring your colored sand into squeeze bottles. Then, paint away! Use gold colored sand to add sparkle to your artwork. Experiment with different colors and sand drawings to match the photoshoot’s theme.

Think outside the sandbox with these craft ideas. Which colored sand craft ideas are you excited to try? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!

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