How to build a great sand castle on the beach

It’s not child’s play, but building a sand castle can make you feel like a kid again. What’s more, your work of art will be out there on the beach for all to see and admire.
Professional sand sculptors use special tool kits, but you can build one with household items.
For this project, you will need a shovel, funnel, putty knife, butter knife, one 5-gallon bucket with the bottom cut out, and one regular 5-gallon bucket.
The completed castle will have two towers joined by a “stone” wall.
First, create a big platform on which to build your castle. Mound up and  pack down sand. Build your platform in 6-inch segments, pack them down with your fists and pour a half-bucket of water over it.
Writing in Redbook, professional sculptor Justin Gordon recommends building your two-tower castle by mounding sand then shaving away thin layers.
Once your platform is finished, fill the bottomless bucket a quarter full with sand.  Add half a bucket of water then pack in more sand and water until the bucket is full. Place the bucket toward one side of the sand platform for the body of one tower and gently rotate the bucket to remove the sand.
Fill the funnel with packed sand and place it upside down on top for the pointed roof. Carve the body of the castle so it angles down and out from the roof. Then repeat the process for the second tower.
You can build a wall between the two towers and carve stone shapes into it. Carve doors and windows into the towers and walls of the castle.
(To get a professional sand-sculpting kit for $35, visit canyoudigit.com.)
Visit these local SANDY beaches, just minutes away from town, or farther on down the road to the ocean:
1) Cowlitz River: Take Exit 48 and head West. You’ll see the river, and its beautiful sandy beaches. Best access is from Westside Hwy on the other side. (Ask a local for best directions, always!)
2) Columbia River: Almost anywhere there is a docking point or local park there will be sandy beaches on this huge, rolling river. Plant yourself at Willow Grove Park (Take Ocean Beach Hwy 4 West, then follow signs left at last stoplight out of town) or head further down Ocean Beach Hwy 4 to “County Line Park”.
3) Long Beach: Head out Ocean Beach Hwy 4 (Longview) and continue on for about one hour. You can’t miss anywhere along this coast.

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