Recipe: Natural Earth Sand Painting

Recipe: Natural Earth Sand Painting

The ancient art of sand painting among Native American tribes in the Southwest was a form of religious expression. 

In its original form, sand paintings were created to exist only a few hours. Toward the end of the 20th century, many Native Americans began creating more permanent sand paintings by using glue under the colored sand.


Prep Time: 3 min. per color


  1. Place 1 cup of sand in a glass jar and add the desired amount of pigment. We suggest about 1 tsp.
  2. Shake vigorously to coat the sand particles with pigments. Since pigments are not dyes, their fine particle size mixes with the sand to coat it, but the pigments do not actually dye the sand. Therefore this is not a colorfast application. However, coloring sand by hand and choosing single or combinations of pigments gives you an infinite range of colors that cannot be matched by store-bought craft sand.

Tips for Sand Painting:

  • Work with only one sand color at a time. Finish all areas of your painting with that color before proceeding to a new color.
  • Use dark colors before light ones when possible.
  • For more permanent sand paintings, draw with glue on a hard surface, and "paint" the sand onto the glue.
  • Upon completion of all colors, you may notice some colored sand has invaded other areas of a different color. Wait until all ares are completely dry. Then use a can of compressed air, such as that used to clean computers, to blow this excess off. 

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