by Maria Koropecky, Homespunspa owner
My mom recently returned from a trip to Dubai, the land of luxury and opulence. I asked her to bring me back some sand as a souvenir because I’m not likely to go there any time soon. Well, she came through with flying colours and brought back two different kinds of sand for me. One was a silky, fine, pale tan sand from the beach and the other was a lovely peppery bronze sand from the desert. (I wish I still had the Bermuda pink sand my late father brought home from one of his navy expeditions in the late 1970’s in my collection, but that stash is long, long gone).
The question is, now what do I do with this new sand? I wanted to put the sand in some sort of container, like a wine bottle, or picture frame or an acrylic box so I could display my exotic treasure. I also wanted the presentation to be somewhat artistic.
Sand is such an interesting subject to contemplate. Sand is timeless and is found on shorelines all over the world and the granules are infinitely unquantifiable. Comedian Steven Wright’s quote comes to mind, “I have the world’s largest seashell collection. You may have seen it, I keep it spread out on beaches all over the world.” 🙂
From a spa point of view, dry sand is like the antithesis of wet water, the primary foundation of all spas around the world. Any spa worth its salt is based on the healing powers of water in some way, either historically or geographically. Still, somehow, the powdery and gritty texture of sand belongs in the spa also. Sand and sea are neighbours and they meet each other half way. What’s a breaking wave without a sandy beach?
So, in the spirit of wanting to bring the beach feeling home, I went to Michael’s Crafts to see if I could find a vessel for my sand. After an hour of walking up and down the aisles, I decided I was going to look for something that could serve as a centerpiece on my dinner table for my next home spa party. I wasn’t exactly sure what I was looking for and then I spotted the answer on the bottom shelf: A 5.9-inch/15-cm glass cylinder with an insert for a candle by a company called Ashland for #13.49 CAD. The vanilla pillar candle was only $3.49 so the whole craft project cost me less than $20. (Of course, that’s not counting the airfare to Dubai to get the sand, but I’m sure you can find some near your house or buy it in a store, if you’re landlocked, for a lot less :).
All you have to do is get some sand and pour it into the big cylinder. If you want, you can get fancy and use different coloured sands and layer them in some sort of pattern. If you stick a toothpick and a removable piece of paper into the sand along the container, you can fill the tunnel with contrasting sand for finer details. The problem is, as I discovered, once you join the sands, it’s difficult, if not impossible to separate them again, so make sure you’re OK with whatever pattern emerges and don’t try to fix it afterward. You can also include rocks and seaweed and shells in your composition.
For added effect, you can float your candle in some water in the smaller insert. Unfortunately, that didn’t work for me this time because the candle kept on capsizing. (A different size and shape would have probably worked better).
Remember, you can also give this quick and easy centerpiece as a hostess gift or you can put it next to your bathtub the next time you take a bath. In my mind, the sand, the water and the candlelight are poetry. It’s like having a mini beach at home (complete with high noon sunshine) and it will definitely add to the ambiance and mystique of your home spa.
Let me know what you think of this home spa craft project. Do you have a favourite beach that you’d like to bring home? Please leave a comment.