Still decorating my mantle I wanted to move my wedding unity sand front and center. However, this literally is a one in a million, there will never be another, sort of thing and there was no way I could be comfortable with it so in the open and take a chance of it tipping over/getting shaken/catching fire/being puked on by a small baby…who knows! I have kept it tucked away for the past three years because I just knew the second I brought it out is the day a falcon would somehow find it’s way into my home and knock it over.
For those of you who don’t know what I’m talking about when I say wedding unity sand let me explain. Instead of having the popular unity candle at our wedding, my husband and I each had two different colors of sand in containers and poured them into a single container right before we were pronounced man and wife. It represents making two into one but also gives us a really cool keepsake. However, the problem is all it would take is it getting bumped and the sand inside would be changed. I looked online to see if others were sealing their sand containers and if so, how, but the only solution I found was to cut cork and make a plug. I wasn’t a fan of that idea so I started experimenting on how to make a permanent sealer.
Just so you don’t have to worry, I did not ruin my wedding sand: It is now resting safe and sound on my mantle. Check out the steps below to see how I did it.
1) I actually had some sand left over from my wedding so I grabbed it and found a container that I could experiment in. My first thought was to figure out how to melt hot glue sticks and then pour it over the top. I found online that the microwave isn’t effective for hot glue sticks, so I first tried the stove. I grabbed a tin can (Campbell’s soup can) and threw a stick in it then set it on the burner.
This took forever for the one stick to melt and the can was so tall that I couldn’t pour it out before it became too thick.
2) The next thing I tried was using my toaster oven. I also cut the can down (with a hacksaw) and use a pair of scissors to cut up the glue stick before placing it in the can. This method worked perfect. I set it to 400 degrees and it only took about 3-4 mins to melt the pieces of the stick completely, and also the height of the can was perfect for pouring. I used a paint stirring stick in order to scrap the glue out.
3) Since I was just looking for something to seal my sand in I was ready to move forward with this option but my husband wasn’t satisfied with the coloring and wanted something clear. So he jumped online and saw that Gorilla made a clear epoxy and it was sold at Home Depot. I went and picked up one then did a test spot and got the below result.
Just like it said, it was very clear. It didn’t seep through the sand and was easy to apply so we decided this was the best option.
4) On a package of this epoxy it says it is 25ML. I left my husband in charge of figuring out how many MLs it would take to fill up the rest of our container and after doing some calculations he determined it would take 9 packages. So off I went to buy more.
5) I moved everything out to my shop (this stuff kinda smells like dog pee) and opened up all the packages. With a two part epoxy, you need to mixed both parts before applying it. In order to do that, I grabbed a container that I could throw away afterwards and opened up all 9 then mixed them together.
6) Next I took the plunge and just poured it onto my sand. Ahhhhh…..
7) Ok. Ok, everything is fine. I let it sit and just watched. Air bubbles come up to the surface and the glass that surrounds the epoxy gets extremely hot! Other then that, nothing tragic happens and after 15 mins it starts to harden.
The reason I went with Gorilla epoxy and not hot glue is because Cody was wanting the clear color. As you can see in the final outcome, the color is not as clear as the sample spot or what the package said. True, it’s probably because of the quantity but with it being what it is, if you are mainly after just having a permanent seal and don’t mind the color then I would save the bucks and go with melting hot glue sticks in the oven. If you want a clear seal, then from my tests and experience you know that Gorilla epoxy or hot glue will not turn out clear so you will have to research another option.
Another option would be to just make one thin layer over the sand with the epoxy and not fill up the rest of your container. This would probably keep the color clear and wouldn’t be as expensive, just consider whether or not the look will bother you.
A bag of 100 count hot glue sticks go for around $6-$7 where as a package of this epoxy goes for $5.50 each.
If you have sealed your sand a different way, then please use the ‘contact me’ tab at the top to send me an email telling me about the process and your thoughts about how it turned out.
Total Time: 20 mins
Total Cost: $50