Thursday, February 7, 2013

Build Your Own Gemstone Sifter

Mining sifter created by my talented husband
When my son wanted to have a gemstone mining party for his birthday, we had the task of creating a mining site in our backyard.  After purchasing the gemstone sluice bags at Cherry Crest Farm for $5 each (an awesome place to play, and much cheaper than ordering them online) we just needed a way to sift out the gems.  So I went out and bought the baby swimming pools on clearance, while my husband got to work with some rough plans we found online.

Kyle building 6 sifting boxes
We decided on one box per two kids.  Each kid would have a buddy to hold the sluice bag as well as the ziploc to put in the gems he found.  When the gemstone bag was empty, they could switch turns of being the sifter and the holder.  Each kid got his own gemstone bag to sift.

The following items needed to build the sifting box can probably be found in your leftover wood scraps.   
  • 1x4's for the walls of the box
  • 1x2's for the bottom edge to protect fingers from the wire
  • 1/4" wire mesh for the bottom
  • screws
  • extra 1x2's for the handles

When you put it all together, you have a mining party!  Fill the pools with water and let them rest the sifting boxes on top of the water.  It's not running water to take away the dirt, but the dirt falls right to the bottom of the pool revealing the gems anyway! 

Although there were many fun cakes on the web for a gemstone party, my son also has a love of Minecraft.  Being that the game is based on building and mining, it seemed a fun way to compliment the gemstone mining.  So ta da....Minecraft cupcakes!


  1. This is such a cool idea for a party! And I love how you guys pulled this off. I am going to pin and save for "someday", when my kids are older :)

    1. I have the sifters in the attic if you want to borrow them in a few years. :)

  2. Thank you for sharing with the Clever Chicks Blog Hop this week; I hope you’ll join us again!

    Kathy Shea Mormino

    The Chicken Chick