In this quick and inexpensive tutorial, we are going to show you how to make a DIY Garnet Dig. These excavations are super easy to make and are a great teaching resource to include in your next lesson or discussion about garnets, gemstones, geology, and more.


Fun Fact: Garnets are the birthstone of January. 


Be sure to check out our Digital Dig and get real garnets and garnet digs kits for free!  Answer trivia and earn points you can redeem for free rocks, minerals, fossils, seashells, excavation kits and more!





Plaster of Paris


Mixing Bowl

Wooden spoon

Measuring cups

Popsicle sticks – Popsicle sticks are inexpensive, readily available, and make great excavation tools.

Safety goggles or glasses – You we need to provide or borrow a set for each student.

Optional – Brushes and magnifying glasses.

Small Styrofoam coffee cup

Garnets - You can find these at your local rock shop, buy bags or rough garnets online, or get free garnets here to use in your DIY Garnet Dig Kit.


Check out our Gemstone Journey Extreme excavation kit that comes with garnet, amethyst, rubies, emeralds, topaz, and many more real gemstones! Excavating Adventures has a kit for everyone. Explore dig kits filled with rocks, minerals, fossils, gemstones, seashells, and more!




  1. Place some garnets in the cup.
  2. Mix 1 cups sand with 1/3 cup Plaster of Paris.
  3. Add 1/3 cup of water and mix until you have a pancake batter consistency.
  4. Pour the mixture over the garnets.
  5. Wait about five minutes to allow the mixture to set and firm up.
  6. Add some more garnets. This will put some garnets at different levels in the excavation.
  7. Place the DIY Garnet Dig in front of a fan overnight until it is completely dry.
  8. Distribute the excavation, excavation tools, and safety goggles to your Excavating Adventurer and have fun watching them dig in and discover the awesome garnets you have hidden inside.


Excavating Adventures Pro Tip: Styrofoam containers make great molds for excavations. Once the excavation is dry, the Styrofoam is easy to peel away to reveal the excavation inside. 


Take some time to explore the Excavating Adventures subscription plans and extensive store filled with digs kits and excavation activities. We have monthly excavations that get delivered right to your door, Build Your Own excavations, a blog filled with amazing excavation ideas, trivia, tons of free stuff and much, much, more!