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This space can be used to share tips and ideas.  Please send us some of yours!
Inexpensive miniatures can be obtained at party supply shops -- they also have hard to find items, such as champagne bottles (look in the wedding area) and brides and grooms.
Unusual miniatures can also be found in hobby shops and craft stores --
be sure to look around the doll house areas.  I recently found a nice trash
can miniature in the doll house area.
If you do some art projects with miniatures that you would like for your clients to be able to take home and keep, you can often find inexpensive bags of miniatures at Walmart, Kmart, Dollar stores, etc.  This way, your client can keep some of their work product and you won't go broke!

For a portable sand tray--

John Burik from Ohio, shares:

"I use a large Rubbermaid or Tupperware-type container for my sand tray (about the size you'd buy for sweater storage).  This gives you a cover and relatively easy portability.  I also bought a dust bin with a small brush that snaps into it's handle which makes an easy cleanup for spilled sand."

Kate Jenson from Tallahassee, shares:

"Another idea is to buy a small blue tarp.  This not only makes clean up easy (kids can help dump the sand back in the tray) but the blue can add an appearance of water.