Crafting, Motherhood

Making a Belly Cast Part 2 – Belly Cast Instructions

Yesterday I shared with you the belly cast I made when I was pregnant with my youngest son.  Today I will show you how to make your own.

Belly Cast Instructions

Belly Cast Instructions

Here’s what you’ll need:

  1. First, you’ll need some ” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener”>.  You can probably find them at your local craft store, but here are some at Amazon that you can pick up as well.  The width should not be too big, aim for around 3”-4”.  I recommend getting at least 5 or 6 packages. Plaster Gauze Rolls - Belly Cast Instructions

I have had friends who have used plaster of Paris strips as well.

  1. Olive oil or Vaseline.  You’ll need a decent amount of this.  This will be applied to your skin underneath the plaster.  The more olive oil or Vaseline you have on, the cast will be to remove.
  2. Plastic wrap (optional) – recommended to me from a friend who found that wrapping her breasts with plastic wrap helped to lift them a little from the weight of pregnancy.  If you are feeling modest, you can use this as well.
  3. Lots of newspapers, towels, rags and other things to protect the floor and to clean with.
  4. An area to work that is easily cleanable (usually a bathroom)
  5. Scissors – to cut the gauze when necessary.
  6. A bowl of warm water – for moistening the gauze
  7. A wonderful, trusted friend
  8. Fine sandpaper (optional) – for sanding down the cast after it has dried for a smoother surface
  9. Paint or other decorating tools (optional)

Here’s how you do it:

–       Cut the pieces of gauze into strips varying between 6” and 12” long.

–       First, decide on what areas of your body you want the casting of.  Some women choose just to do their bellies.  Some, like me, go all the way from the belly up to the neck.  Decide if you want to include your hands, and if so – where you’ll place them.

–       Next, remove clothing and liberally apply olive oil or Vaseline to every area that you intend to plaster over.  Be very careful around areas with hair – if you don’t get those areas well oiled, they will rip out when you take off the plaster.  Ouch!

–       Pose, and now it’s your friend’s turn to take over.

–       Moisten the strips so that they are wet but not dripping wet – slide your fingers down the strip to squeeze out the excess water.

–       Begin to apply, slightly overlapping with each new strip and smoothing each strip down.  Continue on until the entire casting area is covered, and then begin to apply the second layer.

–       Reinforce any areas that seem weak or that slide out of place.

–       After several layers have been applied, let dry for about 20 minutes or so.  It will begin to pull off your skin as it starts to dry.  Carefully remove it from your body and put it in a safe place to dry for the next couple of days until it is completely dry.

Preparing for Decoration: Belly Cast Instructions

If you want to gently sand the belly cast down, now is the time to do so.  I didn’t do this step, as I was pressed for time, and mine turned out fine, though it had a few cracks, so it’s up to you.  It’s best to do this outdoors or another ventilated area; the plaster lets off lots of dust.

You can also take this time to use scissors to cut the sides into a rounded shape if the plaster strips are uneven.  Sand the cut sides down.

Decorate!

Belly Cast Instructions My cast started with a few layers of black acrylic paint.  After that dried, I applied acrylic glitter paint (the cheap stuff!).  On top all the paint, I used a clear spray coating for a shiny finish.  Then I used paint markers to make the stars and other details.  The star stickers and jewel stickers were added last.

You don’t have to have anything as elaborate as I did, though – enjoy yourself!  You could use finger paints.  You could sketch with a Sharpie. Or you may decide to leave it plain, which is beautiful in its own simplicity.  Whatever you decide to do, do it from the heart.

Ta-da!  Your belly cast is done.  What a wonderful way to freeze a memory in time!

 

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