How to Make a Baby Belly Cast
Belly casting is a wonderful way to preserve your pregnant body three-dimensionally. Many women wait until the end of their pregnancy to belly cast so that their baby bump is at its biggest size. Others choose to cast several times throughout their pregnancy to show the belly’s growing progression.
There is no right or wrong way to make your belly cast in terms of when to do it or what parts of the body to include. Some women prefer to cast just their belly while others want their entire torso, arms and hands in the cast. However you decide to cast, know that your pregnant belly will be well preserved.
Things You’ll Need
- Plastic drop cloth
- Pan with water
- 3-4 rolls of plaster casting material (4 inches x 5 yards each)
- Vaseline or petroleum jelly
- Plastic wrap
- Sanding screen
- Bottle of gesso
- Decorating supplies
How to Make a Baby Belly Cast
Prepare your work area. Scatter newspapers on the floor and place a comfortable chair on top of them. Lay a plastic drop cloth over the chair to protect it from getting messy.
Fill a pan with room-temperature water for dipping the strips of plaster into. Cut the rolls of plaster into 12 to 18 inch long strips. Cut three 2 to 3 inch squares of plaster which will be used over the breasts and belly button.
Apply Vaseline or petroleum jelly to all areas of the body where the cast will be made. Besides helping the cast easily slide off, the Vaseline helps to protect any body hairs from being caught in the plaster. Additionally, plastic wrap may be placed over the Vaseline so that it does not stick to the inside of the cast. Plastic wrap can also be put over the underwear so it does not get dirty.
Wet the plaster strips in the water. Hold the strips up by one end and wipe off any excess water.
Smooth the wet plaster strips onto the body; work quickly so the strips do not get a chance to dry before being set. Layering the strips in different directions on the body will give the cast extra strength. Place the squares over the nipples and belly button and gently shape them.
Let the cast dry. As it dries, in about 30 minutes, it will become heavy and hot and will start to separate from the mother-to-be. Carefully slide off the cast and stuff it with crumpled newspapers. The newspapers help the cast keep its shape while it sets. Lay the cast in a dry place for two days before handling.
Sand away any rough edges with a sanding screen, a mesh screen made of a silicon carbide abrasive, once the cast is completely set. A sanding screen is preferred over sand paper because it is more durable and will not tear. Use a paintbrush to apply gesso to the cast. This will seal and stiffen the cast so it is ready to decorate.
Paint or decorate your cast any way you would like. You can paint it to match your nursery and have friends and family write messages on it. Some people paint a picture of a baby in the womb on the belly and others decorate it with mosaic tiles or pressed flowers. Don’t forget to write the date you made the cast on the inside of it.
Tips & Warnings
- You can purchase belly casting kits if you do not want to cut the plaster into strips yourself.
- When applying the wet plaster strips to the body, start from the uppermost area of the body (neck, shoulders, breasts) and work your way down.
- Not all women choose to decorate their finished cast; keeping it in its plaster form or painting it is entirely up to you.
- Make sure that the expectant mother is not hungry, thirsty or needs to use the bathroom before beginning the belly cast process because it can take about 30 minutes.