Belly casts are a lovely way to create a memory of your pregnancy. I taught myself with a willing volunteer and have offered this to women, but it’s actually pretty easy to make with the help of a partner or friend. You could incorporate decorating it or have it as a centre piece in a mother blessing.
You will need:
- Olive oil
- Bowl ready for warm water
- Old sheet/shower curtain
- Chair to sit on
- Apron for the friend
1. First decide if you want to cast just your belly or your breasts too or even want to place your hands on your tummy for added effect.
3. Sit on a chair, leaning slightly backwards, or with thighs lowered away from belly on edge of chair. Lying flat doesn’t work well as your body will create a flatter shape in this position.
4. You can use a cheap shower curtain or sheet to protect the floor from drips of plaster, and pop towels on the chair.
6. Cut the plaster rolls into short (6in) and long (12in) strips.
7. Cover your belly and boobs to be cast in olive oil, as this stops the plaster sticking to your skin.
8. Get ready to work quick as the water cools quickly. Using warm water in a bowl, dip one plaster strip at a time for a few seconds – DON’T LET GO OF THE STRIP AS IT WILL FOLD OR TWIST.
9. Once the strip has been dipped, run the strip between 2 fingers to get rid of the excess water, and then apply. Overlap the strips which strengthenS the cast, using long strips horizontally across the belly, and the smaller strips round the boobs. Work quick as it starts to dry within 5 minutes.
10. When you’ve got good coverage with the strips, leave to dry for about 10-15mins. You’ll start to feel it loosening and drying on your body.
11. Gently remove being careful of any hairy bits…
12. Put it somewhere safe to stand and dry out thoroughly.
13. To reinforce and seal the cast, you can apply acrylic priming paint. Then you can paint a design on it. One idea is to wait until baby is born and decorate the cast with baby’s handprints and footprints.