As an expectant mother nears the end of the pregnancy, the anticipation of the impending arrival usually gathers momentum. In the rush of anticipation, trying to savour the last days of the pregnancy can help the new mother prepare herself for childbirth and the arrival of the baby. Create a lasting memory of the end of your pregnancy by making a belly cast. A belly cast is a mould of the expectant mother’s belly and breasts, taken with plaster of Paris. After the belly cast dries, decide how you will paint the belly cast to decorate it.
Spread the newspaper out onto a flat work surface to protect your work area. Place dollops of the different acrylic paint colours onto the painter’s palette. Fill the water dish with water and place paper towels nearby to use while you paint the belly cast.
Decide how you will paint the belly cast. Options include selecting a background colour to paint the entire cast and then adding embellishments over the background colour. You might paint an image of the baby in the womb the way you imagine she looks. Paint the baby’s name across the belly with colourful paints. Paint tiny handprints and footprints on the front of the belly cast with pink or blue paints (if you know the gender of the baby).
Paint the background colour onto the belly cast with the 2-inch paintbrush and allow this paint to dry completely before you add more paint.
Sketch the outline of the design you will paint onto the belly cast with the pencil. Erase any mistakes you make and work at the sketch until you like it.
Apply paint to the belly cast with the smaller paintbrushes, following the sketch you drew on it. Paint slowly and carefully until you finish adding the paint to create the design. You might need to add the paint in layers, allowing some paint colours to dry before you add detailed painting over the first layers. Allow the paint to dry completely before adding more paint layers and also after you finish adding the paint.
Spray the painted belly cast with a spray varnish to protect the surface and give it a satin or glossy finish. Allow the varnish to dry completely.
Display the belly cast as a part of the nursery decor.
Spray the varnish in a well-ventilated area only. Expectant mothers should not breath varnish fumes.
Tips and warnings
- Spray the varnish in a well-ventilated area only. Expectant mothers should not breath varnish fumes.
Things you need
- Acrylic paint (all colours)
- Painter’s palette
- Paper towel
- Water dish (filled with water)
- Paintbrushes (widths between 1/4-inch and 2 inches)
- Spray varnish (satin or glossy finish)