How to Make Plaster of Paris for Your Art Projects

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How to Make Plaster of Paris for Your Art Projects
Homemade plaster of Paris serves as a cheap sculpting material. (Head of plaster image by Pontus Edenberg from Fotolia.com)

Used by arts and craft fans of all ages, plaster of Paris is a useful sculpting, moulding and papier mache material. Making your own plaster of Paris substitute at home allows you to use normal household ingredients that are non-toxic. This makes it a kid-friendly material to use for family crafts and art projects. Homemade plaster of Paris also provides you with a cost-friendly art material, and because it uses common kitchen ingredients, your homemade plaster can be made anytime it's needed.

Skill level:
Easy

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Things you need

  • 5 cups flour
  • 6 cups hot water
  • Mixing bowl
  • Mold of choice
  • Cheesecloth material (12 by 12 inch sheet)

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Add five cups of flour to the mixing bowl.

  2. 2

    Pour in six cups of hot tap water.

  3. 3

    Mix the contents of the bowl thoroughly until a slimy, thick dough-like paste forms.

  4. 4

    Pour the gooey mixture into the mould you have chosen.

  5. 5

    Sit the mould aside, covered with cheesecloth for about four days. It will quickly dry and harden into a block of plaster in the shape of the mould. From there it can be chiselled or decorated depending on your craft or art project.

Tips and warnings

  • Another variation of homemade plaster of Paris involves the use of white school glue, borax and other materials. This recipe is not as safe as the one outlined above because of the fineness of the borax powder used. It is easy to inhale the powdery crystals of borax while mixing it.
  • Add a few drops of food colouring to the plaster while it is in its liquid form. Doing this adds hints of colour to the plaster for creative art projects.

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