Plaster is the base for art projects such as papier mache, modelling projects and sculptures. Though versatile, commercial plaster isn't safe for children and pets that may breathe it or accidentally get it in their mouths. A nontoxic, cost-effective alternative is flour plaster. Not only is flour nontoxic and safe for kids, white flour is available in grocery stores for just a few dollars a pound.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- White, all-purpose flour
- Food colouring
- Stew pot
Add about 2 cups of flour and ¾ cup of salt to your stew pot. Mix them together thoroughly with a spoon.
Turn the heat on your stew pot to medium and begin adding water to your flour-salt mix. Pour in water about 1/ 2 cup at a time, stirring each in completely before adding the next measurement.
Continue adding water to the flour until the mix is the consistency of thick honey. Continue to stir, keeping the tip of the spoon on the bottom of the stew pot to prevent sticking and burning. The flour mix should become translucent.
Drip drops of food colouring, if desired, into the translucent plaster. About 10 drops of one colour or five drops each of two colours should give the plaster a saturated hue. Incorporate the food colouring completely to avoid marbling.
Move the translucent flour plaster to a cool place on the stove. Let it cool for about an hour. Mold and shape as desired or press into moulds.
Tips and warnings
- Paint your finished plaster projects with water colours or tempera paints, and bake them at 190 degrees C for about 10 minutes. Coat them with weather-sealing glaze to prevent mould from excess moisture.
- Add small pieces of water-soaked paper or bits of straw to your plaster to give it more stability when moulded.
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