To assist the healing process of a fractured arm, elbow or wrist, a plaster cast is often applied to render the area immobile. Casts prevent you from moving the injured limb to ensure correct healing of the fracture, and to protect the area from further injury. If you're interested in making your own removable cast to use as a gag or as a prop for your next costume party, you can create a realistic-looking replica using paper mache.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Wallpaper paste
- Newspaper strips
- Gauze or sterile fabric
- Plastic sheet
- Industrial scissors
Rip or cut your newspaper into long strips.
Wrap the arm you wish to cast in gauze or sterile fabric. Be careful not to wrap the arm too tightly. Cover only the areas that will be cast.
Cover a table top with a plastic sheet. Rest the gauzed arm on the sheet.
Mix one part wallpaper paste and three parts water in a large plastic or glass bowl, and stir well. The paste is now ready to use.
Dip your newspaper strips, one at a time, into the paste. Squeeze the strip between your index and middle finger to remove excess paste as you remove it from the bowl. Apply the strip to the gauzed arm, wrapping it as you might an Ace bandage. Repeat until the gauze is completely covered with the paper mache strips. Make sure the arm is resting on the plastic table top to prevent dripping paste on to your furniture.
Allow the paper mache cast to dry for several hours until completely hard. A hairdryer set to its lowest power level can be used to speed the drying process.
Remove the paper mache cast carefully by cutting the hardened paper lengthwise along the sides with a sharp pair of industrial scissors. Once the cast is removed, it can be reapplied with tape or an elastic bandage as a gag cast.
Tips and warnings
- Make sure you allow the paper mache to dry completely before moving.
- Decorate the cast with markers to add a personal touch.
- If you are performing this project with children, you can create a paste using non-toxic white flour instead of wallpaper paste. Just put the flour in a bowl and gradually add water until the paste has no lumps and is thin enough to dip and wet the strips.
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