Plaster of Paris Projects

Written by rochelle connery
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Plaster of Paris Projects
Make a face mould with Plaster of Paris. (Head of plaster 2 image by Pontus Edenberg from Fotolia.com)

Whether you're a third-grader making a Plaster of Paris project for school or a middle-aged person making a Plaster of Paris cast, there's plenty of projects to choose among when selecting something to create with this popular casting material. Remember as you prepare for your plaster creation to wear appropriate clothing and cover your workspace with any necessary dust sheets or plastic mats to prevent the plaster from moulding to furniture or carpet.

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Face Cast

Real-life face casts are a popular Plaster of Paris project. When making a face cast, the model must have loose hair tied back and covered with a kerchief or shower cap, and he must apply liberal amounts of petroleum jelly over the entire surface, especially on hairy portions of the face, eyelashes and eyebrows. After sticking straws through each nostril, the creator can smear freshly prepared Plaster of Paris all over the face and leave it on for the recommended amount of time. Take care in removing the cast, as parts could be stuck to skin or facial hair.

After the face cast has dried completely, it can be painted to look like a face or a colourful contemporary art design.

Paw Imprint

Pet lovers and children enjoy making imprints using one of their pet's paws. Before preparing the plaster, make sure any extra-long furs or tufts of fur near the edge of the paws has been trimmed or moved out of the way so it doesn't stick in the cast. Prepare the plaster on top of a covered surface and gently press one of the paws into the plaster. Remove it and make sure it moulded properly. Rinse off any plaster that stuck to the paw.

Family Hands Imprint

Make a large plaster creation featuring the hand print of each family member. Pour a generous amount of prepared plaster into a large rectangular mould made of cardboard; you can cut out the edges of a cardboard box if necessary. Make sure each family member is present for quick hand rotation in the plaster mould. Do not let hand prints overlap; leave at least an inch of space between each print.

Decorate around the prints using silk flowers, small stones or other small, non-perishable decor.

Personalised Ornaments

You can use virtually any small imprint, such as a hand, paw, or cookie cutter, to create a personalised ornament for a friend or loved one. Create a small ornament-shaped mould out of cardboard and cut a length of ribbon to stick in the top of the plaster after it has been poured to serve as the hanger. Draw the letters of the recipient's name or initials at the top or bottom of ornament and include the year, if desired. Decorate the plaster with non-perishable items, such as fake evergreen needles, holly, garland, hard candy, silk flowers or stones.

Plaster of Paris Volcano

Erect the base of a Plaster of Paris volcano by covering the plastic bottle in the packing paper and surrounding the edges with excess paper, forming a mountain shape. Tape the strips of cardboard in the shape of a cone around the covered bottle and its base. Dip the paper towels into the plaster and form them around the mould to make the volcano, leaving the top open for the volcano's mouth.

Let it dry and decorate the finished product with paint. Stormthecastle.com suggests pouring a mixture of baking soda and water into the bottle and adding vinegar to make your volcano explode.

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