Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Frozen in Time: Priceless Castings That ANYONE Can Do...

It was just the other day I gave birth to my youngest son, Jake. Well, at least that's how I feel.  Last Saturday was his first birthday.  I have no idea where the time went-Any mother or father would tell you how fast time really does go by and that we should all treasure every second of every day with our kids.  It's only a matter of time before they grow up and forget all that we go through raising them from day to day.  Maybe that is why I have this crazy fascination with preserving my two boys in any way that I can. I want to remember the sweet innocent days. I have many more tutorials of preserving items into treasured keepsakes to come. In this tutorial, I will show you how you can cast their little hands or feet in no time. These things are so precious and priceless to me that I cannot even begin to explain. Anyone can do this.  It is extremely easy and very safe to use on skin.  The cast below, is Jake's little hands at just two weeks old...

Things you will need:
  1. MoldGel Silfree Molding powder 1lb or Hollywood Impressions Powder
  2. Sculpture House Pristine White Casting Plaster 5lb. or Any type of casting plaster
  3. Container big enough for body part being casted
  4. Wire whisk or paint mixer-I used a fork
  5. Water
  6. Someones hands or foot :) -works best with infants or older children that can hold still enough for the gel to set
This is the Gel I used (purple box)-but I am pretty sure the Hollywood Impression powder (green box) will set faster when trying to mold their hands or feet.  This helps big time when you have a wiggly child.
    I would recommend this one since it sets faster.
    First, find a container big enough to fit your child's hand or feet without it touching the insides of the container.  Make sure its deep enough in case they extend their fingers. It is VERY important to do this while the child or infant is in their deepest sleep or nap. Their fingers are usually not extended and they are still.
    These are the instructions for mixing and molding: 
    Three part water to one part powder. That's it.

    I used a fork to mix but use a wire whisk for a better, smoother result. The hotter the water the  faster the gel will harden. Make it warm enough for the child. If it's too cold or hot, you will wake the child up.
    When you are all done with mixing, pour the liquid into your size appropriate container and insert the child's hand.  Make sure that the mixture gets into all the creases and leaves no air bubbles by removing the hand and inserting it again quickly. Let it set for about 3-4 minutes until you feel the top of the gel is a rubbery texture. Gently remove the hand by separating the suctioning of the gel and the hand. It takes about 3-4 minutes because it is such a small body part.

    Set aside your mold in the container and start mixing your casting plaster for the mold. Follow the instructions on the box and pour mixture into the container. Give it a swirl with a thin coat of casting plaster liquid to make sure it covers and enters all the creases in your hand mold. Gently tap the container then fill to the top. Gently tap to release all air bubbles.  Set aside and wait for the instructed time needed to harden.

    When hardened, Remove from the container and gently break the rubbery gel mold apart. You should be left with a beautiful and precious casting that you will cherish forever.

    These are a sleeping infant's precious hands...aweee
    Keep in mind that you do not have to have experience to do this-If you don't like the outcome, just try it again. The cast above is my very first one and it came out just fine. Similar products used are available at most craft stores.

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    1. What a fantastic idea..only wish i could have done this with my own son..but he is now 30 and has bigger hands than i do...lol

    2. Hey, I personally see myself casting my children's hands no matter what age they are ;) --That's if they still allow me to do so...ha

    3. My son is slowly passing from a horrible disease (Tay-Sachs). I think this is a wonderful way to preserve a little bit of him. I'm going to look into this.

    4. So sorry to hear Karen, broke my heart reading this...Stay strong.

    5. This is such a good idea. I'm going to use it for this year's Christmas ornament!!!

    6. AnonymousJuly 23, 2012

      I have my daughters hand from when she was 3 months old. She turned 26 in June. I will treasure that little hand forever! So thankful I have it to look back on! Thanks for posting this!

    7. AnonymousJuly 24, 2012

      What a great idea!

    8. You might try using Alginate impression material from a dental supply house. It is used to made impressions of people's mouths. I am a dental technician and I have done this for my young family members and also for a local funeral home as a keepsake for family members.

    9. This is so amazing. What new mom and dad would love to have this.

    10. I lost my son to a birth defect and we were able to make casts of his hand and foot. How would I go about finishing and mounting them? There are some places where bubbles have formed so I am wondering if there is a way to smooth these out. Is there a certain kind of glue that is used to mount them? Is there a certain type of glaze or paint that works well? I obviously don't want to mess these up as I won't have a chance to do them again if I ruin them.


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