How to Make a Paper Mache Belly Cast

    CRAFTS CLASSES
    TO INSPIRE CREATIVITY
    by Rebecca Nardis

    About the Author

    Rebecca Nardis began writing professionally in 2006. She is an instructor and instructional designer and has taught communication and composition at the college level. She has written on subjects ranging from conflict resolution to automotive systems. Nardis holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Detroit Mercy and a Master of Arts in English and instructional design from Wayne State University.

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    Whether to commemorate a pregnancy or for use as a costume prop, belly casts can be used to preserve a person's exact shape. While many belly casts are achieved with the use of plaster and other casting materials, you can create an economical and lightweight belly cast through the art of paper mache. With flour, water and some newspapers, you can create a belly cast for any occasion.

    Things You'll Need

    • Newspaper
    • Flour
    • Water
    • Paint
    • Paintbrush
    • Craft water base sealer

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    Rip the newspaper into strips.

    Mix 1 cup of flour and 1/2 cup of water together. It should be the consistency of pancake mix. If the mixture is too thick or too thin, add flour or water in small amounts.

    Dip each strip of newspaper into the mixture. As you pull each strip out of the mixture remove any excess mixture by running the strip through your index and middle finger.

    Place each strip of paper on the model's belly, ensuring that you overlap the strips and cover the entire surface area. You do not need to put any preparatory ointment on the belly when using paper mache.

    Allow the paper to set and dry on the model. You can expedite the drying process by using a hair dryer set on medium heat.

    Remove the cast when you see the outside drying and hardening by gently pulling the cast off the model. It may still be wet inside but you can lay it down to finish drying. If the cast doesn't pull away from the model, allow it to continue to dry and try again later.

    Paint the cast after it is completely dry. Add a coat of craft water base sealer to for extra protection against moisture.

    • You can put plastic bags inside of the mold to keep it from collapsing.
    • Don't pull too hard during removal. If the cast is dry enough to be removed, it should release from the belly fairly easily.