Pregnant Belly Casting ProcedureWhether you call it a baby belly cast, pregnancy cast, plaster belly cast, pregnancy body cast, belly mold, or a pregnant belly cast, this is a fun project that is not beyond the reach of a practiced amateur lifecaster.
Body Molds like this can be done by a novice if you really pay attention to the instructions below. Our recommendation would be to get a little practice by doing a face casting with our Easy Face Casting Kit or an upper torso with our Easy Torso Casting Kit first. It can be lots of fun and many moms want a casting of their "largeness".
Difficulty Level: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
You're going to need:
Alginate: We like to use 590-IBG (shown) or 680-LS or GenesisV for pregnant torsos. The working properties and setting times of these are perfect. If you'd like a little more time, our 880 or our GenesisX formula alginates will also work great.
How Much: For the project shown, we mixed up about 1 pound of 590-IBG, but didn't use quite all of it. Better to have a little left over than run short.
Mix Ratio: We mixed the alginate at 3.75:1 (water weight to powder weight) which is just about 1:1 by volume (one scoop powder to one scoop water).
Plaster Bandages: We used 4 rolls of 3"x5yd plaster bandages, and it took about 10 pounds of LiquiStone to pour up the casting.
Modesty: Some women want the breasts included and some don't. This is a good compromise, but be aware that a lot of women are very modest and nervous. Having her invite her husband or her mom or her best friend is a great idea. On this one, her mom took the pictures.
Arm Rests: You've got to have something for the model to rest their arms on. We built some armrests out of 2x4's and plywood and adjusted the height until she was comfortable. We tied a smock around her hips below her belly and her mom arranged a towel over the tops of her breasts. Also make sure the model doesn't lock their knees. They're much less likely to faint if they keep their knees flexible and bent a little.
Plaster Perimeter: First we made a perimeter frame out of plaster bandages around the area we wanted to cast (we don't have a great picture here, but take a look at the head casting procedure for an idea).
First you apply Vaseline or Cholesterol to the skin on the 3-inch region immediately OUTSIDE the area of which you want to have a casting. Think of this as a "frame" for your picture. Wet some plaster bandage strips and put a single layer of 3-inch bandages on the Vaseline line. Make sure to overlap the plaster bandages where they meet each other.
Mixing and Application: We then mixed the alginate with a power mixer (electric drillw/paint mixer attachment) and applied it to her belly. TIP: Run the drill in reverse (anti-clockwise) to avoid whipping a lot of bubbles into the alginate mix.
Start at the top and work your way down. Concentrate on getting some alginate inthe space under her breasts. Make sure the alginate overlaps the plaster bandage perimeter at least halfway- all the way around.
Apply Bandages: Plaster bandages are placed over the alginate and secured to the bandages that form the perimeter. BE SURE TO NEVER STRETCH THE BANDAGES. JUST LAY THEM ON AND RUB THEM DOWN. Stretching them will lead to random, unfortunate dimples in thecasting. Don't scrimp on the hard shell of bandages. The harder and stronger it is, the less chance of distorting the mold before you get it poured. At least 4 layers and up to 6 layers or more may be required. Especially build up the perimeter to keep the whole thing from collapsing.
Remove Mold: When the bandages are set and firm, have the subject lean forward, work the mold loose around the edges and remove. Its areally good idea to have two people in on this part to keep from dropping it.
Casting: To make the casting, mix up some LiquiStone and using your fingertips, apply a thin layer (1/4 inch or so) to the inside of the mold. Let this set between 60 and 90 minutes before putting more LiquiStone inside. The extra weight of the LiquiStone requires a stronger structure and this first thin coat of stone does this.
Add layers of LiquiStone until the desired thickness is achieved. You can add pieces of burlap into the stone on the second and consecutive layers to give strength and reduce weight.
Finishing: When you're finished with the plaster buildup, remove the alginate mold and finish the edges. You can use a grinder or a file to cut back, even out and smooth down the edges. At a local hardware store, you can get special drywall sandpaper that makes quick work of cleaning up the edges.
Fill any small bubble holes you may find in the casting by thoroughly soaking the immediate area around the hole with water and putting a little LiquiStone into the hole. If you don't soak it first, the casting will soak up all the water out of the "patch" and it won't stick.
Painting: If you want to paint the casting you've got to wait until the Liquistone is completely dry (can take up to a week). Then you can apply your finish. Krylon makes lots of lovely metallic spray paints that work great. The artistic part we'll leave up to you, but be sure to have fun with it.
Be careful with white or gold spray paint. They contain a lot of pigment and can very easily cover all the details. Several thin coats are much better than one thick one.