How To Make a Belly Bowl Cast
A belly bowl cast is a unique way to memorialize your gorgeous pregnant belly forever. You can take a series of casts to capture the growth of your belly or wait until you are around 36 to 39 weeks pregnant when your belly is at its fullest size.
After making the cast, you can take it to a professional potter and commission a one-of-a-kind ceramic bowl or simply enjoy the plaster belly bowl as it is.
Things You’ll Need
- Plaster cast material (4 rolls)
- Drop cloth
- Plastic wrap
- Petroleum jelly
- Large bowl
- Rubber gloves
How To Make a Belly Bowl Cast
Open two of the plaster cast rolls and cut them into 12- to 18-inch strips. Reserve enough casting material to cut one square piece. Cut more strips as they are needed.
Lay out the drop cloth. Have the pregnant woman take off her clothes and sit in a chair that is placed on top of the cloth. Make certain the expectant mother is in a comfortable position, that she can maintain for about 30 minutes.
Secure pieces of plastic wrap around her bra and panty area to protect her undergarments from drips.
Apply a layer of petroleum jelly to the pregnant woman’s bare belly. Smooth the petroleum jelly over her belly in one direction–with her hair growth–to prevent hair from being pulled when the cast is removed.
Fill the bowl with warm water. Put on your rubber gloves and dip the square piece of the casting material into the water. Saturate the casting material, but work quickly so the plaster does not dissolve. Place the square directly on the woman’s belly button and manipulate the material to accentuate the shape of her navel. Avoid covering the navel with any more plaster strips as you continue.
Wet one plaster strip at a time and continue covering the expectant mother’s belly until you have a complete mold. Work quickly but neatly. Apply extra strips along the side of the belly to reinforce the mold.
Remove the cast after is has set, in about 20 to 30 minutes. Watch for the mold to pull loose from the body, that is a sign that the cast has hardened well enough to be removed. Help the pregnant woman into a warm shower.
Allow the plaster cast to cure for at least 48 hours. Stuff the belly cast with crumpled newspapers and lay it “belly-up” in a well-circulated area where it will not be disturbed. Sand the cast with a fine grit sandpaper to remove any rough edges after it has cured. Seal it with a layer of gesso or craft paint if you desire.
Tips & Warnings
- The best cast is made when the pregnant woman is sitting or standing because these positions allow the belly to protrude naturally. If the expectant mother is on bed rest or prefers to lie down you can still make a belly cast, but it will be smaller.
- If the mother-to-be wants to include her breasts in the cast, cut up a third roll of plaster material and two additional squares. Apply the extra squares to her nipples following the same directions as for the navel.