Instructions for Making a Belly Cast
Making belly casts—or plaster impressions of an expectant mother’s belly—is a simple and sentimental way to celebrate the joy of bringing new life into the world.
The belly cast can be a beautiful tribute to a temporary and special change in a mother’s body and a physical memento—beyond photographs—of pregnancy. More than a simple life cast, a belly cast is a sculpture of two intertwined lives.
Prepare Mother and Plaster
Wrap the mother’s midsection with several continuous layers of plastic wrap.
Place fabric first-aid tape on the mother’s midsection to delineate the outer edge of the mold. Place the tape along her sides, as well. Coat the plastic-wrapped belly with petroleum jelly.
Mix Plaster of Paris into an aqueous solution in a bowl with a spoon.
Unroll gauze and cut into strips 6 to 8 inches long. Dip gauze strips into the plaster mixture to coat evenly.
Make Belly Cast
Place strips on the mother’s belly, layering them evenly. Make several layers, taking care to place the plaster-coated gauze strips to the tape.
Let plaster dry to the touch. When plaster is dry, cut the plastic wrap off of the mother, along her spine. Open the plastic wrap so that it creates wings on either side of her. Use the wings to help remove the plaster mold from her body.
Peel plastic wrap from inside of mold. Let mold dry completely.
(Optional) Drill small holes into the sides or top of belly mold to ease wall mounting. Add mounting hardware.
Tips & Warnings
- Pick a time when the baby is least active, so that you can have a uniform belly shape.
- If the expectant mom is large-busted, and she is carrying high and only wants her belly done, make sure that she holds her breasts up, so that you can get as complete a cast of her full belly as possible.
- Expectant mom should wear clothing/undergarments that she will not mind getting plaster on.
- Consider also casting breasts and arms while the mother holds her pregnant belly.
- When making the cast, be gentle around her navel. If it is already protruding, it may be sensitive.
- When the cast is dry, decorate it.
- Make several casts at different stages of the pregnancy.
- Consider making a mold of Dad’s hands holding Mom’s belly, too.
- Photograph or make a video of the casting experience.
- Allow the expectant mom to sit or otherwise rest when she needs to.
- Always take cues for her health and the baby’s health seriously.
- Make sure that engaging in this activity is suitable for the health and pregnancy of the individual mother. If there are any concerns, have her discuss the idea with her OB/GYN first.