How to Papier-mâché Your Pregnant Belly for a Baby Shower

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Set up games for your friends to do while your cast dries.
Set up games for your friends to do while your cast dries. (Image: Barry Austin/Digital Vision/Getty Images)

A papier-mache cast of your pregnant belly is something you can create as a permanent memento of your pregnancy. Creating the cast requires assistance, so you might construct the cast as a baby shower activity. But keep in mind that casting your belly will require you to remove your shirt, so make sure it's a small gathering of your closest friends rather than at a workplace baby shower or one with dozens of guests.

Things You'll Need

  • Plastic tarp
  • Plastic wrap
  • Petroleum jelly or vegetable shortening
  • Measuring tape
  • Scissors
  • Papier-mache or gypsum plaster strips, 4 inches wide, 20 yards
  • Water
  • Bucket
  • Chair

Take care of any essentials such as using the bathroom or drinking some water. You won't be able to move for about 30 minutes.

Place a tarp on the floor and a comfortable chair in the center of the tarp. Use a chair that is either armless or one with wide-set arms so your helpers have access to the sides of your belly.

Remove your shirt and sit in the chair. Tuck plastic wrap into the waistband of your pants and over your bra to protect them from the plaster.

Smear a thick layer of either petroleum jelly or vegetable shortening over the entire area you're casting. Do not place any papier-mache strips in spots that are not covered with petroleum jelly or vegetable shortening, since the plaster will stick to your skin and removing it will be painful.

Measure the distance from one side of your belly to the other. Cut strips of papier-mache to this length.

Give your friends strips of papier-mache and a bucket of warm water. Ask them to run each strip through the water, then drag their fingers down the strips to remove extra water. Have them smooth strips across the bottom of your belly.

Continue adding strips until your entire belly is covered. The strips should overlap each other by about 1/2 inch so there are no gaps.

Cover the entire bump area with three layers of strips, applying the next layer with diagonal strips and the third layer with vertical strips to give the cast strength.

Remain still until you feel the cast start to harden and pull away from your body, which should take about 10 minutes. Put the cast aside and wipe off your belly. Allow several days for the cast to fully harden.

Tips & Warnings

  • You can extend the cast over your breasts if you wish. To do this, leave the plastic wrap off your bra and cover your bra with the petroleum jelly or shortening. Wear a bra you don't mind throwing away. Use shorter strips over your breasts to extend the cast to the tops of your breasts.
  • You can make your own papier-mache at home if you prefer, but it won't be the same even, beige color that store-bought strips provide. Make papier-mache by ripping up strips of newspaper and running them through a mixture of equal parts water and white glue. Cover your entire belly with plastic wrap if you choose this option.
  • Paint the cast with acrylic paints after it has fully dried.

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