How to Make a Plaster Cast of an Arm

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Making a plaster cast of an arm has a lot of uses. For a doctor, it can be used to fashion a brace or set cast. For an investigator, it can freeze valuable evidence of a fractured limb at a crime scene. For set and scene designers, it can be how they create a special arm attachment for a sci-fi hero. If you want to make your own plaster cast, all you need is some plaster, a friend and a little bit of time.

Things You'll Need

  • Plaster
  • Fabric
  • Water

How to Make a Plaster Cast of an Arm

  • Wrap your friend's arm in wet sheet fabric or gauze to avoid any injury or hair-pulling when the cast is removed. Just wrap it in one sheet and wrap tightly. The plaster needs to stick to this to form a cast.

  • Mix your plaster. Follow the directions carefully, adding the right amount of water to the mix. You should use a fairly large bowl, and make enough to cover the entire arm in two or three coats.

  • Lay the person's arm on a table and coat it in plaster. Work quickly, covering all areas of the arm, even the bottom. To do this successfully, you should probably let the arm sit on a plastic tray, or bed of newspaper covered in plaster.

  • Let the cast dry for several hours.

  • Remove the cast by cracking it open with a soft mallet. If the cast is too thick, you can very carefully score it with a knife, and then bang on it several times until the cast breaks.

  • Make your mold, or cast your statue by reassembling the plaster cast.

Tips & Warnings

  • The more plaster you use, the longer it takes to dry. A cast also may feel dry on the outside but it will be wet inside. Let the person with the cast on tell you when it is done!
  • Do not cut deeply into a cast because the knife could very easily shoot through the plaster if it shatters. Apply only light pressure if you plan on scoring the cast, and do not score thin casts.

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