How to Use Plaster Strips

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You can use plaster strips instead of plaster of Paris to make crafts.
You can use plaster strips instead of plaster of Paris to make crafts. (Image: heart cast image by askthegeek from Fotolia.com)

When you are making a molded form out of plaster of Paris, your project may become messy and difficult to control. One solution is to instead use plaster strips, which are most commonly used to wrap a broken arm into a cast. Plaster strips are inexpensive, and can be found at any drug store or craft shop. You can use these plaster strips to make crafts for an art project, such as a molded mask. You can customize the plaster mask however you prefer, cutting it to cover your whole face or just your eyes. You can make a molded mask out of plaster strips by following a few helpful guidelines.

Things You'll Need

  • Balloon
  • Plaster strips
  • Water
  • Straight pin
  • Scissors
  • Acrylic paint

Inflate a balloon to the size of an adult head, and tie the end. If the mask is for an adult, use a larger round balloon that will inflate to a diameter of at least 12 inches. If the mask is for a child, you can use smaller balloons that inflate to a diameter of at least 8 inches.

Cut plaster strips measuring 2 inches wide, 6 inches long.

Fill a large, gallon-sized mixing bowl with warm water.

Dip a plaster strip into the water, then drape the strip over the balloon. Criss-cross the strips in a vertical, horizontal and diagonal manner so that they will overlap. This will prevent leaving uncovered gaps between the strips.

Continue dipping and draping the strips until you have covered the balloon with four to five layers of plaster strips. Cover the entire balloon, (the strips will be trimmed and customized later.) Leave a small space un-plastered where the balloon is tied. Once all of the layers are applied, allow the balloon to dry.

Allow the strips to dry completely, which will take about two hours.

Stick the balloon with a straight pin into the bottom of the balloon where it is unplastered, then remove the popped balloon from the bottom of the plaster mold.

Cut the form into the mask shape you desire using scissors, cutting out eye holes and making the neck hole wide enough to pull the mask over your head.

Paint the mask using acrylic paints. Allow the paint to dry completely before wearing the mask.

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