Plaster of Paris gives you an easy, affordable way to create sculptures right at home. Instead of baking the sculpture, you simply let it air dry. The plaster can be messy, however, and it can dry out your hands. As Enchanted Learning says, wear gloves and be careful not to inhale the dust or get it in your eyes and supervise children well. Soon, you'll be creating your own works of art or home decorations.
You could create a sculpture of letters representing someone's initials or full name. This is a great kid's activity or present. First Palette gives instructions for this simple sculpture. It suggests using rubber alphabet mats, which you fill in with plaster of Paris to create a 3-dimensional letter. However, you could also cut out poster board letters and simply layer plaster of Paris on them. It dries quickly, and soon your sculpture will be ready to decorate with paints, glitter and beads.
If you're feeling a bit more ambitious, you could try making a mask. Begin with an inexpensive base mask, as Creative Chemistry says. Anything will do, as long as it fits over your face well. Tape cardboard ears on if you want the mask to have big ears. Then, dip strips of cloth or newspaper into your plaster mix and place them over the mask. After it has a uniform layer, use them to build up facial features. Allow it time to dry first, though, especially if your first layer is thick. Finally, smooth a layer of plaster over the mask to iron out any roughness.
Create a human figure, or the figure of another animal or mythical deity, using plaster of Paris and objects found around the house. A sitting figure, or a bust, will be much easier than a standing one. Use paper towel or toilet paper holders, crumpled newspaper, rags, empty containers, cardboard and any other disposable items. Even balloons can work, thought they may pop. Tape these objects together with duct tape or masking tape and start layering on scraps of cloth or paper dipped in the plaster mixture. Always allow each layer time to dry before you add a new one. It won't take long, though, and you can continue adding more layers and working with your sculpture for as long as you like.
If your child wants a beautiful doll house--or if you want one--why spend a lot of money on one, when you can have fun making it. Find a cardboard box that's about the size and shape you want your house to be. If you want a more complex house, choose different boxes to add on at the sides. By cutting out panels of cardboard and patiently plastering them together in a rounded shape, you could even create turrets. Tape your house together and apply the plaster as described above.
Hand Print Craft
For a simple craft that even young children can do, fill a pie pan with plaster of Paris and have the child press her hand into it, as described on Enchanted Learning. The plaster should be thick enough to hold a print. Have the child wear a latex glove or wash her hand immediately.
- Photo Credit Head of plaster image by Pontus Edenberg from Fotolia.com
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