Many women create homemade belly casts while they are pregnant as a way to commemorate and honor the beauty of their changing bodies. A belly cast, also called a belly mask, is a plaster mold of the mother's pregnant shape. A belly casting is usually done around eight months into the pregnancy. The plaster cast can be made at a baby shower with many helpers or with a friend or two in a more intimate setting. Having such a physical reminder of the mother's shape while pregnant makes a three-dimensional keepsake that even her child can appreciate when older. Fathers often enjoy the process of making the belly cast as well since they can participate in honoring their partner's body.
Things You'll Need
Pan of warm water
Petroleum jelly or baby oil
Plaster gauze strips
Cover the floor with the drop cloth and gather supplies.
Remove all jewelry. Wear old clothes or an apron.
Strip to bare your torso from your lower belly upwards. Sit comfortably in a chair covered with a towel.
Apply petroleum jelly or baby oil generously to your breasts, belly and anywhere else where the belly cast is going to be molded.
Have an assistant gently run the plaster gauze strip through the warm water without letting it go. Keep it straight and flat. Run fingers down the strip to remove excess water.
Starting above your breasts, have your assistant smooth the plaster strips onto your skin. Overlap and layer the strips for strength, choosing appropriate strip lengths for the parts of your torso that you are working on. Work quickly because the plaster will begin to dry almost immediately.
Let the belly cast dry for about five minutes and have your assistant remove the plaster cast by wiggling and gently lifting at the edges. Store the cast in a dry place for at least 24 hours before moving it.
Use the restroom before starting to make the homemade belly cast.
After the belly cast has dried all the way, you can sand the rough edges down and paint the surface to personalize the casting.
Be creative with the poses. You can include hands, thighs or shoulders in the belly cast. You could even hold hands with your partner lovingly over your pregnant belly.
The best position for you during the belly casting is to sit down in a chair or with your back against a wall. Standing for a long period of time may cause you to faint. Lying down will flatten breasts.