How to Make Plaster of Paris Hand Molds

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Things You'll Need

  • Plaster of Paris

  • Petroleum jelly or spray oil

  • Plastic mixing bowl

  • Spoon or stirring stick

  • Mold (disposable pie pan or plastic container will work)

  • Clear enamel spray (optional)

  • Paint (optional)

Image Credit: BananaStock/BananaStock/Getty Images

You only need a few ingredients and tools to make plaster of Paris hand molds. These molds will be great keepsakes. They are also excellent gifts for grandparents and parents.


Step 1

Gather your tools and ingredients and prepare your mold. The process of making a handprint moves quickly, so you want to be sure that you have everything ready. Spray your mold with spray oil or coat lightly with petroleum jelly.

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Step 2

Prepare plaster of Paris. Read the instructions on the package of plaster of Paris. Most brands suggest 2 cups plaster of Paris to 1 cup of water. Mix with a spoon or stirring stick. The mixture should be smooth and thick.

Step 3

Prepare your subject's hand for molding. Clean the hand you will be using and then coat it with spray oil or petroleum jelly.

Step 4

Pour the plaster of Paris mixture into the prepared mold and tap it lightly on your work surface to allow air bubbles to float to the top. Pour more of the mixture into the mold until it is about three-quarters full.


Step 5

Place the hand in the mixture and hold it very still for 30 seconds. Slowly remove the hand. If the mixture immediately fills in where the hand was, it is too thin and should be thickened with some more plaster of Paris powder. Once you have thickened the mixture, wash the hand and re-coat it. Place the hand in the mold and hold it very still again for 30 seconds.

Step 6

Allow to dry for several hours. Once dry, remove the hand mold and it can be painted and enameled (if desired).


It is best to create these molds on dry days. If there is a lot of humidity in the air, they will take longer to dry.


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