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How to make a plaster casting of your baby's handprint

Gina Roberts-Grey has contributed to more than 100 parenting, health and women's issue publications. She lived with her family in upstate New York, and can be reached be reached via her website: .ginaroberts-grey.com.

10 tiny fingers

Plaster isn't just for casts. Or maybe it is but in this case, the cast you're making is of your baby's handprint or hand. And, even though there are a few good casting kits available online, making your own is not as hard as you might think. Here's how to do it:
Baby Hand

Time to set aside:

An hour and a half on the first day and an hour on the second day

What you'll need:


  • Six cups of plaster of paris
  • The bottom half of a paper milk carton (about 3-4 inches deep)
  • 3 cups of modeling clay
  • 2 to 3 cups of water
  • A large bucket to mix the plaster of paris
  •  A disposable spoon or paint stirrer to mix the plaster of paris
  • A few teaspoons of baby oil, olive oil or Crisco

Press the modeling clay evenly into the bottom of the milk carton making sure it's deep enough to accommodate the space your baby's handprint or hand is going to fill with an extra inch or so at the bottom. Coat your baby's hand with a light coating of the oil and press his hand deep into the modeling clay. Once the clay is around his hand the way you want it, gently pull your baby's hand out, being very careful not to move the clay. Remember, the clay will harden if left exposed to the air for too long.

Next, mix the plaster of paris (at a ration of 1/2 cup water to 1/4 cup plaster of paris) and stir the mixture very slowly until it's the consistency of a milkshake. Don't whip it, or else you'll whip up bubbles. Pour the plaster of paris into the clay handprint and let harden completely for at least a day.

The next day, peel of the paper from the milk carton to expose the block. With a small hammer and a screw driver carefully tap around the block. Just go slowly to crack only the clay, not the plaster. You can leave the plaster as is, or adorn it with your favorite color paint.

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