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Do It Yourself Belly Casting

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Find Out How Easy It Is To Do Your Own Belly Casting and Display Treasured Memories As Part of Your Baby Nursery Wall Decor...

Making a belly cast is the perfect way to preserve memories of the nine very special months of pregnancy.

It's popular, it doesn't cost much and best of all it's dead easy...

Come on - give it a go! Just follow these step-by-step instructions...

Decide When and Where To Do Your Belly Casting

Most moms-to-be choose to do their belly cast at around 36 weeks. Leaving it too much later than this is risky because babies don't always pop out on time and every now and again they surprise mom with an early arrival.

You can do it earlier if you like - you won't be as tired and achy, but your belly won't be at full-size either so it's a trade off. I must admit that having done four pregnancies I would be more inclined to do mine at around 33 to 34 weeks. By 36 weeks I was thoroughly fed-up with being so huge and simply couldn't imagine celebrating it!

But, each pregnancy is different, so see how you feel...

Some moms do multiple belly castings at various stages during their pregnancies to show the growth of their babies - I think that's a gorgeous idea!

Where to do your casting and who with is a very personal decision and it's important so make sure to give it some thought. Here are some ideas:
  • Some women like to do it with their partners at home as an intimate celebration of the new life they are bringing into the world.
  • You can make it into a beautiful family bonding time with mom, sisters, aunts - make it as intimate or celebratory as you like.
  • Invite a group of close friends to a belly casting party.
  • Baby shower castings are becoming very popular too.

Decide What You Want To Include In Your Belly Cast

Your next step is to decide what part of your body to cast. Options range all the way from strictly belly only to full upper body and upper thighs...
  • Belly only,
  • Belly with hands,
  • Belly and breasts,
  • Shoulders to belly,
  • Shoulders to belly with arms encircling baby,
  • Shoulders to upper thighs...

Your decision will depend largely on where you intend to display your cast and how you intent to decorate it, so give this some thought. For instance if you are planning a baseball belly cast to go in your themed baby nursery, just belly would be best.

If you are self-conscious about putting your breasts on display, remember you can always cover them tastefully afterwards by draping a scarf around the neck of the cast so that it hangs down below the breasts.

You'll also need to decide what position to do your belly cast in. You can sit, stand or lie on your back - it's up to you - whatever is most convenient and comfortable. Sitting is generally recommended simply because it is the least tiring and most comfortable. Lying on your back is not recommended late into your pregnancy due to the pressure it places on your vena cava. In addition it produces a cast with a less flattering shape.

If you decide to stand, make sure you have something to hold onto to support you. If you decide to sit, position yourself towards the front of the chair and sit as straight up as possible.

Don't look down once casting of the chest area has begun!

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Belly Casting Supplies

Here's what you'll need to complete your belly casting. Make sure to get everything ready before you start...

  • A helper or two,
  • A drop cloth or two to cover the floor and chair,
  • A chair (if you choose to sit),
  • An old bra (optional) and old pants (optional) to wear during the casting,
  • Plastic wrap to protect the pubic area (if exposed),
  • Three to five rolls of plaster bandage cut into 8 to 12 inch strips (the amount will depend on how much of your body you are casting),
  • Scissors,
  • A bowl of warm water (make sure it's not too hot),
  • belly casting kit
  • Petroleum jelly or other lubricant,
  • Gloves,
  • Sanding screen,
  • Bottle of gesso finishing material and paint brush (optional),
  • Decorating supplies.

An easy, and inexpensive option is to use a belly casting kit. It includes five rolls of plaster bandage, lubricant, drop cloth and gloves!

How To Do Your Belly Casting

Get Your Helpers Ready...

This is definitely NOT a one person job! You'll get best results with someone helping you. Don't forget to take pictures!

Get Your Belly Casting Supplies Ready...

  • Lay down your drop cloth.
  • Add chair, pillows or anything else you want to sit on or lean against.
    It's a good idea to cover your chair with a drop cloth too to protect it.
  • Cut your plaster bandage into strips of 8 to 12 inches if you haven't already done so.
    If you are casting breasts, hands or arms you may need smaller strips and even small triangles. If you want to accentuate the belly button and nipples you will need three 2 to 3 inch square pieces for this.
  • Fill your bowl with warm water.
    Make sure it isn't too hot but it must be fairly warm for the plaster bandage to work.
  • Get your camera ready.
  • Prepare a place for the belly cast to be left to dry afterwards.
  • Light some candles, add some soft music, set the mood.

Get Mom Ready...

  • Empty your bladder.
    You need to stay away from the bathroom for around an hour during the belly cast. That's a big ask during the third trimester!
  • Remove clothing from the area that you want to cast.
    If that area includes breasts or lower abdomen and you are uncomfortable with being nude you can wear an old bra and panties to cover up.
  • Find a comfortable position.
    The cast will take between 30 minutes and an hour to put on and an additional 15 to 20 minutes to dry. Make sure you can hold the position for that amount of time (easier said than done at 36 weeks!)
  • Rub petroleum jelly (said to work the best) or other lubricant all over the area to be cast.
    The lubricant prevents little hairs from being caught in the plaster - ouch! - and it allows the cast to be removed easily when it is dry.
  • Cover the pubic area with plastic wrap (if exposed).

Belly Casting...

  • Step 1
    Put on gloves.
  • Step 2
    Take one strip of plaster at a time and dip it into the warm water. Make sure the whole strip gets wet.
  • Step 3
    Remove the strip from the water. Run it through your fingers to remove excess water. Make sure it doesn't curl or twist. It may help to lay it out on a flat surface after removing it from the water to remove any folds etc.
  • Step 4
    Place the strip over the casting area and smooth with your fingers.
  • Step 5
    Repeat steps 1 to 3 overlapping your strips until the whole area is covered. Lay strips up and down, side to side and diagonally across for maximum strength in your cast. Every strip must be touching another strip so that it adheres properly. Don't leave any gaps.
  • Step 6
    When you reach the belly button and nipples place one of the squares over each and carefully conform it to the shape. Avoid further layers around these areas.
  • Step 7
    Add additional layers to increase the thickness and strength of the belly cast. Use at least two layers - more is best.
  • Step 8
    As the cast dries it will get warm and heavy, eventually starting to pull away from your body. Your helper can help you to wriggle out of it after 15 to 20 minutes.

After The Belly Casting...

  • Leave the cast in a safe place to thoroughly dry out and cure for at least 48 hours.
  • After curing you can remove any rough areas with the sanding screen.
  • Apply a coat of gesso with a brush to seal and smooth the surface and let dry. (Optional)

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Decorating and Displaying Your Belly Cast

There are so many wonderful ways to decorate and display your belly cast. Everything from plain to painted, bronzed to framed...

You can display it in the baby nursery as part of your nursery wall decor or in another part of the home such as your bedroom.

Click here for loads of ideas on how to show off your belly cast...

Your Belly Casts

Show Us!

Don't forget to come back and share the finished product with us - we would love to see all those beautiful baby bellies...

And we'll give you a FREE copy of our nursery safety checklist - Protect Your Baby in the Nursery as a token of our thanks.

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