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Top Tips for Baby Hand & Foot Casting

They say never work with children or animals. Well, what do “they” know! Babies grow up fast and casting their tiny little hands and feet enables you to create a stunning keepsake that you will treasure forever. And, casting your babies hands and feet at home is easier than you might think. Here are our top tips....

 

 

 

Good quality casting kits should come with detailed instructions, make sure you read through these instructions thoroughly before starting so you know the stages of the entire process. While you’re at it, why not check out some YouTube videos of professionals creating life casts with babies. This will give you a good insight into how it’s done and how quickly you need to work. You can find our helpful YouTube channel here www.youtube.com/c/BabyRiceLtdCheck out the BabyRice YouTube Channel for Casting How To Videos

Have all materials to hand. Babies aren’t know for being patient, so all of our kits include fast setting alginate. This enables you to complete the mould making quickly. However, it does mean that it sets quickly so you need to be organised and well prepared!A key point here is to make sure you know which powder is alginate and which is plaster. Plaster should never be used to create a mould, that’s what the alginate is for. Plaster heats as it sets and can burn skin. So make sure you have everything ready, that you know what’s what and NEVER let plaster come into contact with skin.

If you haven’t worked with alginate before, please do this quick and simple finger test before attempting a hand or foot cast. Please note, the instructions below are correct for BabyRice alginate, other manufacturers alginate will have different working times.

  1. Pour 50ml of 30ºC water into a small container.Using the separate container, measure out the same volume of alginate and sprinkle it onto the water. Start mixing immediately.
  2. You have up to 1 minute and 55 seconds of mixing time – keep mixing until you have a smooth consistency. At this stage the mixture will be pink.
  3. Before 2 minutes have elapsed, put your finger into the mixture and give it a wiggle so the alginate surrounds your finger.
  4. The alginate will start setting at around 2 minutes, and will be fully set at around 2.5-3 minutes. As it sets the mixture becomes paler, becoming white when full set.
  5. Once set, release your finger from the mould – at this stage you won’t see much detail, but trust us, every detail including your fingerprints will be there! (Please note: Occasionally, BabyRice alginate will start white and turn pink.)

Now that you are an impression mould making pro, you are ready to get casting.

You can take casts of baby’s hands or feet, however, feet are generally easier to cast as babies tend to clench their fists! Having said that, babies clenched fists are super cute, so we say just go for it!Curled up baby fists make beautiful painted hand casts

 

The plaster should be runny, so that it can get into all of the little nooks and crannies of the little fists. Before you pour the plaster into the mould, tap the sides of the container and then leave it to stand for a minute. This will help to eliminate air bubbles.

 

Take your time when filling the mould with plaster. Start by spooning the casting plaster into the the mould, filling it by a third. Tip and rotate the mould to move the plaster around and ensure that the mould fills up and there aren’t any air pockets (air pockets will create big holes in your finished cast.

 

If you have lots of materials, consider taking just one or two impression moulds (and filling them with plaster) and then creating the rest on another day so that you don’t tire baby out.

 

If baby is proving too wriggly for the impression mould making, try again when they are asleep.

Sleeping Baby

 

Step away from the whisk! If you are using a BabyRice casting kit, please don’t whisk the alginate as this will create unwanted air bubbles in the mixture, which will in turn, affect the overall finish of your casts. Baby casts don’t require a lot of materials so hand mixing shouldn't be too arduous. The same goes for the plaster: don’t whisk it. Seriously, don’t do it. Just don’t. Do check the manufacturer’s instruction to find out whether or not they recommend using a whisk.

Never use a whisk to mix BabyRice Alginate

 

Don't leave the plaster in the moulds for more than 14 hours as the alginate will start to harden and removing it from the plaster casts will be difficult. 2-3 hours should do it, so now’s the time to have a well-deserved rest, some cuddles with baby and a cuppa whilst you wait.

 

Leave the plaster casts a few days to completely dry out before painting them.  If you paint them before they’re thoroughly dry, the paint won’t adhere to the casts and you’ll end up with no paint and naked casts! Ooh-er.

 

Read the instructions thoroughly before starting - we know we already said this, but it’s important so it deserves a second mention.

 

This blog isn’t meant to provide a how to for DIY casting, it’s just some hints and tips based on lessons we’ve learned over the years. Always follow the instructions that come with your materials and consult the manufacturer if you have any questions.

A baby casting kit makes a unique christening or baptism gift, or just a thoughtful gift for a new mum and dad. If you would like to purchase a baby casting kit for your family or someone you know, check out our range on BabyRice.co.uk where kits start from just £14.99 - you can visit our online store here >>>

Baby Rice Casting Kits from just £14.99

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