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DLTK's Crafts for Kids
Plaster of Paris Handprint Wallhanging
I typically do crafts from things you don't need to buy, but I've had so many people ask me how to make these, that I've broken down and added the directions.
Alternative: Instead of a wallhanging, make a garden decoration. Omit the ribbon hanger and spray the completed project with Acrylic spray. Set it outside in the garden. When you add decorations, use circle woodsies and organize them like a small caterpillar or paint them like a lady bug.
This craft goes well with a Handprint Poem.
- plaster of paris (you can purchase at the craft store)
- a mold (we'll make this if you don't have one... just get some thin cardboard (old cereal boxes) ready)
- ribbon, string or wool
- Optional: paint, silk flowers, woodsies (little wooden shapes -- they come in hearts, stars, petals, etc and make nice decorations).
- Mix plaster of paris according to package directions (you can use a
margarine container for mixing (or even as your mold). Set aside for a
bit. (It always looks too liquidy to me when I follow the directions,
but when you leave it sit a 5 minutes or so it sets up to pancake batter consistency).
Now, make your mold if you don't already have
one. To make a heart shaped mold:
- Cut 2 pieces of thin cardboard about a foot and a half long and 2 to 3
- Staple the two pieces together at the top as close to the end as you
can get it.
- Now fold back the pieces of cardboard and staple the bottom ends
this isn't a picture of this project, but the technique is the same.
- measure your child's hand into the center of the cardboard ... If your
mold is too large, just add another staple to the bottom point of the
heart to make it smaller and cut the excess off the bottom.
- Set the mold onto a piece of aluminum foil or into a pie plate.
- you can fold the edges of the aluminum foil up around the cardboard to
help out here.
While you were making your mold, the plaster was setting a bit. Pour
it into the mold now.
Have the child press their hand into the mold for about 20 seconds.
If it doesn't hold the shape of the hand, jiggle it to resmooth the surface,
wait a few minutes and try again. (Wipe hands immediately after as the
plaster can irritate or even burn the skin if left on too long.).
- Press the ends of a ribbon, string or wool into the top edges of the mold
so they're covered with plaster (this will be your hanger).
- Optional: Press small silk flowers into the plaster to decorate.
- Let dry completely (overnight is best).
- Optional: Water down your paint a bit so it isn't globby (with
standard pre-mixed tempra or poster paint, I make it 3/4 paint and 1/4
- Let the kids brush or sponge on the paint. (if you sponge on a
light color, let dry and then sponge over top with a darker,
complimentary color it will make a nice effect).
- Optional: Glue on woodsie shapes painted whatever color you like.