Plaster of Paris is a fantastic craft material. It's surprisingly easy to use and not as messy as you would think. The end results are often very impressive and satisfying to make. Pick up a bag of plaster of Paris cheaply any art of craft shop.
What can you make out of craft plaster? Plaster can be set in any sort of mould to create decorations, interesting objects or even your own sidewalk chalk! You could try using shop bought moulds e.g. novelty shaped silicone ice cube or muffin trays. For homemade moulds, try recycling old packaging (e.g yoghurt pots or plastic tubs). You can also use play dough or sand in a tub to make a shaped mould.
How to use it:
Use disposable tubs to mix the plaster as you won't want to wash plaster down the sink.
Mix plaster and water together according to the ratio on the pack instructions. I usually use about 2 parts plaster to 1 part water and aim for a consistency like pancake batter but have found that precise proportions don't matter too much - although if there's a lot of water it will take a long time to set.
To add colour, try mixing powder poster paint (tempera powder) to three dry plaster mix at the beginning.
Pour the plaster soon after mixing as it will start setting quickly and tap the mould to release any bubbles.
You can usually pop the cast out of the mould after 24 hours - then leave for a further couple of days to dry out completely.
The finished plaster item can be painted with acrylic paint.
Project ideas Need some project inspiration? Here are our Top 10 plaster of Paris craft projects from the MyKidCraft archive.
1. Create a spooky Halloween hand by casting plaster in a rubber glove. Put it in the Trick or Treat bowl to scare any visitors! Click here to learn how.
2. Make your own cardboard and foil heart mould to create this unusual plaster heart coaster for Mother's Day. Click here for the article.
3. Make your own sidewalk chalk, using a silicone ice cube mould to make novelty shapes. Click here to read how.