In my 34th week a friend came over to help us construct a belly cast. The kits are a waste of money; there's no point in spending $30 to $55 when everything you need can be purchased at your pharmacy and craft store for under $15!
We used :
- Cast material (Bought at a pharmacy; two medium rolls for about $8)
- Vaseline. But next time we'll use olive oil!
- Fine and medium grain sandpaper
- Plaster of Paris
- Black spray paint
- Blue, green and white acrylic paint, and paintbrushes
To make a belly cast you must first lubricate the area to be cast in
oil or vaseline (the vaseline was impossible to wash off, and it's terrible
for your skin. I highly recommend using olive oil instead). Cut the
rolls into strips about one inch thick and four or five inches wide.
Wet them, being careful not to wash away all the powder, and then apply
to skin and smooth with fingers. Three layers are good. It should be
pretty thick, but not so thick that the fine details are lost (like
fingers, if your hand is being cast along with the belly).
It takes about 45 minutes to dry, during which time you can't move around, so make sure you're comfortable before you begin. To get the most accurate shape I'd suggest sitting up in a chair or standing against a wall.
Once it is peeling off your body, carefully remove it and set it out somewhere safe and dry for the next 24-48 hours.
At this point, my cast looked like this :
Once it is completely dry you can reinforce the weak points
with any material left over. I skipped this step and my cast has since
begun to chip! Reinforce from the inside, not the outside, you don't
want to ruin the appearance.
Sand with medium grain paper to get rid of any big bumps and lines. Try and get it as even as possible.
I sanded with medium grain, applied a coat of plaster of paris, sanded
the plaster of paris with fine grain, added another coat and sanded
it, then added a coast of gesso before painting it.
I took it outside and applied two or three coats of black spray paint as a base, then had a friend come over and we drew out plans for the design. Together we painted it, and a month later applied Tempest's footprints as a final touch. I originally had plans to seal it with shellac but became too busy and never got around to it.
The end result :
It's been requested that I include a more recent (albeit blurry) photo to show a comparison between then and now.