Why Is My 3 Month Old Baby Fussy At Night Baby Hand Casting – Home Based Business for Moms

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Baby Hand Casting – Home Based Business for Moms

You’ve probably seen examples of this amazing art form on TV or on the internet – full-sized, 3-dimensional, stone sculptures of baby hands and feet. These are called LifeCasts.

You probably wondered how they did it and most people assume that it is very complicated or expensive to do. Not so…

The materials and techniques used by professional LifeCasters are neither expensive nor beyond the reach of most amateurs. In fact the cost of materials for a baby hand cast is no more than $4.00.

New parents always agonize over the beauty of their baby. They can’t get enough of holding and kissing the baby’s hands and feet. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to have a sculpture of this beauty so you can remember and share it with the child as they grow up? They also make wonderful gifts for grandparents who live far away from the young family.

In fact, many young mothers learn the technique, share it with their close friends and actually start LifeCasting businesses for fun and profit.

Here are the nuts and bolts:

LifeCasting is a “molding” and “casting” procedure. The most common molding material used is something called Alginate (AL-jin-it). Alginate is sold as a powder. When you mix it with water, it forms a thick liquid. This liquid is placed in a small container (bucket) and the baby’s hand or foot is pushed down into the alginate mixture. After a minute or so, the alginate “sets” (changes from a liquid to a rubbery solid). At this point, the baby’s hand or foot is gently pulled out of the mold leaving a hole EXACTLY the same size and shape as the baby’s hand or foot.

At this point, the mold is “poured” with the casting material. The most common casting material is a type of plaster called Gypsum Cement (often called “stone”) which is much stronger than Plaster of Paris. The plaster cement is mixed with water and is poured down into the mold until it is full. In about an hour, the stone has hardened and the alginate mold is removed revealing the melt.

There is usually a small amount of cleaning of the casting required, but that is basically it. The casting can be painted, but only after waiting a few days for the water to evaporate from the stone.

You will need a “bucket” that is JUST big enough to accommodate the hand. A bucket that is too big will just require MORE alginate to fill the extra space. The baby’s hand or foot must not touch the inside of the bucket during the procedure or it will ruin the mold. That’s why clear or see-through plastic is best so you can see if the hand or foot is touching.

Alginates come in various fixed times. Don’t get one with a long setting time because the baby may get restless. Also look for alginate that you can mix with warm water. If you start with 95°F water, the alginate will cool down to about 92°F when you are ready to put the baby’s hand in. This is great because baby skin temperature is about the same. Done this way, sleeping babies almost never wake up and alert babies are much easier to distract with a rattle or toy of some kind. If they are not too aware of the alginate on their hand, there is less chance that they will shake their hand or foot too much, which could ruin the mold.

Children from about 6 months to 3 years old are extremely difficult to LifeCast. They just don’t get enough sleep and you still can’t explain to them WHY they should be happy to have their hands in a scary bucket of goo.

Some alginate manufacturers make “color changing” alginate for use in food preparation. The alginate turns bright pink when you first mix it and fades to white about 40 seconds before it “sets”. That way you don’t have to run a timer – just wait until the alginate is white before you insert the baby’s hand or foot.

A lot of information is available online. The search terms you would be looking for are Alginate or Lifecasting.

It really isn’t expensive or difficult to learn these techniques, but it IS a lot of fun.

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