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Topic: baby hand imprints and outprint tutorial with air dry clay and plaster of paris  (Read 2288 times)
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maxxev
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« on: March 05, 2014 07:53:03 AM »

just the thing to melt the hearts of grandparents for mothers/fathers day  Wink



you will need:
*air drying clay
*plaster of paris (+an old plastic tub and lollipop stick or similar for stiring)
*rolling pin
*sharp kitchen knife
*newspaper
*old gift box larger than your childs hand
*scissors
*very fine wet/dry sand paper (i used 1200 grit)

step one:
use fresh clay for this as you need it soft. i found my airdry clay to be too firm to get a good deep print so i added a few table spoons of water to the bag, resealed it and left it over night then gave it a good knead. you might want to experiment.
roll out your clay on newspaper/scrap paper to about 1.5 -2 cm thick. i used marzipan spacers to get an even thickness but its not essential.
press the hand or foot in firmly you want a nice deep print





Step two:
cut a hole in the bottom of your gift box. dosnt need to be perfect Smiley



step three:
position the box over the print and push down firmly (otherwise the plaster will leak. if it does quickly push a few strips around the edge)



step four:
mix the plaster and pour it over the print. tap the sides to get rid of air bubbles and allow to dry.



step five:
gently pull the cardboard from the clay (if you are carefull not to damage the print you can get multiple castings)



the plaster has formed a ridge but this can easily be sanded off

step six:
gently (otherwise you can leave marks) sand down the plaster using the wet dry sandpaper and water. do NOT sand the print itself, just around it or you will sand away detail.
you can see the differance between the unsanded print on the left and the sanded one on the right.



here the imprint and outprint together (i trimmed the clay imprint to the same size using the gift box as a guide) think im gonna frame them like this Smiley you can off course paint the prints i would recomend sealing the airdry clay with a varnish too

if you have any questions please ask Smiley

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« Reply #1 on: March 05, 2014 08:33:32 AM »

Great project and a great tutorial!  I do have a question: So, you did not let the air-dry clay dry before casting?

I don't have kids, but I might consider doing paw prints. However, the real reason I clicked through was this looked like a project with LOTS of Halloween decoration potential. Mwahahahaaaaaaa!
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maxxev
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« Reply #2 on: March 05, 2014 08:53:09 AM »

Great project and a great tutorial!  I do have a question: So, you did not let the air-dry clay dry before casting?

I don't have kids, but I might consider doing paw prints. However, the real reason I clicked through was this looked like a project with LOTS of Halloween decoration potential. Mwahahahaaaaaaa!

thank you Smiley
nope, pour on the plaster while the clay is wet.  admittedly i havnt tried letting it dry first  Undecided but i dont think it would peel off as easily Undecided  plus this way you can reuse the clay..depending how quick to get back to it once the plaster is dry.

animals with hairy paws dont work (i tried one of my house rabbits...all you get is a hairy mark and claw prints) dogs, cats, rats anything with hairless pads or paws works though Smiley
oh yes!...dolls would work rather well for halloween Grin
« Last Edit: March 05, 2014 08:54:03 AM by maxxev » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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« Reply #3 on: March 05, 2014 09:10:49 AM »

This is great! I should make some. Thanks!
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« Reply #4 on: March 05, 2014 10:51:12 AM »

Great tutorial!

My son will be 30 in a couple of months.... Do you think it is too late to take his hand print for his grandparents....?  LOL
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TheMistressT
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« Reply #5 on: March 05, 2014 02:17:58 PM »

Great project and a great tutorial!  I do have a question: So, you did not let the air-dry clay dry before casting?

I don't have kids, but I might consider doing paw prints. However, the real reason I clicked through was this looked like a project with LOTS of Halloween decoration potential. Mwahahahaaaaaaa!

thank you Smiley
nope, pour on the plaster while the clay is wet.  admittedly i havnt tried letting it dry first  Undecided but i dont think it would peel off as easily Undecided  plus this way you can reuse the clay..depending how quick to get back to it once the plaster is dry.

animals with hairy paws dont work (i tried one of my house rabbits...all you get is a hairy mark and claw prints) dogs, cats, rats anything with hairless pads or paws works though Smiley
oh yes!...dolls would work rather well for halloween Grin

Thanks for the tips!  I've made paw prints in clay of the dogs with some luck, but having a convex version is really appealing.

For Halloween I'm thinking of adult sized and perhaps monster-ized hands and feet looking like they are pushing through walls and the like.  Maybe find a way to do the side of a face.  I go pretty far out with my Halloween!
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jexxican
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« Reply #6 on: March 05, 2014 02:28:45 PM »

Great project and a great tutorial!  I do have a question: So, you did not let the air-dry clay dry before casting?

I don't have kids, but I might consider doing paw prints. However, the real reason I clicked through was this looked like a project with LOTS of Halloween decoration potential. Mwahahahaaaaaaa!

thank you Smiley
nope, pour on the plaster while the clay is wet.  admittedly i havnt tried letting it dry first  Undecided but i dont think it would peel off as easily Undecided  plus this way you can reuse the clay..depending how quick to get back to it once the plaster is dry.

animals with hairy paws dont work (i tried one of my house rabbits...all you get is a hairy mark and claw prints) dogs, cats, rats anything with hairless pads or paws works though Smiley
oh yes!...dolls would work rather well for halloween Grin

Thanks for the tips!  I've made paw prints in clay of the dogs with some luck, but having a convex version is really appealing.

For Halloween I'm thinking of adult sized and perhaps monster-ized hands and feet looking like they are pushing through walls and the like.  Maybe find a way to do the side of a face.  I go pretty far out with my Halloween!

Sounds like a Star Wars reference to me. It would be cool, though!
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"The perplexity of life arises from there being too many interesting things in it for us to be interested properly in any of them."
- G. K. Chesterton

A clean house is a sign of a wasted life.

It's much more fun, this growing down. -RIP Uncle Shelby-
TheMistressT
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« Reply #7 on: March 05, 2014 03:00:34 PM »

Great tutorial!

My son will be 30 in a couple of months.... Do you think it is too late to take his hand print for his grandparents....?  LOL

I did hand prints for my mom when I was in my early 30s! 
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Tanza
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« Reply #8 on: March 05, 2014 07:11:06 PM »

we use this technique to make molds for slip casting in ceramics.

If the clay dries before you pour plaster on it wicks the water from the plaster and it dries to quickly and creates air bubble and ripples etc.


Great tutorial, you could also try it using salt clay or dough clay.

Smiley
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maxxev
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« Reply #9 on: March 07, 2014 12:42:05 AM »

thank you Smiley

For Halloween I'm thinking of adult sized and perhaps monster-ized hands and feet looking like they are pushing through walls and the like.  Maybe find a way to do the side of a face.  I go pretty far out with my Halloween!


for large scale projects you might find wholesale clay for ceramics (rather than airdry clay) cheaper. builders yards also sell plaster of paris very cheaply in bulk  Smiley
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