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Hand Moulding – Preserving A Lifetime of Memories

DIY family hand casting

By the time I saw all the ads for a baby hand and foot casting kit, my son was way past his tiny baby stage. But I still wanted to hold on to the memory of his tiny hands.

When I started looking for ideas, there were just so many, including couple hand moulding and family hand casting ideas. I thought a sculpture with all three of our hands would be perfect.

I ordered a hand moulding kit online and quickly tried it out. It was a failure, and it felt worse because these hand casting kits are expensive.

The hand moulding process is a tricky one and you need to be quick. You also need to have extra material on hand in case things go wrong. They fail to mention this in the kits.

I finally figured out a cheaper way to make my hand cast. It still took us a few tries to get it right but at least the materials were much cheaper. You’ll never waste money on expensive hand casting kits again.

Materials for DIY Hand Casting at Home

  • Measuring cup
  • 1 pack of Alginate powder
  • Cool water as much as the alginate powder
  • Container to mix 
  • Mixing stick
  • White cement/ POP powder
  • Water to mix
  • Mixing bowl
  • Mixing stick

Before starting to mix the hand casting powder, remember these points:

  1. Practice how you want your hands in the mould to be. Try out a few ideas to see if everyone’s hands are visible, especially when dealing with tiny hands that tend to hide under larger ones.
  2. The container should be wide and long enough to hold the shape you want. While practicing, put your hand into the container (leaving an inch or 2 from the bottom), and see that at least your wrists will be covered by the top.
  3. The hand moulding process needs to move quickly. Once you mix water to the alginate you need to work fast before it starts to set. Be ready.

How to make your DIY Hand Casting

  • Measure 2 cups of alginate powder into the container.
  • Stir quickly with water in a 1-to-1 ratio (cold water slows down the setting process giving you some time).
  • Make sure to dissolve the lumps.
  • Put in your hand/hands.
  • Hold very still for 2-3 minutes till the mixture hardens. Touch the top gently to see if it’s ready.
  • Gently remove your hands.
  • In another bowl, mix the POP powder with water. The consistency should be such that it flows off the mixing spoon slowly.
  • Slowly pour this mixture in the mould.
  • Tap the mould container to remove air bubbles.
  • Let this set for a day
  • After about 20 hours, upturn the container and take out the mould.
  • Starting from the outside, start tearing up the outer mould, becoming more gentle as you near the casting.
  • Use tweezers or pins to remove small bits between folds.

You can choose to keep it as it is. However, a protective layer will seal it from moisture and make it last longer. I used acrylic colours to give it a bit of shine. You could use clear varnish as well. 

Note: The links are part of an affiliate program, which means that if you click on a link and buy something, I might receive a percentage of the sale, at no extra cost to you.

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