Plaster Hands

These are plaster hands from 10+ years ago that have seen better days. The left one was in the sun and all the paint faded, and the one of the right obviously broke at one point. But you can get an idea what this project looks like.

Here’s an activity I learned from a mom at a preschool I used to teach at. She told me about another school doing this and I just had to try it! I timed it with Mother’s Day and ended up doing every child in the preschool’s hands for the best Mother’s Day gifts ever! What a hit! The parents all raved! It’s similar to the project everyone’s done or heard of where you do a handprint of your child in plaster of paris. BUT…this is the reverse…instead of an imprint…you get the actual hand coming out of the plaster!

Supplies needed:

  • pie pan or some other dish in shape you want
  • playdough (use “The Best”…because it’s soft)
  • plaster of Paris
  • water
  • paperclip or another hanger
  • watercolors/brushes

Step 1: Make playdough

Step 2: Squish playdough into a pan, filling it about halfway…Playdough needs to be deep enough for child’s hand to make an adequate impression in, but leave enough space in the pan for the plaster to make a thick frame around. (At least 1 inch thick) Smooth it flat.

Step 3: Take the child’s hand and press firmly into playdough. (No wiggling fingers!) Here’s the beauty of this version…if you mess up… resmooth the playdough & start over! Also…in the other version, the child has to touch plaster… which gets hot as it dries & could be dangerous…But here, the child never touches the plaster!

Step 4: Scratch (backward) any name/date or message you want on the project into the playdough.

Step 5: Prepare plaster of Paris as instructed on package. Pour plaster into a mold. Tap bubbles out. Unbend paper clip & press halfway into still-wet plaster, for a hanger.

Step 6: Allow to dry overnight. (Or per instructions on plaster package).

Step 7: Remove playdough & allow the child to paint their plaster hand! Use watercolors for a tie-dye effect.
For extra effect…add metallic powder to paint for shimmer.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *