June 27, 2011

Belly Laughs

Caution, today's topic is going to make you think that the hot Georgia summer heat has gotten the best of me and that I've lost my mind.  I've surmized that based on the reactions of Zsa Zsa, bestie A, bestie M and a gaggle of friends when I told them of my idea.  Well, I will give a little street cred to my craft by telling you that I heard this is all the rage from Good Morning America news correspondent Melissa - who even went to a boutique in Dallas to film a segment on topic.  Ok, granted ... morning television is consumed with talking dogs and dancing baby segments so while this doesn't exactly justify my case ... come on, give me a little credability?

As is extremely evident if you saw me ... dear Hubs and I are expecting baby numero uno any day now (please for the love, make it be any day and not any week!).  I'm sitting pretty at 40 weeks and a day now, and have developed a baby bump that is surely holding an big offensive lineman nice and snug inside.  Sure we snapped some photos of the bump and I even did a belly silhoutte (which I still love); I thought dear Melissa from GMA was onto something.  And so I tried it ... creating my own pregnancy belly casting.  Yes, exactly as it sounds; making a modern art looking, keepsake cast of your big ol' pregnant belly is something that can be done in the privacy of your own workspace and doesn't even require the fancy boutique that they showed on tv (thank goodness).

Besides being a hot Hollywood mom to be trend (which is like saying Oprah endorses something - I must try it), I thought a belly cast would make an unusual keepsake that way down the road would be something to look at, cherish and remember the days before Baby B arrived.  I also have an elaborate plan of how the babe's newborn pics will include a photoshoot of him laying in the belly casting ... could be really artsy and sweet. 

A quick google of the topic revealed a million sites (33,600,000 to be exact) with directions, ideas and kits to make your very own.  And so, with a little instruction I felt ready and off to the craft store I went to gather up supplies for Belly Bowl Making 101.  The best part, my "at home" version didn't require an expensive kit or supplies, just a few craft store basics.  Before you go, decide which style form you intend to make.  The ideas online range from the standard belly bowl (just the belly shape) to a full frontal bust.  This will determine how much plaster cloth you need.

The Dish (what you need):
  • Vaseline
  • Plaster cloth strips (available at craft store near paper mache)
  • Scissors
  • Warm water
  • Few towels
  • Most important ... a willing assistant
How To Voodoo (what you do):
1.  This works best when the "model" is between 35-38 weeks pregnant.  You really need a full belly :).  Be sure to wear some grubby clothes or cover up with towels to keep the mess to a minimum.  I found a sports bra and shorts to work just fine.  And ... be sure to lay towels on the floor under you just in case!
2.  Find your trusty assistant - this is critical because it's definitely not a 1 person job!
3.  Cut the plaster cloth into strips.  I chose 2 lengths; one long length that stretches all the way across (left to right) of my middle and extends to sides, and a second length that is a little shorter for the top and bottom of the belly bump.
4.  Cover your belly in Vaseline.  I think an old wet t-shirt would work as well, but the Vaseline wasn't that bad ... promise!
5.  Wet each strip according to directions on the box and remove excess water.  Please the strips across belly (left to right) and start with a full coverage of long strips slightly overlapping to create the base form.
6.  Repeat step 5 to create a thickness of at least 4 strips.
7.  Wait at least 30-40 minutes to allow the cast to harden.  After this time, it will not be 100% dry, but dry enough that you can remove it.  To make it harden better, use a hair dryer the last 10 minutes.
8.  Watch it dry (this part is optional).

In a few days, the cast will dry entirely and you can paint it, store it or even display it.  Bestie S is convinced this would look like modern art if tastefully displayed on a wooden stand.  I tend to agree with her, but it doesn't exactly go with my traditional decorating :).

And so now, I anxiously await the arrival of Baby B so I can add his name and birthday to the form.  His little baby handprints may also get added for keepsake purposes.  I will be sure to keep you posted if we do in fact successfully use this for his baby photoshoot in a few weeks!

~charmed b