All of our life casting kits have easy step-by-step instructions. Here are the general steps:
(1) Mix the Create-a-Mold molding powder with water and mix for about 1-2 minutes. Once the bright pink color starts to fade, insert the foot, hand or pairs of hands into the molding
material. Within about 1-3 minutes after turning white (depending mixure temp), the mold sets.
(2) Wiggle the foot or hand(s) out of the molding material.
(3) Mix the bag of casting stone with water. Pour the
casting stone into the mold. Let the casting stone harden.
(4) Tear open the mold, remove the statue and enjoy.
The molding material a seaweed-based material called alginate. It is non-toxic, hypo-allergenic, biodegradable and safe for skin, including for babies. Our brand of Alginate is used every day in the medical and dental fields for various applications. It is specially formulated to create amazingly detailed, high quality molds of body froms (hands and feet).
All molding powder
is not created equal and the molding powder we supply is manufactured to
our specifications and is unique to Luna Bean casting kits. You
will not find a higher quality molding powder in any retail or
pre-assembled casting kit on the market. Our exclusive formula includes
chromatic (color-changing) properties, which eliminates the need of
timing the procedure. When the off-white powder is added to water, the
mixture starts out bright pink and is ready
for molding once it starts losing color.
The end result is a highly detailed, very strong mold.
When using the
average mix as directed in the kits (60g of powder per 1 cup of water)
in room temperature water, the total working time of the molding
material is about 5-6 minutes. Approximately 1/2 of the working time is
for mixing and the second 1/2 of the time is the setting phase. All alginate molds will deteriorate
quickly. It is recommended that you pour the cast into the mold within 4 hours.
If this is not possible, store the mold in an air tight container in a
cool environment, such as a refrigerator, for up to 24 hours.
(75F; slightly cool to the touch) works well for adult and child hand
kits as it is comfortable enough for most and gives an adequate total
working time of about 5-6 minutes. For the infant and toddler foot and
hand kits, we suggest using luke-warm water (85-90F) which will give
about a 3- 4 minutes total set time. Alternatively, cold water
(60-65F) can be used, which will give you a total working time of about 7-9 minutes.
Water with a high
mineral content will cause any alginate mix to become lumpier than
normal and if the hard water contains calcium, it will also set faster. If you think your water is a concern, consider bottled filtered or distilled water.
Note: Timing starts
from the time the powder enters the water and the above referenced times
assume the powder has been stored at at about 70-75F for at least 12
Although the mold is
very strong and firm, it is also very flexible and slippery inside.
Because your child’s hand is also flexible, his or her hand will slip
out of the mold cleanly with just a slight wiggle and gentle pull.
The molding material
is generally not reusable as the set material needs to be peeled away
from the finished casting. However if you do a an impression styling casting such as just a handprint, then the casting can be
poured more than once into the same mold to create multiple identical
Yes, you most certainly can, but keep in mind we cannot guarantee all rings or jewelry types will turn out well.
Keep a few things in mind for best results:
(1) The ring or bracelet needs to be tight to the skin. If molding material can get between the jewelry and the skin, such as a loose bracelet, you will not be able to remove it without tearing the mold.
(2) Simpler, smoother and engraved rings work the best. Jewelry with sharp surfaces, or large nooks and crannies, on the other hand, do not always turn out. They have a higher risk of tearing the mold when the hand is removed and that leaves an undefined void instead of a detailed impression.
(3) Be extra careful when removing the ring hand from the mold. You want to move sideways to remove the ring from the mold before pulling the hand upwards and out of the mold. Likewise, be careful when demolding.
(4) Watches are ok, but be sure that it is waterproof!
The molding material will not harm precious metals. We supply a detailing pin and wooden tool for removing residual molding material that may get trapped in tiny spaces. If you still have material that you cannot remove, a baking soda solution will dissolve the remainder.
For best results, it is
best to artificially thicken long nails so they have much less of a
chance of breaking during the de-molding process. Air drying clay, tape,
even petroleum jelly ... can be used to make the nails thicker prior to
creating the mold. Be extra careful when removing the hand from the mold so that the nails do not tear the inside of the mold. Keep in mind we cannot guarantee that they will turn out perfectly. They will most likely need a "manicure."
As long as the
foot/hand remains submerged within and completelly covered by the
molding material during the setting process, the foot/hand can be
allowed to wiggle freely within the material without affecting the final
How is this possible: The molding material remains a very thick liquid
during nearly all of the molding process until all at once within about a
5-10 second time frame, it sets. Before it sets, the material clings to
the skin during wiggling and that wiggling actually helps break up air
bubbles reducing flaws later on. Once set, the material turns rubbery,
flexible and is slippery inside, yet it has captured the tiniest of
Also, very young children typically do not have the strength to break
through the mold once it is set, which preserves the mold until an adult
guides the hand or foot out. It is because of these properties that the
material works so well with wiggling fingers or toes. It’s not like old
fashioned film where you had to sit still during a 3 minute exposure
Please Note: During the 5-10 second setting window near the end
of the process, strong movements (more than a baby's natural wiggling)
can distort the mold. Therefore, even though some wiggling is okay and
even preferred, the best advice is to wait until baby is in a good mood,
is fed and relaxed, or even asleep before making the mold. Overall, we
strongly recommend 2 adults be available to complete the molding
process: one to tend to the child and one to read instructions and
prepare the mold.
The Create-A-Mold alginate
molding material is non-toxic, hypo-allergenic, 100% biodegradable and
is created especially for direct use on skin. Although we cannot make a
guarantee against reactions (nor can anyone else with any type of
product), there are no known reports of an allergic reaction to the
prepared alginate material.
It is a water based product with a primary ingredient of processed
seaweed. It does not heat up while setting, will set with either cool or
warm water and pulls away cleanly when set. It has been used in the
medical and dental professions safely for many years to help make
various types of prosthetics, including dentures, and to protect the
most sensitive of open wounds.
As with any powder, you should avoid inhalation. Otherwise, if is safe
for the prepared molding material to come into contact with even a
newborn baby’s skin.
This alginate based molding powder meets ISO #1563 specifications. Also, potassium alginate (such as that
contained in our formula) is regulated by the FDA as a food product.
Note: This is the only substance that will be in contact with your child
while making the mold. The child is not required for the remainder of
We use a Gypsum
Cement that dries to a pristine white, provides fine detail and is chip
& chalk resistant. It has high green strength (such as when
demolding), remains workable while wet and gains its full strength once
100% dry. Overall, it is about 5X stronger than the traditional art plaster
or "plaster of
paris." Blending is important to allow the powder to react with water. Add the powder do the water and allow it to soak in. Then blend for 5-8 minutes for optimal results.
Blending is important to allow the powder to react with water. Add the powder do the water and allow it to soak in. Then blend for 5-8 minutes for optimal results.
Once poured, the
casting stone will set and cure in as little as 1 hour (small infant castings), but take up to 4 hours to cure for larger adult castings. For very
large castings (XL and Family kits) allow up to 4-6 hours. You will
know it has cured when it is hard and cool to the touch. Once demolded, rinse with cold water to remove any residual Step 1 and allow the statue to dry fully in an open (no shelves, dark closets,
etc) well-ventilated environment with a lot of natural light. The drying time is approximately 1-2
days for each 1/2 inch of thickness. Once fully dry, the statue can be
sealed with water-based paints.
The best option for
repair is to use a super/crazy glue or Duco cement to reattach the piece. Wait until the
casting has dried and then add glue to the detached end and then hold it
in place for at least 1 minute until the glue holds (see individual
glue directions). If needed, fresh casting stone mix can be applied to
the outside area of the break to fill in any gaps or chips (if there are
It could be mildew on the surface if the conditions are just right. Use a bleach wash (50% bleach / 50% water), bleach pen, bleach spray, etc. That will take care of the issue and not harm the cast.
Why would this happen? It is very, very rare, but can happen if the conditions are just right while the cast is wet. It of course happens more commonly in hot/humid environments. Mold spores are everywhere to at least some extent and the Step 1 is a great "food." If the mold sat out for an extended time before the stone was poured, or if there is residual Step 1 left on the cast, mold spores in the air can take hold on the surface. Then if while still drying out, it is stored in an area with little air flow and not much natural light, mildew may form.
To prevent: Wash hands before making the mold (spores are very often on the hands and transfer of the mold), keep the mold covered while waiting to pour Step 2, rinse the cast after it is demolded, and then allow to dry in a well ventilated (in front of a fan if possible) in a room with a lot of natural light. Rotate the cast often so all areas have access to the ventilation and light. Once dry, it is not at risk of mildew any more than any other item in your home.
You do not need to
add a sealant or finish to the casting, but it is recommended. The
casting stone when set is somewhat porous and will absorb oils from
hands when they are handled, which may cause discoloration over time.
We have two clear finishes in our store. The clear matte finish leaves the casting
the most natural and has little to no shine. The clear gloss is a brush
on clear sealant that is intended to give the casting the appearance of
being fire glazed as would be done with ceramics. For paints, we recommend acrylics. They can be applied directly to the casting with the first thin coat acting as a primer. We typically have pearl, silver, gold and bronze available in our store. Another great option is PVA craft glue (such as Elmer's school glue or wood glue) mixed in equal parts with water. If needed or wanted, add a little more water for a thinner consistency. Apply with a brush.
Below are some general guidelines for estimating the amount of bulk materials you may need:
Create-A-Mold Molding Powder (Step 1):
Find a container that will accommodate the hands (or foot, etc.), but
yet isn't way too big. Then with the hands in place inside the empty
container, begin filling with water until the water covers the areas you
want to cast. Remove the hand(s) and measure the water used. For every 9
cups of water measured, you would need a 1lb bag of alginate powder. [A
1lb bag of alginate *yields* 9 cups of material.]
Casting Stone (Step 2):
In general, for each teen or adult hand cast up to the wrist you will
need up to 1lb of stone. For each child hand or infant foot, you will
need up to 1/2 lb. If casting above the hand and into wrist/ankle and/or
if you will be adding an integrated base, you will need a little more.
if you are casting infants, you will need approximately the same
amounts (by weight) of bulk powders. If casting mostly adult hands, you
will need approximately twice as much bulk casting stone as you do bulk
molding powder (again, by weight).
in mind that the above information provides only estimations. The exact
amounts depend on you specific project. If you are unsure if you will
have enough, it is always best to estimate high.
Although we do not
currently have a kit that is labeled as a pet kit at this time, both the
Air Dry Clay and the 3D Life Casting Kits may be used for pets. For the
clay kits, follow the directions included
as they are the same for both pets and children. For the Luna Bean life casting
kits, the Infant Hand Casting Kit works well for small dogs and cats,
the Child Hand Casting Kit for medium dogs and the Trophy Hands kit for
large dogs. In addition to the directions provided with life casting
suggest inserting the paw to the bottom of the cup, then rotating the
cup 1/2 turn and finally, pulling the paw back up about 1 inch. This
will help get the fur going the "right" direction.
Other important information: The molding material does not generally
stick to short fur and therefore nothing other than getting the paw wet
before hand is necessary. However, as a preventative measure and certainly for longer-haired dogs (as the hair CAN get tangled), cooking oil or petroleum jelly can be used to make it easier to slip the paw out of the mold. Keep in mind, however, that
whatever you put on you pet's paw will most likely be licked off by
your pet afterwards so be sure it is something safe for them to ingest.
If you have never
before used any of our kits, we strongly suggest that you contact us to
receive an emailed copy of the complete directions. If you are familiar with your kit, the following are the mixing ratios. Step 1: for every 60g (2.1oz) of powder, use 1 cup of water. Step 2: For every 1 lb of powder, use 3/4 cup of water.
The Step 1 alginate is biodegradeble, the Step 2 gypsum is compostable, and the casting buckets are recyclable.Regarding Step 1: When alginate dries, it shrinks to about half its original size and gets as hard. It is still highly porous and can absorb its weight in water. With this water comes a host of microorganisms that can chew right through the organic and inorganic compounds found in alginate. Nothing harmful leaches from the dried alginate. Depending on how deeply the alginate is buried and how wet it gets, alginate can completely biodegrade in as little as 1 year.For Step 2: Break up the gypsum into small, gravel-sized pieces. Incorporate the gypsum into finished compost when it's ready to "cure," or mature before garden use. Alternatively, add it directly to a new compost pile when you're using acidic ingredients such as pine needles.
A belly cast is a
three-dimensional plaster sculpture of a woman's pregnant belly for the
purpose of having a keepsake of the pregnancy.
a pregnancy belly cast is a fun and easy project using our kit. It
takes only about 30 minutes from start to finish. All you need to
provide is a pair of scissors and a basin of water. The casting material
used in making a pregnancy belly cast is fast setting premium quality
plaster of paris bandage material and it sets in as quick as 2-4
minutes. The bandages are placed on mom's torso in overlapping layers.
The result is a shell mold of the shape of mom's belly.
for decorating include applying sequins, feathers, dried flowers,
photographs or small, pretty, cut stones or glass. You also can wait to
decorate it until after your baby is born and apply paint to your baby's
hands and feet and put the prints on your belly cast. When your baby is
old enough, you could even decorate it together. You could even have it
bronzed. Your imagination is truly the limit. Then use as a bowl, hang
in on a wall as art, incorporate it into the baby's nursery decor,
display on an easel.See finished belly cast examples here.
There is no mixing of
materials required and our directions are easy to follow. All you need
to do is to take the rolls of belly casting material, cut them into
varying sized strips, (shorter strips for your torso area and longer
strips for your belly area). After preparing the belly with a lubricant
or other barrier, then you take one strip at a time and dip it very
quickly in room temperature water. Place the wet belly casting strip on
your skin and repeat in overlapping layers with the remaining strips.
You will only need to sit still for about 10 minutes after the strips
have been placed on your skin and then your belly cast will be dry
enough to pull off. Overall, the casting process takes about 45 minutes
from start to finish including prep time and clean up. Once you remove
your belly cast, please allow it to dry completely before decorating it.
It generally takes about one to two days for a belly cast to dry. You
will know it is dry when it no longer feels cool or damp to the touch.
Most moms make their
belly casts anywhere between 34 to 36 weeks of pregnancy but we have had
some that have made them as early as 30 weeks of pregnancy and some as
late as full-term. It really is a matter of personal preference. Our best advice is
not to wait too long (or at least have the materials on hand and ready
to go) because babies have a way of coming early.
You can include your
hands and/or arms hands in your casting. You can also include the hands
of a loved one in your pregnancy belly cast. It is very easy to do. Just
put the hands right on the belly, apply the lubricant over the back of
the hands as you are coating the rest of the mom's casting area, and
then simply cast right over the hands. Make sure the fingers are spread
far enough apart so that it is easily distinguishable that it is a hand
being cast into the pregnancy belly cast.
belly casting is typically done with the mom unclothed from below the
belly up, a common question we get asked is "just how can my breasts
have some support while I'm doing the casting?" There are a few
different ways to give your breasts some support during the casting:
Wear a strapless bra (keeping in mind the seems will most likely show
through the cast) and then cover the bra with plastic wrap to protect
it. Apply the lubricant over the plastic wrap.
Put a layer of Glad Press 'N' Seal over mom's breasts. Apply the
sticky side next to the skin. In most cases, the breasts can be
somewhat supported with the Press 'N' Seal alone.
In order for you
belly cast to look right, you will need to create your casting while
standing. Start the casting from the top and work your way down. When
you get to the bottom of your belly, place a piece of saran wrap over
your pubic area to keep the wet casting material from sticking to it.
Slather the saran wrap with lubricant prior to placing it over your
pubic area. You will need to hold the saran wrap in place while your
helper places the first wet strip over the pubic area. Thereafter, the
wet casting strips will hold the saran wrap in place.
you can wear a pair of panties. Try to wear a more delicate pair since
the seams won't show as much. Then tuck the saran wrap into the seams to
hold it in place.
Don't worry about
having the edges of your pregnancy belly cast be even as you are making
the cast. After your pregnancy belly cast has completely dried, you can
take a pair of sharp scissors and trim the edges to make them even if
Once your belly
cast has dried, take a look at it to see if there are any thin areas
that need reinforcement. If you have casting bandages left over, you
can reinforce the cast where needed. Simply wet additional casting
strips and place them on the inside of your belly cast where
reinforcements are needed. DO NOT place the wet strips on the front of
a layer of plaster casting stone to the outside of the cast (if you
want it smoother) or to the inside (if you'd rather keep the original
appearance of the casting).
Here are 3 options
which can be used either independently, or all together. If you choose
them all, do them in the order listed below.
This option requires no extra materials. While creating the belly cast,
dip your fingers in water after you apply a couple of overlapping
layers of the plaster casting strips and rub your fingers over the
layers to mix the plaster of paris together among the layers. Work
fairly quickly as the plaster strips will begin to dry within a few
minutes after you begin applying the plaster strips. After your
pregnancy belly cast has completely dried, very lightly sand it with the
sanding screen included in our kit (while not disturbing the underlying
Apply a thin layer of plaster casting stone (or other plaster product
such as joint compound). Apply it with your fingers and as it starts to
dry, smooth it out more with your fingers. Allow it to dry according to
the manufacturer's instructions and then lightly sand it using our
sanding screen. It is best to apply 2 thin layers of plaster casting
stone, allowing each layer to dry and lightly sanding in between each
coat. This step also further strengthens the cast. [Plaster casting
stone is included with the Basic Belly Cast Kit and the Luna Bean belly
casting kit and is available as an add-on to the Complete Belly Casting
Apply Gesso acrylic priming paint to your finished cast. This product
has the consistency and appearance of white school glue. It not only
helps to further smooth out the cast, it adds strength and seals the
cast as well as gives it a perfect canvas for further paint decorating
if you so choose. [This product is included in the Luna Bean belly
casting kit and is available as an add-on to the other kits.]
Once you have
smoothed your belly cast to your liking, and then decorated it if you
want, you can apply one or more applications of a spray varnish or
lacquer. These products are readily available at your local craft store.
They are available in a high gloss and satin finish
To hang your
pregnancy belly cast with ribbon, punch a hole in each side of the cast
at the top. The easiest way to put holes in a cast is to use either a
phillips head screwdriver or a power drill bit. Gently turn the
screwdriver or bit back and forth to make a hole. Think of where the
strings for a halter-top would be and place your holes there. Start with
3 yards of ribbon. Fold in half and cut. Feed each piece through the
front of your pregnancy belly cast and make a knot. Bring both pieces up
and make a bow. These halter ties can be as long or short as you like.
Although it is double sealed, the clay will
very, very slowly lose moisture over time. To assure the freshest
product possible at any given time, we manufacture the clay kits about
every 6 months. For best results, we recommend using the clay within
about 2 years (and that date will be on the individual packages of
clay). This will assure a "like-new" soft, fresh clay. However, we have
tested and used clay that is 4, 5 and even 6 years post production and
as long as the seals on the packaging weren't compromised, they
performed very well - sometimes with the added help of a few drops of
water. The friction and heat from kneading the clay loosens and softens
the clay whether it is days or years old. The older clay may simply
require a longer kneading time. If you receive clay that has clearly
already air dried due to improperly sealed packaging, etc, (extremely
rare, but things happen), we will gladly replace it.
There is no mixing involved. You simply remove the clay from the
package, knead it for 2-3 minutes in your hands and roll and/or smooth
it out into the frame (or onto a surface covered in plastic if you are
not using a frame). To flatten the clay for the impression, you may
either use the included mini rolling pin, or your hand covered with a
No, you DO NOT bake the clay.
Any and all clay we supply is air drying clay. You simply knead the
clay for 2-3 minutes, roll it out, make an impression and leave the clay
to dry on its own in a cool, well ventilated area. For best results,
cover the impression for 24 hours with a damp cloth until leathery hard.
This will help prevent cracking in warm, dry environments. Do not
attempt rush the drying process.
No, you do not need to seal the clay. The clay is self-sealing and when it is dry, it is water resistant. However, you may paint the clay with a water-based paint if you choose. Acrylics work well. Note, however, that because the clay self seals, it doesn't take paint extremely well. The paint will tend to sit on the surface so a couple very thin layers is best.
Although the air dry
clay kits are not labeled as a pet kit at this time, it may be (and
commonly are) used for pet prints. Follow the directions included with
the kits as they are the same for both pets and children.
Preparation Tips: Always keep the clay covered with plastic unless you are actively kneading, rolling out the clay, or making the impression.Even once
the clay has been kneaded and rolled out, keep covered with plastic
until you are ready to make the impression. Just before making the
impression, lightly mist some water on the surface of the clay. These
steps will help prevent the clay from starting to dry out prematurely.
Drying Tips: It
is rare, but occasionally we get reports about clay that has cracked
while it dries. This is caused by the clay drying too quickly (most
likely) and/or unevenly. When the clay cracks while drying, the
surface and/or edges have dried much more quickly than the center. To prevent cracking,
be sure the clay is rolled out evenly (not thinner on the edges, etc)
and is as smooth on the surface as possible before making the print. We
also strongly suggest placing plastic or a damp cloth over the drying
clay for the first 24 hours, or until the clay surface becomes leathery
hard. This this a must if the environment is warm and/or dry.
After 24 hours, be sure to uncover the clay so that it can continue to
dry thoroughly. Never allow the clay to dry in or near a direct heat
source such as a heat vent or in direct sunlight. Overall, allow to
dry in the coolest area of the home. The slower it dries, the better.