Artists have been making crafts using plaster of Paris (PoP) for a long time. It has been used for making decorative items, creating beautiful sculptures, for painting surfaces, and for making many other crafts. In Greece and Rome, it was used to create replicas of the most famous works related to art. But it is the Egyptians who invented a very unusual method of using it. They perfected the art of plaster casting and used them to cast the heads of the dead in order to create a replica of their likeness. In the 18th and 19th centuries, use of finely-ground gypsum to make decorative pieces was very popular. Fresco paintings were also very popular. Michelangelo's ceiling in the Sistine Chapel is one of the most famous frescos of all time.
Crafts Made from PoP
Plaster of Paris can be purchased in many places, be it online, art and craft supply stores, or in art catalogs. It is also available in bandages. All you have to do is dip the bandages in water for whatever craft you plan to make, like masks or figurines. Besides, you can also purchase it in powdered form, which needs to be mixed with water to form a usable paste.
But, for those who want to be a little more creative, here is a simple method for making plaster of Paris at home. For this, you need diluted white glue and warm water. The key is to take two parts diluted glue with one part warm water. Put them in a plastic bowl and make a paste. Keep on stirring until you get a soupy mixture, which is your final product. It may look watery, but it should still have a glue-like consistency. Now, let us make some crafts out of this versatile material. These can be used for jewelry craft, in wind chimes, wall hangings, drawing and coloring tools, etc., to enhance the home decor. This is basically a craft suitable for kids, and should be done under parental supervision.
- ice cube tray/molds in other shapes
- Plaster of Paris (powdered form)
- Poster color paint
- Measuring cup
- Disposable bowl
- Petroleum jelly
- Drinking straws
- Safety scissors
- Take some drinking straws and cut them into 1.5-2 inch long pieces with the safety scissors.
- Take a little petroleum jelly and apply it to each straw that has been cut.
- Now, you can ready your ice cube tray or the molds. It would be nice if the molds and ice cube tray are of fun shapes.
- Apply a little bit of the petroleum jelly in the ice cube tray/molds.
- Using a measuring cup, measure an ounce of plaster of Paris powder into the disposable bowl. Mix it with one cup of water, and see that no lumps are present in it.
- Now, add some poster color paint to the mixture. Stir very slowly until the color is uniformly mixed. Add some more water if the mixture starts to dry up.
- Since the mixture is ready, you can now pour it to the ice cube tray/molds.
- Now, insert each straw into the ice cube tray/molds, and make sure that they reach to the bottom. Let them set completely.
- Remove each of the shapes from the tray and molds by holding the straw.
You can now use these shapes for a variety of purposes. Bind them together with beads, and you will have a nice set of bracelets. You can also use them as coloring materials, since they are similar to chalks. Now that you have a little idea on how to make crafts using plaster of Paris, it is time to let your creative juices flow.