A belly cast is a lovely keepsake to celebrate your pregnancy. Let's break down each step of making a belly cast.
Here at Buddha Belly we are known for making exquisite, beautiful and sturdy belly casts that will last. Our casting artists put hours of time, care and love into these handmade works of art.
When is the best time to have a belly cast made?
We recommend having it made between 34 - 36 weeks of pregnancy. By this point in your pregnancy you will have a very pregnant buddha belly. Don't wait too late because sometimes babies arrive earlier than expected!
How does the belly casting process work?
The first step is a consultation to discuss the style and shape of cast you would like. Together we develop a unique design based on your likes and personality.
To make this a comfortable, private and personal experience, we come to you to make your basic cast in the comfort and privacy of your home (unless we are doing casting at a prearranged event location.) We bring all of the supplies and equipment needed.
Before starting the cast making process we must protect your skin with an application of home-made all natural lotion or vaseline. This prevents the plaster from sticking to your body. If you chose to wear a bra during the casting process, we will place plastic wrap over it to ensure it is also protected.
Creating the Basic Cast
Now we can begin actually building your belly cast!
We start by placing strips of plaster gauze, dampened in warm water, over your body. Based on the shape you have requested the plaster may be applied over your belly, breasts, shoulder, neck, upper thighs, etc. Several layers are needed to make the cast sturdy, but not too heavy.
Upon completion the plaster takes about ten minutes to stiffen enough for removal. We will slowly lift it off your body and set it down to dry completely.
The basic cast making step takes between 30 and 60 minutes, depending on the style and size of cast.
Shaping and Finishing the Cast
The remaining steps of the belly casting process are completed by our artists in our studios.
To ensure it is strong and will last for years we examine it for areas that need reinforcing. Plaster strips are added as needed. We trim the edges to ensure a proper shape, and reinforce the edges with additional plaster strips so they are even and firm. It must dry for a full 24 hours to become hard and solid.
To make a smooth finish on the cast we add several layers of joint compound and sand it down until smooth. This step takes many hours of labor over the course of a few days (to allow for drying time.)
We can also do a textured finish if this is preferred. Our artists pride themselves in making a unique, customized product.
Before decorating the cast is painted with white gesso paint to seal it and protect it.
Decorating Your Belly Cast
There is lots of room for creativity in decorating your cast including: hand-painted designs, metallic-looking finishes, fabric, ribbon, decoupage, lace, and other adornments. Our artists have created dozens of stunning designs that you can see in our gallery.
Depending on the artwork done, we often also add a clear coat as a final layer of protection.
The last step is to add a ribbon from which to hang your belly cast.
When your belly cast is completed our artist will deliver it right to your home. We would love to help create the perfect belly cast for you!