Plaster Models For School Project ("Plaster- Mache")

Picture of Plaster Models For School Project (
My step daughter needed help making models for a school project showing the evolutionary stages of a whale. I showered her a technique I call "Plaster- Mâché " It follows the same concept as papier-mâché, but uses Plaster of Paris which gives you much more versatility when sculpting the model. This instructable also includes creating display stands for these models.
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Step 1: Materials & Tools

- Newspaper
- Masking Tape
- Paper Towels
- Plaster of Paris
- Sandpaper (various grits)
- Assorted Paints
- Clear Coat
- Wood Trim (for stands)
- 1/4" Wood Dowels (for stands)
- Wood Stain (for stands)
- Wood Glue (for stands)
- Saw/Mitre box
- Drill w/ 1/4" bit
- Scissors (optional)

Step 2: Create the stands

Picture of Create the stands
Most home improvement stores have a good variety of wood trim styles. We chose a nice chair rail design that was about 3" wide and 1/4" deep.    Cut the trim into the length you will need for your model. We used 14". Then cut the dowels to the height you want the model to stand. Keep in mind the dowel will go partially inside of the model.   Drill two 1/4" holes in each trim piece and then glue the dowels in place. We glued them from the bottom, so that no excess glue would show from the top. Once the glue dries stain the pieces and set aside.

Step 3: Rough shape the models.

Picture of Rough shape the models.
Using the masking tape and newspaper, rough out the basic model shape. Try not to use too much masking tape as the plaster binds to the newspaper easier than tape. Don't worry about making the model "perfect" at this point, that will be done with the plaster.

Step 4: Begin wrapping the models

Picture of Begin wrapping the models
Tear (or cut) the paper towels into 1" wide strips
Mix up a plaster into a "runny milkshake" consistency. It should be a little more runny than if you followed the package instructions. We don't want it hardening too quickly!
Saturate a strip of paper towel in the plaster mix, and then apply to the model as if you were putting a cast on it. Continue doing this until the entire model is covered.
mole11 year ago
Plaster mache is new to me. Thanks for making it so clear!
diana chu2 years ago
Wow! your plaster technique is very useful. Thanks a lot for the idea.
evolution is a lie!
The question shouldn't be is evolution true or a lie. It should be, what does the term "in his image" mean. If you mean his physical image, then God has a body and we are all clones. If the term refers to his spiritual image, then God could very well have used evolution to create us and everything else. He is God after all. He does what he wants, the way he wants. The Book doesn't say "in his image, but he definitely didn't use evolution".
Unless you're God's boss?
Your call.
kaptaink_cg (author)  RocketPenguin4 years ago
Yeah I know. But it was a school assignment and those three particular creatures DID exist.
u should have proved them rong! anyway here's a website: http://www.drdino.com/
lemonie5 years ago
They're nice models, could you add something on the research you did (evolutionary stages) as background info?

kaptaink_cg (author)  lemonie5 years ago
I'll have to ask my step daughter... I have no idea what they are called. LOL!
We can see the stages, where they're coming from would complete this nicely, it's an educational thing after all. Thanks for the reply.