Introduction: Plaster Alginate Casts of My Hand DIY

Picture of Plaster  Alginate Casts of My Hand DIY

In art and design school this past fall, I did some experimenting with dental-grade alginate, clay, plaster, and color additives. This is not a step-by-step I-ble. I just wanted to share pics of three separate plaster casts, all of my hand. The white hand w/ my mouth was an actual assignment. The other two hands were just for fun, experimenting with fabric dye and concrete coloring mixed in the plaster. One of the hands came in "handy" for a wood carving I did that semester.

If you can't get alginate and plaster through school, it is available on amazon or many suppliers. The entire process requires two mixes: 1)alginate/water to make the negative mold of your hand or chosen object, 2)plaster/water to make the replica of your hand from the alginate mold (coloring added to the white plaster optional).

The mixing ratios for the alginate and plaster varies from manufacturers, but it is important to follow the recommended mix ratios using an accurate weighing scale. It may take trial and error. Expect to make a few mistakes, part of learning. The finished results are impressive.

Step 1: Hand #1

Picture of Hand #1

The first of the three, it was an assignment in plaster Class. This one was done with modelling clay to support the alginate. Unlike a fixed shape container, using the clay and contouring fairly close to the hand minimizes the amount of alginate needed because it reduces the deadspace of air. To challenge myself, I added my lower face and made the sculpture in one pour!

Step 2: Hand #2

Picture of Hand #2

The glass vase was purchased for $10 from Target. Dental alginate from the Dental school. It looks creeeepy and cool! notice the flaws on the finger tips... I was still learning. I used Ritz fabric dye but the color faded when it dried. I learned NOT to use a glass container because it is difficult to remove alginate.

Step 3: Hand #3

Picture of Hand #3

This was the better of the two colored hands. I used cardboard and clay instead of a glass vase. My experience resulted in a better pour, with much better detail. I used concrete colorant. although the colorant was more stable, I need to work on achieving a better skintone. Overall, I was pleased with the entire process.

Step 4: *Edited: More Hands

Picture of *Edited: More Hands

I did a cast of my ma's hand over the Holiday. I also casted a base at the same time. I discovered it is easier to paint the hand AFTER it is cast and dried for at least a 3 days.

Step 5: Edited: More Hands

Picture of Edited: More Hands

I made a "hand sculpture" by adding coiled rebar to my friend's cast hand.


This is so spooky but awesome! XDDD

CraigR50 (author)2016-03-08

How do you pour it into the container, that dental stuff is kind of like a putty, do you just thin it out?

cwholt24 (author)2016-02-03

Thanks for sharing the photos. What color did you use for the skin?

AjdaZ (author)2015-07-16

I made a casting of my foot in a similar way... Cardboard works great for the casting "shell" plus its reusable. Lined it with garbage bag, which makes it super easy to pull the alginate casting out of the box. Be prepared to make a trial run :)

angelgabriel (author)AjdaZ2015-12-31

Your foot turned out great! Sorry for late reply. I didn't know you commented.

Iszzysapien27 (author)2013-06-02

so how do you do it though? Don't get it.

J-Five (author)2013-01-20

Could be great for a Halloween prank. Darn I shouldn't give you any ideas.

angelgabriel (author)J-Five2013-01-21

I already pranked some unsuspecting classmates with it, and it's not even Halloween!

J-Five (author)angelgabriel2013-01-22

For even more fun you can motorize the fingers.

luckyee4 (author)2013-01-13

Good job and I used hydra stone for a longer lasting cast!

angelgabriel (author)luckyee42013-01-21


useraaaaa (author)2012-12-30

what about other parts

J-Five (author)2012-12-30

If anyone needs your help you can give them a "hand".

angelgabriel (author)J-Five2012-12-30

I can give a few "pointers" with my hand lol

Dream Dragon (author)2012-12-29

I find this fascinating, it's on my list of things to try, (one Day).

Thx. It's the same stuff the dentist puts in your mouth when making teeth impressions. Easy to work with.

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