Introduction: A Foot in the Door

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There's so much you could do if you could only a get a foot in the door. And so much more if that foot is concrete and you can leave it places! Now you can give your home, school, or office a new feet-ure that really says, "strange."

This idea came from a project I love to do with students called "Helping Hands," where we start thinking of useful and simple inventions in the home that are, well, weird. :) Instructable user TomC57 had the brilliant idea of casting a foot to use as a door stop, so here it is! TomC57, so many thanks and props to you! What a great idea.

  • What: A Foot In The Door
  • Why: to get you started!
  • Concepts: molding, casting, anatomy, joy
  • Materials:
    • Alginate for the mold (I used stuff from Douglas and Sturgess)
    • Quick-drying concrete (I used Rockite)
    • Bolt (any size 2" long or more)
    • Two Washers and Two Nuts (that fit your bolt)
    • Cardboard
    • Furniture pads (adhesive floor protectors, optional)
    • Knob or handle (for top of foot)
    • Craft sticks (optional, for Step 2)
    • Rubber bands (optional, for Step 2)
  • Tools:
    • Plastic tupperware (to fit your foot in)
    • Mixing sticks
    • Mixing container for concrete
    • Scissors
    • Hacksaw
    • Sandpaper
    • Toothpicks

On to the feet!

Step 1: Put Your Left Foot In, Put Your Left Foot Out

Throw a bunch of that alginate powder into your tupperware so that it's about half the height necessary to cover your foot. Add water until you get to a pudding-like consistency, and begin to mix. You can measure out by volume if you like (they recommend 1 part alginate to 1.5 parts water by volume for this one), but I find going by consistency easier. Once you start mixing, it starts to set so hurry!

Grab yourself a chair to sit on and submerge your foot in the alginate. It's okay if you have some contact with the bottom of the container but don't press your foot hard so that you can get some adorable concrete toe definition. Read a book, stare at the wall, do whatever it takes to sit still for about 10 minutes until the alginate gets to a rubbery and semi-solid consistency (poke it).

Once that's happened, wiggle your foot on out of there and look inside. Hey look: toesies!

Step 2: Prep Your Hardware

This step is all to set a bolt, nut, and washer in your concrete. Take out your hardware, and get ready to assemble.

Wrap two stacks of craft sticks with rubber bands, and place them on either side of your foot hole. These will serve us supports. Grab a piece of hardboard and poke a hole in it. Now assemble your hardware around the cardboard like in the fifth picture.

You want the head of the bolt with a washer held tight with a nut against it inside the concrete. The bolt will be to attach a handle and the washer inside is to give it more surface area to hold against the concrete. Orient it so the bolt head is down, and check to make sure that it will be inside your mold where concrete can set around it. If you want it lower, loosen the upper nut or take out some craft sticks.

This is the trickiest part, so take your time! It's no easy feet!

If you want some more pictures of a similar bolt-setting procedure, go to Step 3 of "Helping Hands."

Step 3: Pour Some Concrete

Time to make some concrete boots. Pour some concrete powder into a mixing tub that you don't love, and add water until you get to a pudding consistency. Mix away, and pour into your foot mold. If you don't have enough (feet can be big things!), just mix some more, and keep pouring until you get to the top of your mold.

To avoid air bubbles, pick up your tub and shift and shake it around to work out all the bubbles that may hide in your mold due to the overhangs. And if you don't get them all out, no worries! Bubble toes!

When you've fully poured your concrete, submerge the head of your bolt with the washer and nut on it, and place the cardboard on your craft stick support.

Now it's waiting time. Check your concrete for setting time (mine was around one hour). Think marathon, not foot race. :)

Step 4: Unearth the Foot Within

You'll know your foot is ready when it's firm and cool (poke it). Remove the upper nut and washer to leave just your foot and hardware. Start peeling away the alginate to reveal the foot within. It's....YOUR.....FOOT!!! Much like in "Helping Hands," this moment of reveal is just great.

Step 5: Get Some Quality Foot Time

Lookey! They're your feet! This part is just so neat, because, well, it's you! Now in forever form! The alginate and concrete will pick up all those weird things like your messed up toenails and your squished toes from too many years of soccer cleats, and your wrinkles, toeprints, and your veins. It's GREAT!

And smells way better.

Step 6: Clean Your Foot

Just like mama always told you to do, time to clean up your foot. You can use a toothpick to remove alginate toe jam, and you can patch up some air bubbles with dabs of concrete. Sand parts like the top that you want smooth, and leave any imperfections that you like, too. After all, they're kinda neat.

Step 7: Attach Your Handle or Knob

I accidentally left too much bolt exposed. No problem. I used a vice and a hacksaw to take off most of it, and screwed on a knob for easy moving about. Test out the weight to make sure you can lift it without cracking. Whew! It worked.

Step 8: Give It Bumpers

If you're sensitive about your floor, your foot, or the door, you can give it tiny bumpers with furniture pads. These ones are adhesive so simply stick on. I placed them on the sole of my foot, but left the sides plain concrete. They also add some friction for some good door stoppage action.

Step 9: You Got a Foot in the Door!

Well huzzah! You're off! You've begun! You have a freaky zombie-like concrete foot around your house! You can use your foot as a door stop, a paper weight, a gavel, anything. But now putting your foot down has a little more weight.

Hope you enjoy, have fun, and keep exploring. :)