I think every mother has said, "I wish I had some extra helping hands," at some point in their constant battle to keep things neat & clean. Now you can grant that wish with this "handy" gift that is both functional & sentimental!
Step 1: SUPPLIES
To make this perfect Mothers Day gift you will need:
A loving child willing to participate (with a little patients)
Plaster of Paris (about 2 cups per set of prints you want to make)
2 disposable containers (one to mix plaster in & one to make your prints in)
Easy melt soap
OPTIONAL: soap dye or scents
Step 2: MAKING THE PRINTS
First you will need to make a set of plaster hand prints. These will act as your mold for the soaps.
1. Using about 2 cups of plaster in a disposable container (or more depending on the size of your mold) mix in enough water until it becomes about the consistency of pudding.
2. Pour the mixed plaster into the disposable container you've selected for your prints mold & gentle tap & shake to smooth it & settle out any air bubbles.
3. Wait about 5 minutes for it to set up a little more & test it with your finger tip. (The plaster should hold the imprint of your finger but not require a lot of pressure)
4. Once the plaster is set enough press the child's hand into the plaster & hold it in that position for about 15 seconds.
5. Remove the child's hand & if your are satisfied with it you can clean them off & send them on their merry way. Then let the prints dry for about 30 minutes. If you are not satisfied with it, you can "erase" the print by once again shaking and taping the container, then try to make the prints again. (This is where the child's patients may play a role)
Step 3: PREPARING THE MOLD
Once your child's print has dried you can easily transform it into a soap mold.
1. Take your modeling clay & roll out a long coil. (The width of the coil will determine the thickness of the soap. Mine was about 1/4")
2. Take the coil and create a border or "retaining wall" around the hand print.
3. Gentle press the coil down to make sure there are no gaps between the clay & plaster print. (Don't smash it down, try to maintain the shape of the coil)
TIP: If you have plaster prints that you made during your childhood, you can also use them to make your very own helping hands for your mother too!
Step 4: MAKING THE SOAP
Once your mold is prepared you can pour your soap.
1. Melt down the soap according to package directions. (You'll have to "eyeball" the amounts based on the size of your print)
2. Add any coloring or scent you wish
3. Pour the hot soap into the mold. Filling it as full as you can without spilling over.
4. Let the soap cool completely to the touch.
5. Once the soap has cooled, remove the soap from the print by gently lifting up on the clay coil. The soap along with the coil should all come off in one piece.
Step 5: FINISHING TOUCHES
They'll look pretty sad at this point so you'll have to clean your newly formed "hand soap" up a bit.
1. The soap will be rather sweaty when you remove it, because you poured hot soap onto a cold plaster mold. Simply take a rag & wipe off the moisture.
2. Carefully pull away the clay coil. It will want to stick to the soap because the heat has softened it so much. Just remove as much of it as you can by hand.
3. Take a butter knife and carve off any excess clay & soap from the edges where your border was.
4. Lastly, take a damp rag & buff out any flaws and round out the edges.
OPTIONAL: package them up with a soap dish or other bathroom goodies & "hand" them out to all those deserving mommas.
NOTE: The coolest thing about this project was that I got to keep the plaster prints as a keepsake for myself, & that I was able to mass produce the Helping Hands for all the special mothers in my life!
HOORAY, HELPING HANDS! READY TO KEEP THINGS CLEAN & MAKE MOMMAS HAPPY!