Sick of those same old tired holiday decorations you've been putting up each year since avocado appliances were in vogue? Well fear not because it stops today. This project will give you everything you need to bring the beauty and warmth of holiday baby doll hands into your very own home.
Step 1: Stuff You're Gonna Need...
2 Plastic baby doll arms & hands (try a craft store if you can't beg any off your sister)
Plaster of Paris
1-2 Tubes silicone caulk (any kind will work I like the clear 100% silicone stuff)
Gold and Silver KRYLON spray paint
A piece of scrap wood and a couple screws
Cooking spray (optional)
Small paintbrush (don't use your favorite sable brush, it's gonna get trashed)
Cup of soapy water
Tub and stick for mixing plaster
Step 2: Make a Mold of Those Precious Little Hands
You could just buy a bunch of baby hands at the store and paint them but that would cost a lot and there would be no instructable so we're going to make silicone molds off the pair of hands you got and use them to cast lots of plaster ones so you can decorate your whole tree.
First, make a stand like the picture below from the scrap wood and screws so that you have somewhere to put the hands while they are drying
We're going to cover the hands with the silicone caulk. It will take a few coats to get it thick enough (at leas 1/4") to be sturdy. You can use some cooking spray as a mold release. Spray it on the hands and then wipe it mostly off with a paper towel. I forgot to do this and the silicone still peeled right off so if you choose not to you'll probably be OK.
It's best to paint on the first coat with a brush to get all the detail. Squirt a dollop of silicone on a plate and start applying it with the brush. Work it into all the little crevices. After you get both hands coated cap the end of the caulk and go find something else to do. It's boring to watch caulk dry and it's going take a few hours at least.
Once the first coat is dry you can apply the silicone directly with the caulking gun. Have a cup of soapy water nearby. Once you have glopped on a bunch of silicone, dip your finger in the water and gently pat the caulk to work out the air bubbles and spread the silicone evenly.
It will probably take 3-4 coats to build it up to a 1/4" thickness. Make sure you goop generously around those chubby little fingers.
Once everything is dry take a sharp razor knife and carefully cut along both sides of the mold so that you can release the plastic baby doll hands. I left the area around the fingers intact and just wiggled them out. Gently remove the doll hands.
Step 3: Casting More, More, More
This is where Santa's workshop kicks into gear. Were going to cast multiples of the hands in plaster. Take the silicone molds and tape them back together. Don't be scroogy with the tape. Cut a couple of pieces of wire and bend them into hooks with little wiggly parts at the ends(so the wire doesn't pull out).
Put the molds in something to hold them upright. I used an old electrical junction box because it happened to be sitting nearby. Mix up some plaster to a pour-able consistency and fill the molds. Runny is good. It helps avoid trapped air bubbles. Jiggle the molds in the box for a minute to free any trapped air and then stick the hooks in when the plaster is stiff enough to hold them in place but before its too stiff to put them in at all. If you mess up and the plaster has already gotten too hard, no worries, just let it set, drill a hole in it later and glue a hook in. (ask me why I know this...)
Give the plaster 20-30 minutes to set and then un-tape the molds and carefully remove the gorgeous plaster hands you just cast. Now is a good time to do any smoothing of the seams if you want.
Repeat until you have a table full of plaster hands.
After you've made 40 million castings and you never want to see another baby hand, stop already and let them dry for a couple days. What? Don't want to wait a couple days? OK, you can dry them in the oven at the lowest setting for a couple hours.
Step 4: Krylon Magic
Hold on to your hat, this is where we go from merely cool to simply fabulous. Put on your latex gloves, bust out your silver and gold krylon spray paint (or as I like to call it, project in a can) and give those babies a good coating of holiday cheer.
Take your beauties and get decorating!!!
If you liked this project, check out our site where we chronicle our Mighty Projects on our Mini Farm (AKA our backyard).
Finalist in the
Krylon Holiday Decorations Contest