Plaster Casting

Skill level: 4-5

Time: Less then one hour excluding drying time


  • ACTIVA Insta-Mold
  • ACTIVA Perma-Stone
  • Mixing Bowls
  • Pan large enough for all hands
  • Acrylic Paint: Black
  • Golden Fluid Acrylics: Iridescent Bronze (Fine)
  • Gold Paint pen
  • 1” paint brush
  • ¼” flat paint brush
  • Black Sharpie marker
  • Spray bottle with water
  • Cooking oil
  • Electric Mixer or hand egg-beater
  • Measuring cups
  • Sandpaper


Note: I rated the skill level 4-5 because of the mixing process; the rest of the project is pretty straightforward.

STEP 1  Find a container large enough for all of the hands you want in your plaque.

STEP 2  Put the dry Insta-Mold into this container so it is approximately an inch deep, now measure the dry powder and set aside.

STEP 3  Determine how much water you will need according to the directions on the Insta-Mold label. Put the water in a bowl large enough to accommodate the water and the Insta-Mold powder.

STEP 4  Mix the powder into the water, if you have an electric mixer this works well; you can also use a hand egg beater. If this is the first time you have used insta-mold you need to work fairly quickly and keep the mixture on the thin side. Have everyone ready to put their hands into the mixture.

STEP 5  Tap the bowl on the counter to bring the air bubbles to the top, pour the mixture into the container. Have each person put their hand into the mixture and leave it there until the mixture is set. This will take about 3-5 minutes.

STEP 6  Take hands out slowly. Put cooking oil around the edges of the container.

STEP 7  Use the same amount of Perma-Stone powder as Insta-Mold powder, mix according to label directions, tap on counter to bring bubbles to the surface, pour into the mold, tap the container on the counter to get out the air bubbles, set aside to dry. Be sure to rinse off all of the mixing items before the perma-stone dries; it will stick to them.

STEP 8  In an hour or two it will be dry enough to remove from the pan. Turn it over on a towel and tap the bottom of the pan; put a knife around the edges of the pan to loosen if necessary. Remove the insta-mold from the plaster, allow drying over night.

STEP 9  Sand off any bumps with sandpaper.

STEP 10  Mix the Bronze paint half and half with glazing medium, spray the water onto the plaster plaque then paint on the Bronze paint mixture, spray again, keep doing this until the plaque is covered including the sides.

STEP 11  Write "Happy Mother’s Day" with black paint, use the gold paint pen to highlight the letters. Use a black sharpie marker to sign the names.

STEP 12  Display in a strong plate holder.

Project Designer: Carolyn Stearns