When I was expecting, I was given a belly cast kit. Now obviously I love to be creative and I especially love to try new things, and making a belly cast was certainly something I hadn’t done before.
Naturally I began to research ideas on the internet where I found many beautiful pieces. But to be completely honest, the idea of having a life size sculpture of my body 20kgs heavier, pregnant, in the nude, on display.. just isn’t really my cup of tea! So I had a good look around for alternatives.
I came across an adorable photo of a tiny baby nestled inside her mother’s belly cast. Too cute! I had to do it!
At 38 weeks we made the cast, it was like a big, slightly odd shaped bowl. 4 weeks later, (12 days past his due date..) Oscar finally arrived! He was only 3 days old when I took these photos. He barely fit!
He had that frown for weeks! Aww..
I was happy with the photos and I thought the belly cast was a great idea. Then after a while it was forgotten about and at some point I ended up putting my small collection of cotton reels into it. I figured if it was going to be used as a bowl then I may as well pretty it up a bit. Back to the drawing board.. how to decorate it?
Tip: When it comes to decorating something like this for your home, it helps to really think about what it is that you like personally and what would suit your style.
I quite like earthy, organic and rustic decor so I decided to try and create a seed pod inspired bowl, with a golden centre.. to add a bit of shiny and because I had some brilliant metallic paints I wanted to play with. I also happened to have some gold leaf that I’d never tried before so now seemed like a good time.
First things first was to prepare the plaster cast. It was incredibly lumpy and rough so the first thing I did was coat it with some home made gesso. It’s really easy and cheap to make at home, you can find the instructions here.
I painted a few coats letting it dry overnight for each layer. Then I sanded like mad. Someone walking by (I was sitting out the front) saw me and commented on my ‘turtle shell’. It does look a bit like a turtle shell. I sanded away to get it smooth but I also intended on keeping it uneven and slightly bumpy to give it a natural look.
When I was satisfied I got right into painting it. I used acrylics to paint the inside gold and the outside dark brown. I painted a few coats, as you do. Then I had one of those wonderful moments where you make a mistake that turns into something awesome. I love those! I accidentally smeared brown paint on the inside so I blended it with the gold and I thought it turned out pretty neat! So I went with it.
When it was completely dry I put some gold leaf in the bottom of the bowl.
To add some depth and bring out the texture on the exterior I lightly brushed over the brown with some metallic bronze paint.
Looks even more like a turtle shell now.
In the end, I’m really happy with it. I like that it’s sentimental and useful. And it’s subtle. It’s a shame you won’t really see the gold in the bottom though because it wont take me long to fill it with random things again.
I wish I’d seen this earlier I’d have asked my daughter in law to do one. Her baby boy was born a month ago. It would’ve really been a sentimental piece. Such a lovely idea 👍
Love this Idea hope my daughter still has hers, I know she’ll let me do it she likes mermaids shells and such. make inside pearlessent and other outer shell or vice versa in and out.
A mermaid themed one would be beautiful! Especially with the pearlessent paint 😀
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What a really cool thing to have as art in your home! Love how you finished it!
Thank you! I’m glad you liked it, the pod currently holds all my random crafty things 🙂