Should you try belly casting? Mum-to-be Gemma Hogg slapped the Plaster of Paris on her burgeoning bump.
This is my first pregnancy and it’s been an incredible journey so far. I’ve loved watching my body changing and, along with my partner, Oli, I’ve been amazed at how my belly has grown over the past 35 weeks. A DIY belly-cast seemed like a great way to capture this magical moment in time forever.
When I opened the kit to find plastic sheets, a pinny and gloves, I realised it wasn’t going to be a one-person job.
When I opened the kit to find plastic sheets, a pinny and gloves, I realised it wasn’t going to be a one-person job
So I roped in Oli, selling it to him as something fun for us to do together. We set up in our living room, where there’s an easy-to-clean wooden floor, in case the mess managed to escape the plastic.
As the instructions helpfully advised, I sat on something comfy, as it was going to take at least an hour to do the casting. The kit includes a little tub of Vaseline that you need to rub all over your belly and boobs, to stop the plaster bandages from sticking to your skin.
And then it was time to lay the bandages over the designated area. Simple, right?
After about five minutes, we discovered that belly-casting probably wasn’t going to be good for our relationship
After about five minutes, we discovered that belly-casting probably wasn’t going to be good for our relationship. The bandages were wet, and that made me cold, and as Oli slapped on sheet after sheet of wet bandage, I got grumpier and grumpier.
But we struggled through, me trying to smooth the bandages down before they set, and Oli attempting to work out how high up, low down and far round the sides the casting should go. At one point, when Oli applied a particularly long piece of bandage, I started to worry if it would be my fate to be trapped inside the cast forever!
Halfway through the process, we began to see the funny side
Halfway through the process, we began to see the funny side, and after we’d put on a couple of layers and the plaster began to harden, the cast started to take shape, which spurred us
We realised it was going to make a lovely memento of my pregnancy, and laughed about how we could produce it at our child’s 18th birthday party in typical embarrassing-parent fashion. We discussed what we’d do with it when it was finished too: there are plenty of options, from painting it, making it into a lampshade or even using it as a fruit bowl!
If we’d made the belly-cast on a leisurely Sunday afternoon, rather than an evening after a long commute and day at work in London, I’m sure it would have been a less stressful experience.
But anyway, the trauma was worth it: I’m really pleased we did it, though I’m sure we’ll never agree exactly what to do with the cast in the future.
Unfortunately, the plastic sheets didn’t quite catch all the splashes, so a bit of mopping up was in order. Luckily for me, I was covered in plaster and Vaseline, so I couldn’t help with the clean-up. It really wasn’t poor Oli’s night!
Gemma tried The Everlasting Castings Deluxe Pregnant Belly-Casting Kit, £29.99, everlastingcastings.co.uk