Plaster of Paris Beads

Create big beads out of Plaster of Paris and make them into bracelets or necklaces, incorporate them into your wind chime or mobile projects, or use them as colorful sidewalk chalk.
Plaster of Paris Beads craft

Materials

  • Ice cube tray or other shapes mold
  • Plaster of Paris powder
  • Poster paint
  • Water
  • Paper cup or any disposable container
  • Measuring cup
  • Spoon
  • Petroleum jelly
  • Drinking straws
  • Scissors
  • Clear acrylic sealer (optional)

Safety Tips

  • Plaster of Paris powder should be used under adult supervision. The powder is extremely fine and easily dispersed through the air. Using a dust mask is highly recommended.
  • Never mix Plaster of Paris with your bare hands.
  • Watch out for this sign Ask for an adult's help. It means adult help is needed for the particular step.

Steps

Step 1 Plaster of Paris Beads craft 1. Cut drinking straws into 1 ½ to 2-inch long pieces. Grease the outside of each drinking straw with petroleum jelly.
Step 2 Plaster of Paris Beads craft 2. An ice cube tray would make a great mold for your Plaster of Paris shapes. You can also look around your home for other mold possibilities such as chocolate candy trays, plastic egg trays, or muffin trays. Grease the inside of each cube or shape compartment with petroleum jelly.
Step 3 Plaster of Paris Beads craft Ask for an adult's help3. Make a Plaster of Paris mixture following the package instructions of your particular brand of Plaster of Paris powder. Typically the ratio used for a Plaster of Paris mixture is 2 parts Plaster of Paris powder to 1 part water. You can also use our step-by-step guide for mixing Plaster of Paris.
Step 4 Plaster of Paris Beads craft 4. Add some poster paint once the mixture is free of lumps and has a smooth consistency. Add more paint if you want to achieve a deeper hue. Continue mixing from side to side until the color is uniformly dispersed.
Step 5 Plaster of Paris Beads craft 5. Allow the mixture to stand for a minute before pouring it into your mold. A Plaster of Paris mixture made using ½ cup of Plaster of Paris powder and ¼ cup water can fill about 4 to 6 compartments of a typical ice cube tray.
Step 6 Plaster of Paris Beads craft 6. Insert a short drinking straw piece at the center of each Plaster of Paris shape. Push down the straw until it touches the bottom of the tray.
Step 7 Plaster of Paris Beads craft 7. Repeat the process to make other colors. Let the shapes set completely. Plaster of Paris normally takes around 15 to 20 minutes to solidify. Though it would be best to let the Plaster of Paris shapes sit for at least 4 hours before removing them from the mold.
Step 8 Plaster of Paris Beads craft 8. Loosen the shapes from the mold by slightly twisting the tray sideways, just as you would when removing ice from an ice tray. Carefully pull each entire shape out by holding it by the drinking straw. If you greased the tray properly, the shapes should come off quite easily.
Step 9 Plaster of Paris Beads craft 9. Remove the drinking straw from each shape. If the drinking straws do not come off easily, use the tip of a paint brush to push them out.
Step 10a Plaster of Paris Beads craft Ask for an adult's help10. To waterproof the Plaster of Paris, ask an adult to spray on or brush over 2 layers of clear acrylic sealer over your finished big beads. Once dry, make some crafty bracelets or necklaces by stringing these big funky Plastic Paris shapes with plastic beads and colorful drinking straw pieces.
Step 10b Plaster of Paris Beads Mobile craft   Incorporate these big Plaster of Paris beads into your next craft project. This pretty shapes mobile is made by stringing the Plaster of Paris shapes with some plastic beads and small bells.

More Ideas

Step 12c Plaster of Paris Sidewalk chalk Without a sealer or varnish (Step 10), the Plaster of Paris shapes can be used as a drawing or coloring tool. You'll discover that the they are somewhat similar to chalk.They can be used on paper or you can make some sidewalk art with them.
Step 12c Plaster of Paris Sidewalk chalk How about making multi-colored Plaster of Paris sidewalk chalk or beads? Check out how at our Rainbow Sidewalk Chalk craft.

Earth Friendly Tips

  • Do not throw Plaster of Paris into the drain, it will clog the pipes. If you have any leftover mixture, let it harden, then throw it into a garbage can.
  • If you want to save spoons or containers used for mixing Plaster of Paris, scrape off the hardened plaster and wipe the utensils with a damp cloth.

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