Monday, October 18, 2010

Cub-Scouting It With Footprints

Eli's last requirement for achieving his Bear Badge in Cub Scouts was to make a cast of his footprint.  He wanted to pour some plaster of paris into a box and step into it leaving a foot indentation.  I had grander plans.  This is actually something we have done a couple times before.  I think I read about how to do it on the Family Fun website, but it has been so many years that I can't quite remember.  All you need is some plaster of paris, water, a container, something to stir with, and some sand. 

Plaster of Paris is actually pretty cheep.  I think this 25 lb bag (way bigger than you need) was like $7.  I bought this at Home Depot a few years back.  They sell smaller amounts, but I am sort of a plaster of paris junky.  You will see what I mean when you start messing with it yourself.  You can also get a nice, small box from Joanns, Hobby Lobby, or Micheals if you would rather go there. 
 *Bonus* then you can use a coupon!   

I poured 4 cups of the plaster of paris powder into our Kool-aid pitcher.  I don't think the PofP (plaster of paris) is food-grade so don't tell Scott.  He is finicky about things like that :0)

I added 2 cups of water.  You don't want to add the water until you are ready to pour.  I am sure this is thicker than they say on the bag-didn't read it myself...this time-but it will set faster if you mix it thicker. 
After all, isn't speed the most important thing when crafting with kids!?! 

Once you pour the water in, mix it up.  I realized later I was probably not supposed to wisk it.  If you really beat the stuff you will make bubbles in the mix that will still be there when it hardens.  It didn't seem to be a problem, but noted for future reference :0) 

We just used our sandbox sand.  I think the original idea was to do at the beach with that nice fine-grain sand.  We did this technique on the beach at the lake (northern Wisconsin) on our family trip one year.  That sand was really more like rocks and the footprints turned out GREAT!!!

Back to the here and now...our sand box...get it wet.  Not soaked, but wet enough that your foot can make an impression in the sand and that impression stays there.   

This is actually the point where I add the water and stir. 
Pour your Plaster of Paris into the impressions.

Now wait.  It is really only 15 minutes or so.

What do you do with the leftovers?  Grab those candy molds you bought but never used and fill 'em up!  Did you know that molded PofP works GREAT as sidewalk chalk!?!  How cool is that!  Making your own shaped sidewalk chalk!  You can even add food coloring when it is wet.

When you pull the plaster of paris out of the sand it will be covered.  Grab your hose...

and rinse!  Most of the sand comes off, but some stays imprinted into the footprint. 

How cute is that!?!  What does Grandma need more than a collection of tiny footprints through her garden?  I have my kids footprints we made that year up north still to this day!  The littlest foot in this picture wasn't even made yet :0)  I love to see them as I walk up to the front door. 

Oh yeah!  That is how you make a cub scout foot imprint :0)

And check out those left overs!!!  Emmalee has been on a painting kick lately (has nothing to do with all of mommy's painting orders, right?) and these make a lovely, cheep way to keep her busy.  You can squish a magnet in the plaster of paris before it sets and use them as fridge magnets when they are all painted.  You can also throw gems or colored rocks into the mold first, then pour the plaster of paris for a blinged-out version!  Have fun.  It is like potato chips- You can't do just one!!


  1. Thank you - I'm a Bear leader and we're doing this for our Den next week!

  2. thank you... but is there a way to get rid of all the sand??

  3. I agree, is there any way to get the sand off or is that the final product?

  4. Thanks. I plan on doing this for a Bear Den meeting coming up. I like the sand on the final product. Covered with a waterproof/weatherproof coating they'd be neat if placed in a garden.

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  6. You know, I liked the sand. We did ours at the beach and I thought it was a nice effect. If you don't want the sand, perhaps you could try laying a big piece of saran wrap down before you step. You might end up with wrinkles instead of sand, but it might work better for you. One other thing that might work {no guarantees} is to use salt dough instead of sand. Obviously it would take a lot of salt dough to make molds of everyone's feet, but it would work. Take a huge piece, step in it, then fill with the plaster of paris. Good luck!

    The Sew*er, The Caker, The CopyCat Maker

  7. Thanks I did not think to do in bucket of sand! I was going to do outside in the dirt but this is way cooler


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