Best Project Yet

Or perhaps it would be better if I didn’t get your expectations too high.

This was just a little something my mom and I threw together this week.

Thanks to my buddy, Dana, and her miter box, we were able to make a frame for it. Thanks to my son, we needed to buy some white satin spray paint to touch up where he sprayed green food coloring on it. Of course, he’s also the one to thank that it exists at all, so I suppose it all evens out (plus, I was the one who said, “Hey! I’ll fill a squirt bottle with water and green food coloring and hand it to the baby! That’ll keep him occupied while we work on this one-of-a-kind art object!”). And a very special thanks to my doula, Stacy Smith, for helping to capture my off-center belly in plaster.


Painting the Board

Waiting for the paint to dry. (Have you guessed what we're making yet?)


Better A or B? We painted both so we could choose which we liked better. The one we didn't use (the one on the left) became the new insert for the cover to our crawlspace.

Belly on a Board

In process. My son was quite interested in the project at this stage.


The finished and mounted belly cast. This is on our bedroom wall and will likely freak me out when I see it in the middle of the night tonight until I remember what it is.


For those unfamiliar with belly casts, this is an actual plaster cast of my torso from when I was about 37 weeks pregnant with my son. It involved cotton impregnated (tee hee) with plaster, lots of oil, and me sitting in my underwear in my kitchen. I’d intended to get one while pregnant with my daughter, but my water broke before I could have my friend make the belly cast for me. It turned out I would have had plenty of time to have my belly cast done before my daughter made her appearance, but we didn’t know that at the time and missed the opportunity.

At any rate, I have this one, which has been collecting dust on top of my dresser for nearly a year. I’m quite pleased with the result! My husband’s reaction was, “Wow! That’s really nice! Those aren’t real flowers, are they?”

My mom’s flight was delayed, so she’s staying an extra day and most of tomorrow. We’re planning an outing, though, so we’re unlikely to complete any major tasks before she needs to be at the airport. I plan to bake two loaves of bread and she plans to prune a tree and two bushes and maybe rake some leaves. Just a casual morning at home before we head out for a picnic lunch.


  1. Penny · May 11, 2018

    Hi, could you let me know how you attached your cast to the wood please?


    • Charity · May 11, 2018

      Thanks for asking, Penny! My mother affixed three small pieces of wood to the background piece (the one we painted blue), one for the bottom of the cast and one for each of the two sides. These small (about 5 inches or so long) pieces of wood were just inside the edges of the cast, and my mom drove wood screws sideways through the overlapping plaster/gauze of the cast into the smaller pieces of wood. I’m not sure I’ve explained it well, but hopefully this makes at least a little bit of sense.


  2. Shelly · June 18, 2011

    I had the most memorable experience creating a belly cast on my pregnant daughter just days before she delivered her second boy. We had lots of fun and laughter during the process, and it turned out beautiful. She wants to hang it on her wall and your example gives great inspiration for what we can do. 🙂


    • CJ · June 18, 2011

      It was very fun to do. I have a friend who painted hers metallic gold. It’s really beautiful. Reminds me of Egyptian sarcophagi. Then I’ve seen a lot that have an image of a baby and the placenta “tree of life” painted on then lacquered so it’s shiny, which is quite lovely, too. I was too afraid of making a mistake to try that route, though. My mom had considered using the belly cast as a mold for a statue to use as a centerpiece in her garden. There are so many things to do with a belly cast. I hope you and your daughter have a great time coming up with your own mounting plan!


  3. Shelly · June 18, 2011

    I have the most memorable experience creating a belly cast on my pregnant daughter just days before she delivered her second boy. We had lots of fun and laughter during the process, and it turned out beautiful. She wants to hang it on her wall and your example gives great inspriration for what we can do. 🙂


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  5. Victoria · October 18, 2010

    At the last minute I changed my mind and I couldn’t throw out my two belly casts so I packed them up and put them in storage. Someday I may hang them again. I’m so glad I made them. It’ll be lovely hanging in your room!


    • CJ · October 18, 2010

      I’m so glad to hear you kept your belly casts, Victoria! When you said you were giving yours away, I actually considered passing mine along to my friend who’s a prenatal massage therapist and was decorating her new office with belly casts. (In case you haven’t figured it out, you’re my decluttering model.) When I decided I couldn’t get rid of mine, I felt overly sentimental, but now that I see it on the wall, I’m very glad I trusted my intuition and kept it. I’m strangely relieved that you had the same instincts!


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