It sounded easy enough at first, you just need:
1. Some sand
2. A picture frame
3. Plaster of Paris (I read this article on how to make your own. Big mistake.)
So to start, you take the cardboard and glass out of the frame, put the cardboard on top, flip the frame over, and now you have a nice space to pour your sand into. Note that I tried using plastic bags to cover my workspace.. lets call this Mistake #1: You need to cover the entire surface you're working on. If you're doing it on the floor, cover every inch of the floor. If the table, cover the entire table.
Why cover the entire surface, you ask? Because you're going to get sand everywhere! Sure, you'll try really hard to keep it all in the frame, but the sand will laugh at you and go where it pleases. If you manage to keep it in the frame, try to level it out as best you can. A ruler would be great, however I just used a leftover piece of cardboard.
If you want to use a kid's handprint or footprint, be prepared to use that ruler often. You're going to be smoothing out that sand at least 5-10 times. I tried with both a 1-month old and a 3-year old and both weren't easy. The 1-month old was a two-person process: one person to hold the baby, the other to plant the foot. The 3-year old wanted to play with the sand. You know what? This would be a great project for... fish. Dead fish. Do this with a dead fish.
|See that hole in the footprint's heel? The frame had a hole.|
Don't buy a frame with a hole in it.
So here's where Mistakes #2.. #3... #953 occurred: trying to make DIY Plaster of Paris. Just skip the hassle and go buy some, people. Really. Because the first time, I did two parts water to one part glue, which is made it very runny. The second time I tried one part water to two parts glue but only had 1 bottle of glue, which wasn't nearly enough.
The third time I bought more glue but it still didn't reach the edges and the glue started to seep out, which is why you now see a garbage bag underneath. But really, I should have used a tarp. Because the glue and sand was now everywhere... sigh...
And then you're supposed to wait. And wait. And supposedly, after 24-28 hours, you wipe off the excess sand, spray it with sealer, and ta-da! It's supposed to look like this!
Instead... well... you're not supposed to be able to see the footprints, but you can clearly see the here... in the garbage bag...
But of course, it started to fall apart in my hands once I tried to remove the cardboard. See, this is why DIY Plaster of Paris is not a good idea.
And into the trash it went! Perhaps someday I'll try this again with store-bought plaster, though I think it won't be on a holiday and it won't be a gift. Happy Father's Day!
TOTAL COSTS: About $20 for this fail
$8.00 for frame from Michael's
$6.58 for sand from Michael's
$4.77 for 3 bottles of Elmer's glue from CVS
TOTAL AMOUNT OF TIME: 24 hours +30 minutes of prep
Or in other words, a big waste of time..
EASY-PEASY SCALE (1 super easy - 5 very difficult): 5 out of 5
If I hadn't of used DIY Plaster of Paris, this would have worked out much better. As it was, though, it was a big, grainy, slimy mess. You're better off just buying some sand and playing with that. The 3-year old was right all along!