Plaster of Paris
Whisk and/or mixing spoon
Rag or paper towels
Picture hanging wire
FolkArt Acrylic craft paints
Paintbrushes in various sizes
Sequins and rhinestones
1. Prep the mermaid mold by spraying it with mold release. You can buy mold release or make it yourself by putting a mixture of 1 cup water and 1 tablespoon dish soap into a spray bottle. Pour the excess liquid out of the mold. Make sure the mold is level by placing something underneath it (we used a scrap of floral foam—you can also use a tray filled with rice or oatmeal).
2. Mix the Plaster of Paris with water, using a ratio of roughly one part water to one and one half parts plaster. Stir with a whisk to prevent lumps from forming. Pour the plaster into the mold. If you’re working with a smaller mold, it may be easier to transfer the plaster to the mold with a large mixing spoon.
3. Cut a piece of picture hanging wire. Form it into a “U” shape and curl each end into a spiral. Once the plaster has hardened a bit (about 15-20 minutes), stick the wire into the plaster to create a hanger. The spirals will help anchor the wire into the plaster.
4. Allow the plaster to harden completely. Depending on how big your mold is, this can take anywhere from thirty minutes to a few hours. The plaster will heat up as it hardens; once the mold has cooled off, you can take the mermaid out. Sometimes the plaster pops right out of the mold, and other times it needs to be coaxed out a bit. Be careful not to break the plaster as you remove it from the mold. Use a nail file on the plaster to smooth out any rough edges.
5. Once out of the mold, the plaster needs an additional 24 hours to dry out completely. Painting the plaster before it is completely dry will lock in moisture and create mildew. Paint the mermaid with FolkArt craft paints. Thin paintbrushes are great to use for smaller details. Once the paint is dry, spray the mermaid with one or two coats of clear varnish. When the varnish has dried, add details like rhinestones and sequins with gem glue.