Not many of us could imagine ourselves dancing on stage while very pregnant like Cardi B did at Sunday night's BET Awards, let alone showing off our baby bumps in a bejeweled Dolce & Gabbana bodysuit and leggings. But as the rapper announced that she and husband Offset are expecting baby number two on live TV, she also posted a beautiful photo to Instagram of her pregnant belly in what appears to be a plaster belly cast. And that cast is a little more accessible to us than Cardi's custom couture.
The practice of making belly casts of pregnant people has been around for quite some time, but it's never been easier to do than it is now. The choices used to be quite limited, keeping maternity casts more of a novelty item. You could (and still can) go to a professional (an artist, doula, or photographer) to get your torso covered in Vaseline, gauze, and plaster, spending hundreds of dollars to have your temporary pregnant shape immortalized. Pros are, by definition, more practiced in this and can add their own artistic flair to the finished product (with paint and accessories). Or, if you're an artistic DIY-er yourself, you could buy your own supplies and experiment with this admittedly messy process at home. We'll give you exactly one guess as to which route Cardi B went to get her body art (and we don't think it involved a trip to Michael's).
But, as with all else crafty and baby-related, retailers have figured out a way to make this easier for expecting parents. Belly casting kits include everything you need to craft a replica of your life-giving body for as little as $17. That means you can even do it more than once, casting your belly earlier in pregnancy and all the way up into week 40, if you like. You can keep these as simple private mementos, perhaps to show your little one where they came from. You can also purchase acrylic paint to decorate these sculptures into something more suited for display in a nursery or elsewhere in your home.
Best Belly Casting Kits to Buy Online
- Proudbody Basic Belly Casting Kit, $16.99
- Proudbody Deluxe Belly Casting Kit, $39.99
- Pearhead Belly Casting Kit, $16.99
- Pearhead Belly Cast Decorating Kit, $9.99
- Expecting Moms Pregnancy Casting Kit, $19.99
- Craft Smart Plaster Wrap, $6.49
Making a belly cast requires a bit of time, and a tolerance for getting covered in wet plaster. As with any other products you decide to use on your skin while pregnant, we suggest doing a small patch test the day before you do the full belly cast to make sure you don't have an allergic reaction to the materials.
This is also something that's much easier to do with a partner or assistant. And here's something to motivate you, from a review of the Proud Body Basic kit on Amazon: "It made a huge mess and you def need to shower after, but my husband had a great time. … Made for good foreplay fun."
Here are some of the best options for belly cast kits available online.
The Basic Belly Casting Kit
This very affordable basic kit from Amazon has tons of great reviews (complete with photos, so you know they’re legit). It includes a lubricant to apply first, gauze, gloves, a drop cloth, and plaster, but no finishing materials. For $23 more, you can get the Deluxe kit which includes smoothing plaster and sealant to make a glossier finished product.
Buy It! Proudbody Basic Belly Casting Kit, $16.99; amazon.com
Belly Casting Kit With Decorations
Moms report that the Pearhead kit, available for $17 at Target, is super easy to use and dries quickly – which is very important, both for sensitive bellies and packed schedules. Throw in a Pearhead Belly Cast Decorating Kit for $10, and you’ll get paints, ribbons, glitter, and stencils to create your masterpiece.
Buy It! Pearhead Belly Casting Kit, $16.99; target.com
Handmade Pregnancy Casting Kit
If you’re in the mood to support smaller entrepreneurs, you’ve got plenty of belly casting kits available on Etsy. This version includes similar supplies as the others.
Buy It! Expecting Moms Pregnancy Casting Kit, $19.99; etsy.com
Belly Cast Without the Kit
Now that you’ve been perusing these kits, you may be the type of person who prefers to customize your belly casting experience. The advantage of buying the plaster, gauze, and paints on your own is that you can have more than enough supplies to experiment with multiple versions of your cast. (Or just start over if you mess up.) This plaster wrap is both plaster and gauze in one, eliminating one of your steps.
Buy It! Craft Smart Plaster Wrap, $6.49, michaels.com
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