Lifecast Process


Gypsum cement plaster



Drill or something to stir alginate


Bucket to pour alginate into

News paper

Plastic sheets



Step by Step Tutorial:

  1. Prepare your model
    1. Find a place to lay down to make sure your model is comfortable, since they will be staying still for 8 minutes.
    2. Put plastic underneath the model and your working area so there won’t be a mess.
  2. Make the frame (for where the alginate will rest)
    1. Get a cup and cut it
      1. Cut a sliver from the top rim of the cup to the base
      2. Cut the base off of the cup
      3. Cut the cup in half so you have two pieces, the top half and the bottom half of the cup.
    2. The second, lower half, of the cup will be placed over your subjects mouth and will act as a frame as you pour the alginate in.
    3. Once you make the (lower half of the) cup a good size over the subject’s mouth, tape the open flaps to that measurement
    4. Place frame (cup) over your subjects mouth and press lightly over the subjects skin (with the cup) and make sure there aren’t any openings where the alginate, once poured, can seep through.
      1. If there are any openings you can use clay to seal them so that the alginate won’t escape the cup and seep into unwanted places.
  3. Make the alginate
    1. First fill 1 bucket full of water
    2. Then fill another bucket, the same size as the other since the proportion is 1:1, with alginate powder.
    3. Mix the alginate and water until you get a smooth consistency.
  4. Pour alginate
    1. Before pouring, make sure your model is ready with their pose.
    2. Gently pour alginate into the frame over your subjects mouth until the cup is filled al the way up. (model must keep their pose throughout the whole entire process)
  5. Taking off the alginate (8 min process)
    1. After at least 8 minutes, and the alginate has settled and hardened to a jello-like consistency, pry the alginate off slowly to ensure that the form and structure of the mold doesn’t get affected.
  6. The other half of the cup
    1. Attach the other half of the cup (top half) to the bottom half which hold the alginate and tape/put clay around the openings to create a perfectly sealed cup.
  7. From alginate to plaster to sculpture
    1. Mix plaster powder with water at a 45:100 ratio.
      1. When eyeballing it, pour water into a bucket and then pour the powder after slowly until a small mounttain of plaster powder forms at the top.
      2. Then mix until you get a thick pancake-mix-like consistency.
      3. Once you’re finished mixing, spray the alginate mold with release spray (non-stick spray so that the alginate and plaster don’t get attached together)
      4. pour the newly formulated plaster liquid into the top half of the cup which you’ve already attached to the bottom half
      5.  Now…. wait, this process should take at least 24 hours before you revisit it.
      6.  After waiting for the plaster to really harden, take off both cups to find the alginate and plaster bare and attached together.
      7. Now you separate these two (hands or tools) and come out with an alginate mold in one hand and a finished plaster sculpture in the other.

4 thoughts on “Lifecast Process

  1. Team Alexis,
    Your tutorial is extremely thorough, and if I were to be casting my face for the first time, I would definitely be able to understand this and complete it correctly! However, I think it would be easier if you added pictures after each of your steps to make it more understandable. Regardless, I loved that you all documented each and every step and I liked the “much later” you added into the video to give it more character. Overall, great job!


  2. Team Alexis,

    Great tutorial! Your steps were easy to understand and well written, but it could have definitely helped if pictures were included. Otherwise, I thought everything was perfect.



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