Getting Started In Alginate Casting With Body Casting Materials

How to Make a Mould of a Child's Hand.

What is Lifecasting?

Lifecasting, alginate casting or body casting are all words used to describe the casting of moulds made directly from the human body using special body casting materials.

Originally a compound called moulage, a heat reversible gelatine that sticks to virtually nothing, was used to make the moulds. The problem was that it needed to be applied hot and this has lead to the development of a range of alginate body casting materials. These safely do the same job and most importantly at body temperatures.

Alginate Castings are commonly made from hands, feet, busts and from full torsos. It is quite practical and safe to make alginate castings from babies hands and feet due to the quick setting nature of the body casting materials and type of non-toxic alginate used.

Lifecasting with MinitMold

Aldax has developed MinitMold (an alginate based product) to fill the needs of our alginate casting customers.

It is a dry white powder which when mixed with water yields a thick creamy mix with a 3 to 8 minute working time. The normal mix is 1 part (by volume) of MinitMold to 1 part of water. By using 2 parts or 3 parts of water the time may be extended.


MinitMold is one of the easiest to use body casting materials, is non-toxic and OK for body and face casts. It yields excellent reproduction of fine detail and has early strength so you can de-mould quickly. This property is valuable when moulding baby’s hands.

Although not essential, a thin film of petroleum jelly can be applied to the skin of your model to aid release.

For babies and children up to 2 years of age we recommend using 1 part of MinitMold to 1 part of water. With this mix, the time required for immersing the child’s hand can be reduced to 30 seconds. Use 2 parts of water to 1 part MinitMold if you require a longer time frame.

Making a Mould with MinitMold

It is advisable to gain some experience with the MinitMold range of body casting materials before going on to do a face mask or a full torso. An ideal subject is to make a reproduction of your own or a child’s hand.

Basically it involves selecting a container which could be a milk carton or something similar, mixing the water and MinitMold, pouring into the container and just before it sets immersing your hand into the gel.


As much as possible, keep the hand still while the mould is setting up. When the mould is set, wiggle the hand gently from side to side to break the suction and let air in around the hand.


If the mould feels really tight it should be excellent. With a firm steady motion, pull the mould off the hand. It will not hurt the baby or child and the mould does not stick. Marvel at the detail you can see inside.


Making the Casting

The mould can be used immediately for casting. Mix the plaster or gypsum according to directions and pour into the mould. When set in about 20 to 30 minutes, remove from the mould, if necessary cutting away the mould from the plaster with a stencil knife or similar.


It is very rare that you can obtain more than one alginate casting from each mould. After drying the plaster can be decorated to taste. A more lasting casting can be obtained by using our StonePlast a hard Gypsum type plaster that resists chipping.


MinitMold is available in 450gm, 900gm, and 1.8kg sizes.

MinitMold Hand Making Kit contains everything you need for producing the highest quality hand life castings and comes complete with comprehensive instructions.


Copyright 2010 Aldax Enterprises Pty Ltd