Perfect for Halloween, our five-fingered candleholders and tabletop decorations bring a spooky addition to an entryway station, tablescape, or mantel. These DIY creations are made of plaster and get a ghoulish gray cast from a brush dipped in black gouache.
plaster hands project

You'll use your own hands to create these molds—which make the perfect accents to your Halloween party's tablescape (create candlestick holders if you decide to go this route!) or trick-or-treating station; arrange them in and around the candy bowl for spooky touch (pun intended). We used a food-grade alginate, a water-based skin-safe molding powder, to cast these five-fingered accents. Pro tip: Don't put your hands in the plaster of Paris; it can cause burns.


What you need


How to do it

Part 1

Step 1

Stir alginate with water in a 1-to-1 ratio, nearly filling the 2-quart container.

Step 2

Position hand how you would like it to be cast (if you want the sculpture to function as a candleholder, hold a candle in your hand, keeping it straight; then carefully remove candle), and insert hand into alginate mixture. Hold still 3 to 5 minutes, until the mold is set.

Step 3

Pull hand out (this won't affect the mold). Mix plaster of Paris according to package directions, and pour into mold to fill. Let set for several hours.

Step 4

Remove entire mold from container. Use craft knife to cut the mold in half neatly, and remove plaster hand. Set aside to dry completely (this may take a few days). You can reuse the same mold several times over the course of a day or so. Just reassemble the pieces, securing with masking tape, then put it back into the container. Stop using the mold once it dries out.

    Comments (1)

    How difficult was this project?
    Martha Stewart Member
    June 8, 2022
    Difficulty: Kind of Easy
    Useful and detailed instructions 👏 I tried this Casting Kit which is available in India. Worked Great for Me. 👍