A guide to using your home casting kit

20th July 2018

The purchasing of one of our home casting kits is the first step towards creating and owning beautiful and bespoke keepsakes that last a lifetime. If you do not live within our catchment area, or simply want a greater role in the process, you can take the moulds of hands and feet yourself from the comfort of your own home, when your baby is relaxed and in a familiar environment. Once you have successfully created your moulds, they are sent to our workshop where our skilled casters will create your wonderfully detailed casts.

An example of one of our casting kits

Our casting kit is fully equipped with everything you need to take four 3D moulds and is suitable for babies up to around 6 months old. Kits for older children, twins and even adults can also be made up upon request. Whilst this process may seem a little daunting, it’s actually very straightforward and the taking of a good cast is not as difficult as you may think.

Below you will find a step-by-step guide on how to use your casting kit, and there is also a video on the website, to help you through the process:

  1. Your first step will be to order a casting kit using the order form on our website, which can be found on the Casting Kit page. Your order will be confirmed and a secure link emailed to you by which you purchase the kit.
  2. Once you have received your kit and are ready to take the moulds, please make sure you have an extra pair of hands, some warm water, a mixing bowl, scissors and a spatula. It’s best to take the moulds when the baby is most relaxed, perhaps post-feed. Aren’t we all a little more chilled after some food?
  3. A Zoom casting session can also be arranged if you feel that you may need a little more guidance and a virtual hand to hold! Please email or call us directly to arrange a date for the Zoom casting session.
  4. Getting the water to its optimum temperature is imperative. In casting, it’s best to aim for 26°C, giving you one minute to mix and enough time to place the mousse into the mould and get your baby's foot in comfortably before it sets.
  5. The alginate (the mousse used to take the moulds) is temperature sensitive, meaning that if the water or room is very warm, the mixture will set very quickly. If you are casting on a hot day or in a hot room, it is recommended that you drop the water temperature to around 21/22° C.
  6. We recommend firstly taking a finger sample, so get the small tester pot and fill it with pink alginate, before shaking it into the mixing bowl. Fill the same pot up with 26°C (or adjusted accordingly) water and mix thoroughly together until you are left with a smooth paste. Scoop the mousse into the finger pot and place your finger into the mixture without touching the bottom or sides. After approximately 60 seconds, wriggle your finger free gently, and voila, your mould is created.
  7. You are now ready to make the real mould. We recommend practising placing your baby's foot into the empty moulding pot, so you can establish the best technique and get him or her used to the idea. Play around with the positioning of the baby and helper, until both are completely comfortable and you can easily reach the foot with the tub - distraction techniques using their favourite toy or cartoon - will greatly help the casting process.
  8. Prepare the water so it is 26°C. Fill one of the casting tubs with powder and shake it into the mixing bowl. Then fill the same tub with the equivalent amount of water ie to the same level as the alginate was. Check that the baby is in a comfortable position before starting to mix the alginate.
  9. Pour the water onto the powder and mix together until it becomes a smooth paste, remembering you have a maximum of one minute to do so. Half way through mixing (approximately 30 secs) add a splash more water to the mixture. This will help create a smooth paste. Make sure there are no lumps of dry alginate in the mixture.
  10. Pour the mixture back into the casting tub and tap it on the work surface a few times to remove any air bubbles. You are now ready to take the mould but will need to move quickly.
  11. Place your hand around the baby’s ankle and push the foot gently but firmly into the mixture with your thumb on top of the foot to keep it submerged and controlled, as if you were sliding it into a shoe. Hold the foot as centrally as possible, avoiding touching the bottoms or the side with the tub. Keep your baby as relaxed as possible, with favourite toys and distractions to hand.
  12. The foot will usually need to remain in place for around one minute until the alginate is firm and stays smooth when you press it and run your finger along the top. Always leave it a little longer than you think to make sure that it is set and all the detail is picked up. Once the mousse is set, gently ease and wriggle the foot free.
  13. Check that the mould is good by removing it from the yellow tub and check that there are no holes where the baby's toes or heel touched the tub. The inside of the mould should be smooth and the detail clearly visible. If the mould looks rough (like a dry patch of skin) then you need to take the mould again.
  14. Repeat the process so you have a cast of each foot, and package them straight away. Stuff them with kitchen roll and wrap them in clingfilm or a plastic bag to keep the moisture in. Send the casts to us in the pre-addressed kit box as soon as you are able as explained within the casting kit instructions.

It really is that simple!

Please watch our video on the website and do not hesitate to give us a call if you have any questions.

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