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The Art of Pregnancy

Text: Marion Garassino. Article from February 2012 issue of Living and Loving Magazine.

Celebs like Emma Bunton, Mariska Hargitay, Brooke Shields and Mariah Carey have done it. It’s called Pregnancy Art, and you can do it, too.

Belly painting and casting

Being pregnant is one of the most special times in your life. So why not record these beautiful memories by getting creative and turning your bump or your 3D scans into works of art? Preggy belly painting is the art of painting designs and pictures directly onto your preggy belly, and casting is done by moulding a plaster cast over your belly, which you can then paint however you choose. Baby scan art is done using your baby’s 3D scans to create pictures and other creative pieces.

Belly painting and casting

For these two activities, you can either be your own Picasso, or let Hubby and the kids have a great afternoon painting, running around, playing in the sprinkler to wash off the paint, and having fun creating their special masterpieces. It’s a great way for the family to spend quality time together.

It’s also a lovely activity for a baby shower – get your friends and family to join in and paint your belly or belly cast. It will be great entertainment, and you’ll have a meaningful artwork to keep forever. Belly cast sets also make unique baby shower gifts for other moms.

Another productive way to use belly painting is to get a few preggy moms together, paint beautiful designs on your bellies and take part in a fun walk for charity.

How to start

You’ll need: Poster paints or face paints, as both wash off easily, as well as black eyeliner to draw lines, aqueous cream to remove face paint, and water to remove poster paint.

To make your own paint, you’ll need:

1 tsp. corn starch, 1/2 tsp. water, 1/2 tsp. aqueous cream and food colouring for each colour. Mix all of the ingredients together in a small bowl, using a different container for each.

Before you start painting, remember to protect the floor around you with old newspapers or plastic sheets. If you’re painting directly onto your belly, you’re now ready to start.

How to make a belly cast

You’ll need:

  • A jar of petroleum jelly
  • A pair of rubber gloves
  • 3 to 4 rolls of plaster gauze strips (obtainable at a craft or hardware store)
  • A sheet of fine sandpaper
  • Someone to help you

Your helper must first cover your belly (also your breasts, arms and hands if you wish) with petroleum jelly. Then wet and apply each strip, removing any excess water. The cast will start drying after eight minutes, but must remain in place for 20-30 minutes. Carefully remove the cast and place it belly-up on a flat surface. Allow it to dry for 48 hours. Sand very gently over any rough areas with the fine sandpaper, and your belly cast is ready to decorate! If you don’t want to make your own cast, you can also buy a cast-making kit.

Techniques: To achieve different and fun effects, try using a variety of tools and methods, for example, paintbrushes, sponges, stencils or your fingers. You can even fix small mosaics onto your design, or pieces of photographs, pictures or fabric. So go on, have fun! And remember to photograph or film every step.

Once you’re finished painting your cast, you can hang it on the wall of your nursery as a beautiful keepsake and to enhance your nursery decor.

Where to get a cast kit: Contact Theoni on 083 229 3253,

Gill Els on 082 446 7435, or

Kerry on 072 479 1257, or

go to www.bellycasting.co.za

Baby scan art

Baby’s 3D scans are so exciting for moms and dads, and we all love to show them to our friends and family. With baby scan art, you can do this in such a special way, by creating all sorts of creative works and keepsakes. Here are a few ideas:

Baby album – Make a pretty frame for your scan (the size of your baby album), using cardboard and fabric and then glue it to the cover of your baby album, for a unique and personal effect.

Baby shower invitations – Use a photocopy of Baby’s scan on the cover of your invitation, cutting a hole to frame the scan, and using tissue paper on the back to hide the back of the scan.

Painting on canvas – Scan in one or more of your baby’s 3D scans onto your computer, and then use Photoshop and a design programme to add colour washes and design elements to the scan. If you don’t know how to do this, go to a design/printing company like Jetline Print or even a private graphic designer to do it for you. You can then have it framed and hang it on the wall in your bedroom, lounge or the nursery.

Collage – Make a collage on a large piece of cardboard using each 3D scan in sequence as Baby develops. You can add colour by using paint, crayons and coloured pencils, and fix any interesting bits and bobs that will finish off your artwork, for example, buttons, pictures from a magazine, photo cut-outs, dried flowers, little pebbles, fabric, etc. Then frame your beautiful collage and hang it in the nursery,

Johnson’s®Tip

Here are some examples of what you can paint:

Nature – Moons; stars; planets; suns; daisies; sunflowers; snowflakes; angels; a baby face; owls or other animal faces; an egg cracking open; berries and leaves; or a goldfish.

Round shapes – Globes; CDs (or vinyl records); a crystal ball; a fishbowl; a lightbulb; the nose of a plane; a snowglobe; a TV screen, a hat (e.g. a sombrero); your face or your child’s face.

Food – A Halloween pumpkin; a pizza; cookies, apples/oranges; the top of a cake; a dinner plate with food; a scoop of ice cream; an ice-cream sundae; doughnuts with sprinkles; or bagels with cream cheese.

Miscellaneous – Geometric designs; a South African flag or flag from another country; the emblem of Hubby’s favourite rugby or cricket team; the emblem of your favourite car; musical notes or instruments; a Christmas design; sunbursts; spirals; a kaleidoscope; fairies; eyes, nose and mouth with wool for a moustache and beard; a bell; or piano keys.

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