Lifecasting Tutorial


Lifecasting tutorial

Lifecasting Tutorial

How to make a Bust for sculpting and molding

Casting a model is sometimes extremely difficult. It’s a lot of weight on your model, and they can’t see anything, can’t hear very well, nor can they move at all. This experience can be very scary for the person you are casting, so be sure to talk to them through the whole ordeal, as well as letting them know where you are in the room, and what you are doing. It’s definitely scary to hear the door open and then not know what’s going on.

There are a ton of materials needed to start this process! Here’s the list I used, right down to the tiny details.

  • Plaster Bandages
  • Ultracal (you can use plaster of paris but I would highly advise against that)
  • Alginate (2.5 pounds will cast 2 people EASILY, it’ll probably do 4)
  • Plastic Bags to lay down on the floor
  • Vaseline
  • Bald Cap
  • Scissors
  • Permanent marker
  • Pros Aide and Pros Aide remover
  • 2, 5 gallon buckets
  • 1, 1 gallon bucket
  • Lots of water
  • Washcloth
  • Music
  • Tons of space

First things first, have your model take off their shirt and cover them from collarbone down with plastic wrap. Before doing this, make sure the area where you are casting is warm.

Once this is done, put the bald cap on your model! If you don’t have a bald cap, you can use saran wrap taped around your model’s head. Make sure all the hair is covered.


Cover the back of the model’s head just to the center of the skull and back of the neck, avoid undercuts around the throat and top of the head. If it couldn’t pull straight off, you’ve got an undercut. If your model has long hair like mine, try to smooth the hair down as much as possible, or plan on sanding the head down around the back of the neck.

IMG_0658 IMG_0661 IMG_0664

Mix your alginate with cold water following directions on the packet. Warm water will make alginate set at a much faster rate. This alginate will be applied with your hands to the parts of your models face that is not covered with gauze. Don’t overlap the gauze, the alginate will stick to it and potentially rip.

I generally start with the nose, that way the alginate will harden around their nose first. This makes it easier to be sure your model can breathe. I don’t put straws in my model’s nose because it distorts the nostrils. Just watch their nose and make certain they are able to breathe. The thicker this layer is the better.

IMG_0666 IMG_0672

Cover the edge of the back head plaster piece with vaseline, about 1-2 inches from the edge. After this, start covering the alginate with more plaster gauze. You’re going to overlap the plaster gauze over the back piece. Work the gauze as close to the alginate as possible and avoid air pockets. Those will cause lumps in the final head casting. It is also acceptable to mess with your model at this point.

IMG_0675 IMG_0681IMG_0688

When they pull this off, have them lean forward and cup the plaster in their hands. You’ll have to help the alginate let go of their head, because it has a pretty good suction on it.

IMG_0690 IMG_0694


At this point, seal the two pieces together with more plaster gauze around the edge, at least 2 layers. This will give you one piece to pour your ultracal into. Putting the head into a bucket is a good idea. Pour the ultracal into the head mold, and let it sit. Once it is cool to the touch, you can break it open to pull out your bust.

IMG_0702 IMG_0711

And you are done! This head is before sanding, which takes away a lot of the lumps and bumps.

IMG_0717 IMG_0718

Find me on Facebook for more updates!

Leave a Reply

Your message*

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>