Plaster Plaques An oldie but a goodie

Start by having the students draw an image on the inside of a styrofoam tray.  It's a good idea to have them draw an idea first on paper. Make sure to tell them NOT to push to far into the foam that they poke a hole

Then mix up a large amount of plaster and pour into trays. I used a scoop to pour from a 5 gallon bucket. I did the pouring after school and it took about 35 minutes to do one class.  About 5-10 minutes after you pour and the plaster starts to set up, drop an opened paper clip on the back so later the students can hang their artwork. Make sure you put the trays in the "Up" position because you wont' be able to see the artwork to know which way is up.

 These are unfinished because we ran out of time during camp, but you can use any type of paint to color.   Last fall one of my 3rd grade classes studied Shakespeare so the students drew an image from Romeo and Juliet.  Another good prompt is to have them draw their favorite book character.  I haven't done this lesson in years, so glad to rediscover it.


  1. Just wondering how much Plaster of Paris it would take for 25-28 students?

  2. Hi Pat, sorry for the delay. My computer was in the shop for repairs. I ordered a huge bag of plaster. I'd guess about 25 lbs, it was about $13.00 from Saxs. I have over half left and I've done two classes. One class of 27 and one of 17. It goes along way but hardens quickly, so I usually make 3 batches for the larger class. Hope this helps!

  3. I have never seen anything like this before! Definitely a great art camp project. Where are you getting your styrofoam trays?

    Rina at

    1. Hi Rina, I had an old package of trays in one of my rooms. I think they came from Saxs or Nasco. Trays can be kind of expensive so in the past I have asked at grocery stores for donations in the meat dept. Some have been great but only donated a few. Also, some stores use the foam trays in the fruit and veggie dept that are safe to clean and reuse. This is so fun and the kids love it!


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