The Thanksgiving table needs to WOW! As the whole family gathers around for a gut-busting celebration, all eyes are drawn to table décor. If it’s your joy to host, you’d better hope you have done enough to impress!
Never fear, we have an idea that will earn you kudos among even the hardest to please… How about creating a table centerpiece made from a cast of your family’s hands? Personal, original and beautiful, you’ll tick all the boxes. The best thing is that it’s easy and fun to make – all you need is a Family Casting Kit, a jam jar, and a hand from four family members.
How to Make a Family Casting Centerpiece - 10 Easy Steps
1. Assemble your kit
For this creative casting, you need a Family Hand Casting Kit and a jam jar. We have found that a jam jar with a wide bottom and narrower top works best.
2. Ask for a hand - or four!
This project is ideal for two adults and two children. Practice positioning one hand each around the jam jar with fingers pointing towards the lidded end of the jar, so that they rest just underneath the lid.
3. Strike a pose
Kids will probably need to stand on chairs while the four of you gather and place one hand each on the jar. Practice plunging the jar into the casting bucket to find a comfortable position that everyone can hold.
4. Whisk at the ready!
Follow the instructions given in the Family Casting Kit. The first stage of hand casting is to mix the alginate. This must be done within one-minute; any longer and the jelly will start to set.
5. Take the plunge
Remembering to leave the jam jar lid on, and positioning hands as practiced, it's time to get casting! Make sure none of your fingers are touching the lid, or you’ll never get it off! Immerse the hands holding the jar into the alginate, keeping as still as possible while it sets.
6. Free your hands
When the alginate has turned from pink to white/grey, start to wiggle fingers free of the cast and slip hands out of the mold, one at a time. Do not pull the jam jar out of the mold!
7. Get set
Mix the stone mixture and then pour it into the mold, as instructed. Roll the bucket and tap the sides to get the stone mixture into the fingertips.
8. Big reveal
Children love this bit, so get them involved! Turn the bucket upside down and gently squeeze the sides to release the mold. Lift off the bucket, and take a butter knife to make a few incisions in the alginate mold. Peel away the alginate.
9. Finishing touches
When you only have a bit of alginate left in the crevices between fingers, use the wooden tool provided to pick these out and remove bubbles of plaster. Use a cloth to wipe off residue. Hey presto, your super-personal family hand cast is revealed!
10. Dress to impress
What happens next is up to you. The jam jar held in your family's hands can be used as a candleholder or vase. Depending on how you style the centerpiece, it will look at home on a traditional style table, or a more contemporary setting. Let your imagination run wild!
3 Ways to Style Your Family Casting Jam Jar Centerpiece
Remove the jam jar lid and wrap twine around the rim for a rustic touch. Fill the jam jar with acorns (real or fake) and mount a natural beeswax candle on top. Sit the centerpiece on a bed of vivid silk leaves, with acorns and mini pumpkins scattered around. This is a great look for the Thanksgiving table, full of fun and color.
Place a slender metallic candle into the jam jar and surround it with acorns to keep it upright. Encircle the base of the centerpiece with different shaped pine cones, white berried foliage and gilded leaves. Complement the flickering candle by weaving copper wired twinkly lights into the arrangement. We think this looks magical!
Place 3-4 eucalyptus stems into the jam jar. Ours were dyed a rich burgundy colour, which stands out beautifully against the white plaster hand cast. This dramatic posy makes a fuss free centerpiece at the heart of a contemporary table. Just add simple, white bone china and gold cutlery to complete the look.
Want to see this creative casting in action? Watch our video to see a family making their own unique table centerpiece with our Family Casting Kit…
Want to try for yourself? Get your casting kits here. Happy casting!