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Wacky sculptures are molded inside balloon

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Multileg creature and other "Plasteroid" creations are great for an "outer space"-themed party.

Multileg creature and other “Plasteroid” creations are great for an “outer space"-themed party.

King Features Syndicate

These wacky creations are a far cry from a classic sculpture you'll find in an art museum. Call it free-form art, because you and your kids will be molding your sculptures this way and that out of gloppy plaster of Paris that has been poured inside a balloon.

Now, you might be scratching your head as you read this activity, wondering why you'll be making a "blob in a balloon." Good question, but believe me, the tactile experience of handling the plaster of Paris blob and shaping it into a one-of-a-kind sculpture is hilarious, and the end product is rewarding.

First, you'll need a funnel. Make one by removing the cap and cutting off the end portion of an empty plastic soda or water bottle, 4 inches from the spout. Secure a deflated, sturdy medium-size balloon around the spout. Stir together some plaster of Paris in a cardboard milk carton or other disposable container. When it is milkshake consistency, pour it slowly through the funnel into the balloon until it is about the size of a tennis ball.

Carefully remove the balloon from the funnel, squeeze the contents slightly to give the blob a burp, and then knot the balloon securely. It might be best for a teen or adult to make the knot, since it can be tricky.

Let the plaster begin to set for a few seconds until it feels firm. Now put your fingers all around the blob and press, squeeze and shape it without breaking the balloon. When you are satisfied with a certain shape, hold your hands in place a minute or so until the form and indentations remain.

Harden for four hours. Peel off the balloon and dispose of it properly. You'll see where your fingers pressed in the plaster to form curves and shapes. Paint with acrylic craft paints and add features with glitter and googly eyes, if you wish.

Or, make a bunch of sculptures before an "outer space"-themed birthday party. Your guests can use their imaginations to paint and decorate their own "Plasteroid" creatures from a wacky planet.

Tip: To make a funny multileg creature, flatten the blob and add eight clothespins around the edges while it is still pliable. Later, remove and paint the clothespins in different colors and reattach them to the painted plaster where the indentions were made.

Write Donna with your questions and ideas at www.donnasday.com. Donna's latest book, "Donna Erickson's Fabulous Funstuff for Families," is available in bookstores nationwide.

© Donna Erickson

Dist. by King Features Syndicate