Plaster of Paris is a dry white powdered material that reacts when mixed with water. It can be used for wall surfaces, much like a stucco, as well as sculptures and molds. Plaster of Paris is great because it takes about 45 minutes for the chemical reaction to take place which makes it harden. It is soft enough for you to chisel away at the dry surface with metal tools or sandpaper for smoothing and shaping it. In college, I took a stage make-up class and when working with creating prosthetic pieces for the face, we had to create a mold of our faces in order for any latex prosthetic to adhere onto the face properly. Here is an example of a plaster casting of my face.
Other objects can be made with Plaster of Paris like stepping stones, keepsake hand or foot molds of your baby, dipping fake or real flowers, gauze, lace, or doilies into the wet mixture and then let dry. After the plaster is dried, you can easily paint it with any latex based craft paint or acrylic paint.