Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Stalactites & Stalagmites

Since the mission room is the Firefly Caverns, the first thing I decided to tackle was some 3D stalagmites and stalactites. I wanted to be able to hang the stalactites from the ceiling, so they needed to be light weight. I decided to use Great Stuff expanding foam (found at many hardware stores).

  • First find something to use as a base for building the stalactite. It doesn't really matter what it looks like, because we will be peeling it off once we're finished. I prefer wax paper and poster board .
  • Spray the foam in a circular pattern or in the shape you want your stalactite (keep in mind that it expands). I would only spray a few layers at a time to keep it from collapsing. After it stiffens add a few more layers. Keep doing this until you get it to the shape that you want. Be very careful with the foam - it is very sticky, so try to keep it off your skin and clothes.
  • After you have the final shape of your stalactite and it has had time to harden, spray paint it to match the colors you are using in your Firefly Cavern. I mixed a flat-base and a satin-base to give the look of moisture.
  • Once your stalactite is dry, it is time to peel it off the base (this is where the wax paper comes in handy). If you used wax paper it should peel off easy. Peel carefully to make sure you don't crack your new stalactite.
  • When it is time to hang them from the ceiling, take a quilting needle and feed fishing line through the eye. Find a spot on the bottom of the stalactite and feed the needle through the foam. Once your line is through, your stalactite is ready to hang in your Firefly Cavern!


  1. If you put the fishing line through, what stops it from ripping right out when you hang it?

  2. I was thinking how cool it would be to have a glass table top supported by stalagmites. How would you do it?

  3. Thank-you, thank-you, thank-you! We just finished out Mt. Everest VBS, and I'm already looking for ideas for next year's Spelunking theme! This is fantastic! Thanks.

  4. After seeing this, I was thinking of trying to spray the foam around an empty wrapping paper tube, thus still lightweight, but something sturdier to put the fishing wire thru. Think you'd want to feed the fishing wire thru first that way won't have to poke hole into the dried foam. Probably can buy this foam cheaper after the winter season is over...yeah!


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