Turkey Tracks PoP

Hi Friends,

My kid and I recently received a partial box of Plaster of Paris. This versatile crafting supply can be found at big box outlets, hobby stores and home repair depots. Created for use in drywall repair, this product can be used for creating molds or sculpted into art pieces. Since I didn’t have a specific project in mind when we received this box, we decided to experiment. 

With all the rain we have been enjoying lately, we found several muddy sections around our home and in a nearby field. And where there is mud – there is mud prints! We located several prime prints to attempt to create casts from using our Plaster of Paris. 

Before setting out on our track hunt, we gathered our supplies. 


  • 2 gallon sized bags
  • Plaster of Paris (PoP)
  • Sections of Cardboard, about 6”-8” long 
  • Scissors 
  • Cardboard box – to transport supplies and finished castings 

Preparing Plaster of Paris 

We created two batches of Plaster of Paris. For the first batch, we mixed 2 parts PoP to 1 part cold water. We poured these ingredients into a gallon sized bag, sealed it shut, then squeezed it by hand to mix thoroughly. 

My kid was concerned the mixture was “too wet” for our experiment, so for the second batch we changed the ratio. We mixed almost 3 parts PoP to 1 part cold water. We again poured ingredients into a gallon sized bag, sealed it, and squeezed it by hand to mix. 

Finding Tracks

The first print we isolated was a turkey! Although we came across several turkey tracks, only one print had clearly defined edges and no tire tracks nearby. To make sure our PoP didn’t spread too far from the track, we use the cardboard sections to create some borders. The ground was soft enough, we simply pushed the cardboard into the mud to secure them in place. 

The second print was a big dog print from an Alaskan Malamute. Although the print had clearly defined edges, the ground around it was heavy in grass material and already drying out. Unable to simply push the cardboard borders into place, I scooped up some mud from a nearby area to press against the cardboard to help secure it. 

Creating the Cast

We were now ready to add the prepared PoP. Using the scissors we brought along, we cut a corner of the bags, and squeezed the PoP over our tracks. Once the track was covered with the PoP, we used another section of cardboard to spread it smooth. To do this, we used a up-and-down tapping motion across the PoP. We were afraid that pressing the PoP into the track would disturb the track itself. 

The first batch of PoP (2:1 mix) poured beautifully and spread smoothly. The second, thicker batch of PoP (3:1 mix) had already begun to solidify by the time we were ready to cast our tracks. It had an oatmeal-like consistency, and didn’t spread smoothly when “tapped” with the cardboard.

The next step was the hardest. We had to wait. Ha! 

Good Results

After about forty minutes, the PoP had become firm to the touch. We certainly could have waited longer to ensure the PoP cured completely, but we are not very patient. As it happens, they released beautifully and we were able to carry them home. We set them on our sunny porch to continue curing a few hours longer. 

Once the casting dried completely, we used some old toothbrushes to clean off most of the dirt and grass material. You can see in the pictures below, the difference in the PoP batches thickness did not have a big difference in the quality of casting, other than affecting the smoothness of the back. This is something that can easily be sanded down so that the casting lays flat on a surface. This was a fun project and I am glad we decided to experiment with the PoP. 

UPDATE: Here is the results of the Turkey Track Cast after it was cleaned, painted, and sealed. This will be used as a teaching tool in a classroom setting. Students will be able to touch the casting and have a better idea of the structure and size of a turkey’s foot. I love using props like these to spark both discussion and imagination.

This article is an original by Christy Hagan of the blog Christy Makes Friends. Please do not steal images or content as your own. If you’d like to share this article, you may provide a link to this post, but please do not reprint it on your website.

Disclaimer- This post may contain affiliate links. By clicking these links, you help support me and my business at no cost to you. All opinions are my own.

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