Do you like decorating with crafts that you made yourself? Or maybe you would like to surprise a few guests by showing some delicate craft that you made?
The following guide will provide something that will deliver for both of those questions. Delicate plaster crafts can be something hard to do, but this one can be made easily and it will show life-like results.
If you’re working with plaster decorations, flowers are something you will run into pretty fast. Without any research, I’d be betting money that flowers have been used as a decoration since the dawn of mankind and they will be used so far into the future.
Since they are so popular, here is a guide on making some plaster flower art. This guide is about making plaster roses, but the same techniques can be used for making other flowers as well. The technique I’m talking about is using real flowers and covering them with plaster to make life-like decorations.
The process is so easy and simple that everyone can do these. The results should look like vintage, shabby chic, porcelain roses. How’s that for a description? I’m pretty confident that results will match it thought.
Before you begin, here are the materials that are needed for this craft to succeed smoothly. Plaster of Paris is the main material here and for working with that, it’s good to prepare some protection for your working space. Wax paper is good as most things come off from it easily.
- Plaster of Paris
- Disposable bowl
- Plastic spoon
- Wax paper
- Old paintbrush (do not use a good artist’s brush)
- Miniature silk rose bundles
- Crystal glitter
- Ribbon or lace trim
How to make plaster flower art in 8 steps
Step 1: Remove the store tag from around the stems of the bundle. Do not remove the floral tape that holds each rose stem in the bundles. Twist the bundle of stems to create one thick bundle.
Step 2: Cover your work surface with newspaper. Place a sheet of wax paper on the newspaper.
Wax paper is good as it doesn’t wet and plaster won’t stick hard into it. Plastic will do the same trick if you don’t have any.
Step 3: Mix plaster of Paris and water in a disposable bowl until the mixture is the consistency of melted ice cream. Too thin is fine because it will thicken as you work, but too thick will cause problems with the application.
The reason is that you will be dip the roses into the plaster. If the plaster is thin, it will get everywhere easily. If it’s too thick, it just won’t stick to the flowers.
Step 4: Holding the twisted stems, dip the rosebuds in the plaster mixture. Roll the buds slowly around to coat them.
Using an old paintbrush, spread the plaster to the areas that could not be submerged far enough in the mixture. Paint the plaster down the stems to where you are holding them.
Step 5: Sprinkle crystal glitter over the plastered rosebuds while the plaster is still wet. Place the rosebuds carefully on the wax paper.
Allow the plaster to harden and dry, it might take overnight depending on how thick the layer is. Immediately clean your brush and spoon.
Do not pour unused plaster down the drain, pour it in the trash where it will harden with time. Allow the plaster residue in the bowl to dry, then crack it to release it in the trash before it is too hard.
Step 6: When the plaster on the rosebuds has completely hardened, mix more plaster of Paris and water in the bowl. This is for the stems so you won’t need to mix as much as the first application.
Step 7: Lightly hold the heads of the rosebuds. Paint the remainder of the twisted stems that were not covered in the previous application. Place the rosebuds on the wax paper. Allow the plaster to harden and dry.
Step 8: Cut a 12-inch length of ribbon or lace. Wrap the trim around the stems and tie into a bow.
You can also plaster a few single rosebuds to use as embellishments for other crafts.
The thin finish of the plaster on the roses will be very fragile. Chipping may occur, but I think the chippy look adds to the shabby chic vintage charm.
Note: Laying them on the wax paper will create a flat side when dry. Some might like that because it is one way to display them to others. If you will be displaying your roses in a vase, or want all sides to formed perfectly, you will want to clothespin the rosebuds to a hanger to dry.
If you would like to completely cover the color of your flowers, allow the plaster to dry, mix another batch of plaster and reapply.
This simple how-to-make plaster flowers guide shows one way to do this kind of decoration. The other way would be to do them without the flowers, but making the rosebuds would need some delicate skill and artistic skills and it wouldn’t be for everyone then.
If you want to do it that way, it will take some more time, but is not impossible. The plaster needs to be thicker so you can mold them with a spoon or something else metallic or plastic.
You could do the inner part of the rosebud first and then do the outer layers, finally working on the stem. How I would proceed with it would be making the inner part of the bud first, then letting it harden. After that, I would work layer after layer until I have the whole flower done.
Why do I do it like this? Working with soft material can make your blood pressure rise if you’re too greedy. I rather work with 5 flowers slowly than 1 flower fast. This way I can do detailed work and reach more life-like results as I don’t have to be adjusting the small details all the time.
If you want to paint your plaster flowers, check out this guide on painting plaster art. With proper painting, you can take your roses to a new level. As written in the guide, remember that you don’t have to get it perfect straight away, if you make small mistakes let it dry and repaint those areas.