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Fall Leaves Created With Plaster of Paris

You all inspire me! I've seen beautiful leaves made out of cement, which I want to try, and I've seen a wonderful homemaker here create beautiful plaster of paris leaves. I just had to try my hand at this!
Time: 1 Days Cost: $0 Difficulty: Easy
I understood that plaster of paris leaves were fragile, so it was best to try to make them somewhat thick. I saw the cement leaves created with a background of dirt, or, in this case, sand, to support the leaf and give the edges a curl. So I found a plastic container, added my damp sand, and covered the sand with stretch wrap.
I placed my leaf on the wrap, and gently pushed the leaf around in the sand, to give it some depth and create some curl along the edge of the leaf.
Two parts P of P to one part cold water. I plopped an ice cube in my measuring cup. Kept the water nice and cold. I managed to make two mistakes on an earlier set of leaves, trying to wash out my bowl of plaster under hot water at the sink. Don't do that! Hot water quickly sets the plaster, and what you put down the sink will adhere to the pipes. I am SO GOOD at making mistakes!!!
I mixed up my plaster and gently spooned it onto my leaf. Take your time. You don't have to cover the edges, just run a nice seam of plaster along the edge. Don't forget to add something like that can tab or a loop of wire to hang your leaf when it's done!
Watching the plaster dry is as boring as watching paint dry! So I went out and cut a few leaves off of a bleeding heart vine, and mixed up some more plaster to spoon on them. This time I took my mixing equipment outside and used the garden hose to wash them off!
I gave them an hour while I went outside to work on something else. When I came back, the plaster was dry, so I gently pulled off the green leaf. I took a piece of sandpaper and gently worked on any edges that looked rough or where the plaster has crept over an edge. You can do this at this time, and the leaf will look better for it!
These leaves were done earlier, red bud, sassafras, sweet-gum, mulberry, oak and small elephant ears. I wanted to try out different ways of painting them. I'm a color freak, so the more color, the better!  I wanted to add strength to the leaves, so I put a coat of modge podge on, then started painting, using various techniques. After painting them, I added a few coats of clear spray varnish. I figured every coat of whatever would help strengthen these leaves! On the little leaves in the upper right corner I used spray paint of gold, yellow, green and orange. Meh. Okay, not bad. The rest of the leaves I used acrylics, just having a field day making fall colors!
I found me a stick (FETCH! ) and laid out the leaves in a nice pattern.
Then I took my ball of jute and tied them up to make this wall art!
May I remind you all how much you folk have inspired me? I learned about Unicorn Spit on this site, and finally got me some! I figured I would try my hand at painting those leaves I poured today with Spit! OMG!!!! I had a Styrofoam egg carton, so I poured just a tad of green, red, yellow and orange Spit into the egg holders, then spritzed the colors with water from my spray bottle, thinning out the Spit a bit. Then I took Q-tips as brushes, spritzed a leaf, and applied Spit!
I am now SERIOUSLY hooked on Unicorn Spit! I figure a few coats of clear glossy polyurethane will help strengthen these leaves! I'm not sure yet where I will hang these, but wherever they go, they will look awesome!
The elephant ear looks more like a Caladium now, don't you think?

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Materials I used for this project:

  • Wendy
    on Sep 14, 2017

    Wow, these are gorgeous!!

  • W.barratt1
    on Sep 22, 2017

    Hi Patty
    What a stunning creation and the colours are amazing.
    Thank you for sharing.

    • Patty Anderson
      Patty Anderson
      on Sep 22, 2017

      Thank you! I'm already thinking about the next batch.....to improve on the project, I might try putting the hanger where one can't see it. I may use wire, since it's thinner than a can tab.....

  • Pixiebabydoll
    on Sep 22, 2017

    You did an incredible job! Love those leaves now for another project added to my long list of them.

    • Patty Anderson
      Patty Anderson
      on Sep 22, 2017

      I feel your pain! I was getting really good at throwing out stuff, but since I've been hanging out here, now I have to build a storage place for all my "crafty" stuff!

  • Nancy Wilson
    Nancy Wilson
    on Sep 22, 2017

    These are beautiful! Quite labor intensive but your creativity is amazing.

    • Patty Anderson
      Patty Anderson
      on Sep 22, 2017

      Thank you! Give this a try, before all the leaves head south for winter!

  • Kelly-n-Tony
    on Sep 22, 2017

    This is the FIRST unicorn spit project that I've LOVED!

    • Patty Anderson
      Patty Anderson
      on Sep 22, 2017

      INR? I bought Unicorn Spit because people were doing so many wonderful things with it, but this is the first project I've used it on. Awesome stuff! Thanks, K&T!

Inspired? Will you try this project? Let the author know!