Fall Leaves Created With Plaster of Paris

Patty Anderson
by Patty Anderson
3 Materials
1 Day

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!

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!!!icon

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!icon

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! icon 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!icon

I found me a stick (FETCH!icon ) 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! icon

The elephant ear looks more like a Caladium now, don't you think?

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DIY fall crafts

For more creative autumnal projects, discover Hometalk's best fall leaf decor ideas here.

Suggested materials:
  • Plaster of paris   (Amazon)
  • Paint of all kinds   (Amazon)
  • Polyurethane   (Amazon)
Frequently asked questions
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3 of 8 questions
  • Bea28434881 Bea28434881 on Sep 22, 2017

    HELP!! How can I print this without using so much paper?

  • Betty Byars Allen Betty Byars Allen on Oct 07, 2017

    Can I use quick set concrete?

  • LINDA LINDA on Oct 22, 2017

    WOW!! These are beautiful... I just happen to have a 3 pound box of PofP from Home Depot..for some other project I was going to do months ago! LOL! Now, I'll focus and try this..2 questions: 1) you used real leaves? I was thinking it had to be artificial plants; 2) are the large ones heavy? Thinking of wall hanging v mobile style? Thanks

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