Plaster Paris Flower Votive Holders – In Progress

OK my next project is this great Pinterest pin I found from Design Mom. She gives the materials and step by step instructions with some great pictures to help even the novice get it done.

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Thank you Design Mom

I will be adding my own images and description when I get started but I don’t want you to miss out on a great project.

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So I already had some fake flowers that my husband hated, how convienent! I separated and cleaned it all up as I reuse everything I can.

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The dried foliage and straw bow I shreaded/cut and scattered in a wooded area for a compost type thing and the birds will use the straw for their nests in the spring. The fake ferns will get placed at the top of my little waterfall at the pond and the ivy I think I will use for one of my fairy gardens seen here). Oh and I now have another clear vase for my next leaf vase! Whoo hoo!

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I chose 4 of the flowers with the open foliage for my first attempt. There are still several more I can use a little tighter if these don’t turn out right. I also had some of these out in the yard in a planter so I cleaned them up to try them too.

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So now I need to get all of my supplies together…
-faux flowers
-plaster
-water
-bucket to mix – best shape is something that is more tall than wide
-wax paper or non-porous surface to lay dipped flowers on
-votive for sizing
-small rubber bands
-metal clippers
-small bit of glue – hot glue works great!
-tint* – optional

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I decided to add 2 measuring cups so I can premeasure the water and plaster. Seems there is only about 6-10 minute window of time before the plaster starts to harden. I grabbed the Rit clothes die to use for tint. I also added a few items I thought I might need…I added a small pair of scissors, a long thin needle and a popcycle stick. I hope these few items will help me separate, add plaster..anything.

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OK so my first attempt wasn’t a total failure (although it looks like it)…I was able to experiment, a little costly though…I started mixing as directed and thinned it out a little more and little more..I have not found the consistancy I was happy with. Truth is, it’s probably the flowers I chose. Good news is I think I’m on the right track. My second attempt got me closer to the end result…I’ll be a real pro after a few (dozen) more attempts…lol

HINT: Until you have a good system in place, don’t waste the plaster. Start out mixing a smaller amount of the plaster to work with. My problem was the box recommended 1c water per 2c plaster, which is what I did. I should have started way less as I wasted half of my mixture trying to get it figured out.

I’ve been loving all the plaster dipped flowers across the web. They have such an ethereal and dreamlike look to them. Building on the process, I took it a step further and turned the plaster-ed flowers into votives. Dainty and functional.

Plaster is a fun medium to work in. A liquid become a solid in a few short minutes and you get to decide how to form it. For dipping, the plaster coats the petals, freezing them in creamy white loveliness. With the stamina of the plastic flower, the votives appear fragile but aren’t so.

(If you haven’t noticed, I love working with plaster — as seen in these posts: gold leaf votives, leaf napkin rings, quote votives.)

The coated flowers are still ethereal and dreamlike and now, with the addition of a candle, rather romantic. Gather a few for a shelf in a living room, or on a bedroom mantle.

I think a collection of these would make a gorgeous centerpiece for a dinner party — or even as wedding decor!

Ready to get a little bit messy?

Supplies:

-faux flowers -plaster -water -bucket to mix – best shape is something that is more tall than wide -wax paper or non-porous surface to lay dipped flowers on -votive for sizing -small rubber bands -metal clippers -small bit of glue – hot glue works great! -tint* – optional

*You can tint plaster in a variety of ways, all with differing results. One option is to purchase tints made specifically for plaster, found with a simple internet search. I’ve tried food coloring, liquid watercolors and fabric dye powder. I got some color draining and settling with the food coloring and liquid watercolors. For me, the fabric dye gave the most consistent of color with minimal color spotting.

A word on the faux flowers. Just about any kind will do. Some of the stems I chose were the $1.99 variety, a couple were $6.99. Keep in mind that plaster will weigh down and flatten all but the very stiffest of flowers. I got the best results on flowers with larger, stiffer petals. The softer, ‘fragile’ petals just clumped together in the plaster, creating a blob of plaster.

Prep the flowers. Pull the leaves off the stem and pluck out the center (I even cut down the stem. They are so looooong!). The amount that you remove from the center is up to you. To decide, I used a votive to ‘measure’ adequate space.

Most of the time the center is the part that keeps the flower and its petals together. Once you remove the center, add a little glue to keep the pieces together while dipping.

Once the flowers are ready, prep all the plaster items. Because the window of time for useable plaster is rather short, it’s best to get the water, plaster and optional tints set out with all the prepped flowers and then put it all together. Follow the manufacturer’s directions to mix the plaster.

Note: I found it easier and got better results with plaster that had a titch more water than recommended in the package directions. Not a measurable amount more, just a splash or two. It made the plaster more liquidy and it covered the flower better.

Now for the dipping. Your hands are going to get messy. Immerse the entire head of the flower in the plaster, quickly coating every part. Press the flower in the plaster, turning it often to make sure to get it in the layers, all the way to the center by the stem. Remove the excess plaster by gently but briskly shake the flower head by the stem. Do this inside the dipping container because the plaster will fly everywhere!

After a little shaking, check on the look of flower head. If it needs more plaster in some places or needs a better coat, dip it again. Then shake it. Keep dipping and shaking until you are happy with the look. Again, you will have to move quickly, especially if you are doing more than one flower.

When the flower is finished, pluck or cut the flower head from its stem. Place it with the petals up to get a flat base. I added the votive right then to make sure there was adequate space for it before the flower set. If you find parts not covered in plaster or clumps, use your fingers to either apply or remove plaster.

I used small rubber bands to sculpt the petals on a few flowers.

Allow to fully dry and then add a lit votive candle.

Gorgeous!

One thought on “Plaster Paris Flower Votive Holders – In Progress

  1. Pingback: Faux Flowers to Candle Holders with Mod Podge | cehalles

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