22nd November 2018

Pop flower

How to make Plaster of Paris floral dipped flowers for your table centre-piece

Rhea Thierstein, internationally renowned British artist showed Kirstie how to get messy with plaster craft making her festive table shine with beautifully handmade floral decorations. Here’s how you can capture the beauty of flowers and make it last forever, too:

What you need:

PVA Glue

Plaster of Paris 

Disposable takeaway containers

Glass mixing bowls

Acrylic paints – colours of your choice

Gold Acrylic paint or gold spray paint for finishing touches

1 lemon

Sharp knife

Cutting board

Dry paint brushes  

Cup

2 wooden coat hangers

Drying rack

Latex gloves

Dust mask

Measuring jugs

White fabric flowers (approx. £2-3 available to purchase online, pound stores)

Small whisk

Glue gun

Secateurs

The process: 

Please note: Working with Plaster of Paris can be quite messy. Before getting started, cover your work area with newspaper or brown paper to prevent plaster from sticking to it.

To start pour 1 ¼ cups of water into a disposable container.

Then add a ¼ cup of PVA glue to a little of your water from the disposable container into a small bowl and thoroughly mix together with a hand whisk until it has a creamy consistency and all the glue has dissolved.

Squeeze a walnut sized amount of your chosen acrylic paint into this mixture and stir with a paint brush.

Please note that the colour will be lighter when the plaster is added, so you can add more paint if you wish to obtain your desired shade.

Pour your mixture of pva glue, water and paint mix back into the original disposable container.

Top tip: at this stage, add a good squeeze of lemon to the mixture and stir well with a paintbrush. This slows down the setting process by approx. 30 mins when you are working with Plaster of Paris.

Next, carefully add two cups of Plaster of Paris to the mixture ensuring it is spread evenly across the surface of the water/glue mixture. 

* To be on the safe side, we recommend you wear a dust mask*

Add a small amount of plaster at a time until it stops absorbing the water. Gently press any remaining plaster into the liquid, so it settles.

Then let it rest for approx. 5 mins. Do not stir at this point, otherwise you’ll create air bubbles and this will weaken the plaster.

After 5 mins stir the plaster with a spoon ensuring it’s mixed together really well.

Now pop on your latex gloves and take your artificial flower by the wired stem and dip into the plaster mix making sure each petal is fully coated. It has to be fabric flowers, it won’t work with plastic ones.

Pull off any excess plaster, shaping with your hand as you go and make sure you’re happy with it.

Then use the end of the wire stem to attach your flower to dry on a clothes horse or wooden hanger or back of a chair – pop some old newspapers underneath to catch any drips.

The plaster takes approx. 20 mins to dry but you need to leave it over night to dry properly.

Dip a clean, dry paint brush into a small amount of gold acrylic paint and brush to the edges of your flowers or you could use a gold spray paint on the flowers too.

Now you’re ready to create your own centre piece. 

You can attach the flowers to branches with a glue gun once you’ve removed the artificial wire stems with secatuers.

For the final Midas Touch, squeeze a small amount of gold acrylic onto a plate.

Carriehunter2017

Author

Carrie Hunter