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How to Make Plaster Leaves

by Jane Windham on November 8, 2012

In my last post about our Thanksgiving tablescape, I promised that I’d show you how to make these plaster leaves. They are so easy to do, and they can not only be used to dress up a napkin, but they could also be used to make place cards on a table.

plaster leaf garland

I got the idea to make them when I saw this beautiful leaf garland on the blog Sweet Something Designs.  You see, I fully embrace the beautiful colors of fall and use them in my home, but by November I’m ready for a little change. So my idea was to do a neutral table for Thanksgiving, and I thought these white leaves would be beautiful on my table. So here are Michelle’s (and my) directions for making these leaves.

silk maple leaves

You will need some silk leaves. I actually tried making plaster leaves from real leaves from my yard, but the plaster did not adhere very well.

Plaster of Paris

You will need some Plaster of Paris and an old brush. You can buy Plaster of Paris at Lowe’s. This just happens to be some that I had left over from making homemade chalk paint.

plastic bowl for making plaster leaves

You will also need a disposable container. A plastic bowl such as this works great. Place about 1/2 cup of plaster in the bowl and add a small amount of water. Stir until it is mixed thoroughly. Add more water if you think it’s too thick. Be careful with the amount of water that you add because you don’t want your plaster too thin. If it is, just add some more plaster, but work fast because the plaster starts setting up quickly.

waxed paper

Spread out some waxed paper.

paper plate for brushing plaster on leaf

Brush the plaster on the leaf. You can use the stem as a handle to hold the leaf  while you are brushing it on the leaf. I only did the front side of the leaves because of the way that I was going to use them, but you can do both sides.

leaves on waxed paper

Lay the plastered leaves on waxed paper to dry. At this point, some of the original color of the leaves is showing through the wet plaster, but it doesn’t when it dries.

white plastered leaf

The white plastered leaf looked beautiful with the neutral items I planned to use in my tablescape, but then I got the idea to glam it up a bit since I was using some china with a gold rim.

gold leaf Rub n' Buff

So I pulled out some gold leaf Rub n’ Buff that I had won in a giveaway from Vicky at Decor and Harmony a few months ago to outline the veins of the leaves. I really liked how it looked with all the other metallic colors I was using on the table.

gold leaf on plaster leaf

So there you have it. I told you that it was easy!

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{ 27 comments… read them below or add one }

Kelly November 8, 2012 at 2:43 pm

Hi Jane:

Your leaves are so beautiful! Love the gold touches in the leaves, it really sets them off! Thanks for sharing!


KATHYSUE November 8, 2012 at 3:50 pm

Jane, this is a great idea and one worth trying for sure. I love them all white!! So many possibilities!! Thanks for sharing. I did a post today on ways to display your silverware and napkins for your Holiday table,
happy Thursday,


debbiedoos November 8, 2012 at 4:12 pm

Those leaves are super cute Jane. What a neat idea.


Kim November 8, 2012 at 5:26 pm

Jane, those are so pretty and I know what you mean about ready to move on from fall color.


Susan in SC November 8, 2012 at 6:54 pm

I will have to try this. Thanks for the tutorial!


dawn November 8, 2012 at 7:14 pm

OMG how cute are those. I had no idea the plaster would hold up so well. Great tutorial:)


Gina November 8, 2012 at 10:00 pm

What wonderful leaves! You did an excellent job & I love that they seem simple enough to make.


Emma Briggs November 9, 2012 at 1:28 am

Great Ideas Jane….I will try this one to my Christmas ball for this coming holiday.


Danni Baird November 9, 2012 at 5:45 am

These are just gorgeous! Thank you for the tutorial. You weren’t kidding, it looks pretty easy!


Carlene @ Oganized Clutter November 9, 2012 at 7:02 am

Love the plaster leaves. Th gold veining is perdect with your gold trimmed plates.


BethM@Under A Pile of Scrap! November 9, 2012 at 7:50 am

This is such a unique and beautiful idea!


Anne @ DesignDreamsbyAnne November 9, 2012 at 8:22 am

Pretty idea! and I LOVE YOUR LUCY!!! What a cutie.

Have a wonderful weekend xox


Beckie November 9, 2012 at 8:22 am

Thanks for the tutorial. Love this idea and think it adds a little something extra to your Thanksgiving table.


Ann November 9, 2012 at 9:42 am

So pretty and your pics are incredible. What a relief that your table is finished too. Hope you and Leo have a fabulous weekend…good luck with the dedication activities!


Sue November 9, 2012 at 11:02 am

Jane, this is such a clever idea- perfect for not only the leaves, but a multitude of things!! :-) Sue


Barbara F. November 9, 2012 at 11:04 am

Wow! Jane, this is a great tutorial. I think even I can make some. They look beautiful, especially with the gold veins. xo


DesignedDecor November 9, 2012 at 4:38 pm

Love them! Great idea. They turned out so pretty!


Helen November 9, 2012 at 11:24 pm

Jane, you know that I’m a fan of Rub ‘N Buff from way back. I’ve used it a lot, but truthfully have used it mostly with my fingers or a Q-tip. I had not even thought about trying a brush! Your leaves are gorgeous and unique…how fun for your family celebration. Thanks for sharing, Helen


Mary November 11, 2012 at 6:18 am

Your leaves are wonderful Jane! I love them on your napkins and the gold veins are the perfect complement to your table!


Kathleen November 11, 2012 at 5:33 pm

I love how that looks! Beautiful!


Jean Windham November 11, 2012 at 7:25 pm

What a beautiful idea and could be used in so many different applications. The combination of the neutral napkins with the gold leaf application….. Love it…. Jean


Little Miss Maggie November 12, 2012 at 11:21 am

This is a great idea. I am going to give it a try.


laura@Top This Top That November 12, 2012 at 3:47 pm

what a nifty little idea. The gold is a totally awesome touch!


Kelly @ Eclectically Vintage November 15, 2012 at 4:26 pm

I adore these and wanted to give them a try myself but time got away from me once again! Gotta start thinking Christmas now!


Vicky August 29, 2013 at 5:01 pm

The leaves you used are oak leaves…not maple. Love the project, though!


Traci August 30, 2013 at 2:39 am

I love the Fall leaves and I can’t wait to try is out. Thanks for sharing this fun idea.


La Cult Crafting Pot January 24, 2014 at 11:11 am

Great idea!


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