Autumn Plaster Casts

This is an easy way to produce an original moulded relief decoration using casting plaster. Once the mould has been made it can be re-used to make more pieces.

Adult Supervision Needed

Yes

How to Make

  1. Press a 1cm layer of Das clay into the base of a plastic container. Press leaves and twigs into the surface of the clay to make a simple pattern. Small leaves with clearly defined veins give the best results for mould making. If the impression doesn’t look clear in the surface of the clay, press over the top with a cocktail stick or use a thin twig to make the lines deeper. Use the end of a paintbrush to press a pattern into the clay for the berries. Allow the clay to dry for a couple of hours so the surface isn’t sticky. You could also use plasticine for making this base layer.
  2. Measure 3 parts of plaster powder into a mixing bowl then add 2 parts of water. Mix the plaster into a creamy consistency. Wearing rubber gloves makes this easier so you can smooth out any lumps in the plaster mix.
  3. Carefully pour the plaster mix over the clay, gently tipping the container so the base is evenly covered. Tap the sides to remove any air bubbles then leave to dry for an hour or so.
  4. Press the top of the plaster to check it has set, then carefully squeeze the sides of the container to release it. The plaster should come away easily from the clay, but if there are any areas where it has stuck, simply scrub the surface of the hardened plaster cast with an old toothbrush and water to remove any unwanted material. Leave to dry fully overnight.
  5. Paint the plaster cast using one colour at a time, wait for the paint to dry before applying the next colour. Use a sponge dabber to add a second colour to highlight the relief patterns; try metallic gold or red paint on the leaves, branches and berries.

Top Tip

A small cardboard cup = 1 part for making a plaster cast inside a 500g margarine or butter container, using 3 parts plaster to 2 parts water.

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