Botanical Plaster Artwork

Branch-framed artwork

Create beautiful nature-inspired wall art plaques with these step-by-step instructions.

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Branching Out

Plaster wall art using twigs, leaves and branches

Twigs, leaves, branches, and other elements from nature make quite an impression in DIY maven Michele Beschen's plaster of Paris wall art. Learn how to make your own with our easy to follow step-by-step guide.

What you'll need:

Cutting board

Duck cloth or muslin

Moist earth clay

Rolling pin

Empty wooden frame

Branches, leaves, and other nature objects

Clay tools

Plaster of Paris

Wire hook for hanging

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Step One

Clay surrounded by frame

On a cutting board covered with duck cloth, roll out clay to 1/4-1/2 inch thick. Cut clay to size of frame, pressing it to the edges of the frame.

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Step Two

Using nature items to make impressions in clay

Press branches, leaves, and other objects found in nature (rocks and pods work well) into the clay. Use clay tools if needed to make deeper indentions.

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Step Three

Nature items removed from clay

Leave items in the clay, or remove them, leaving the indentation.

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Step Four

Pouring on thin layer of plaster

Mix plaster of Paris according to instructions, and pour a thin layer into the frame on top of the clay.

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Step Five

Leveling poured plaster

Let set for a few seconds; gently lift and lightly shake duck cloth to remove air bubbles if necessary. Add more plaster until level with edge of frame. Press a wire hook into plaster of Paris. Let plaster set for 30 minutes.

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Step Six

Pulling clay pattern off of plaster

Turn over frame and remove clay cast. Let plaster dry overnight. Hang the plaque, and enjoy your nature-inspired work of art!

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Conserve wall plaque

A spray of sticks forms the base of this piece. When surrounded by a bark-clad frame that is woodburned with the word "conserve," the plaque becomes a mantra for an eco-friendly lifestyle. Tip: The clay for each casting can be reused for future castings as long as it remains moist.

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Upcycled Frames

Cabinet drawer wall plaque

A cast-off cabinet door gets a new life as the frame for this plaster of Paris art project. Rethink old frames, door panels, or windows to serve as the frame for your project. If plaster leaks out of the frame, simply sand the excess away.

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Framed Up

Branch-framed artwork

Sticks play off the leaf impression of this plaque. To make the wood frame, notch the vertical sticks to hold the horizontal pieces; secure with wood glue.

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