Faux Plant: Painted Canvas Leaves
Learn how to make this decorative faux plant to brighten up any room.
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Project by Bunny DeLorie.
Materials and Tools:
18-gauge floral wire
floral foam or sand
thick white glue
1" foam brush
paper or plastic plate
ceramic or terra cotta plant container
wallpaper smoothing tool or credit card
acrylic paints: Hauser green dark & light, cream, burnt umber, plum
1. Using a pencil and craft paper, draw the outline of large leaf shapes tapering the bottom end to about 1 inch wide, or if you prefer, trace around actual plant leaves. Vary the sizes of the leaf designs.
2. Cut out the paper leaf patterns and transfer the leaf designs to primed canvas by placing them on the canvas and tracing around them. You will need a front and back for each leaf, so be sure to flip each leaf design over so the front and back will match perfectly. Make 12 to 14 leaves for each plant.
3. Cut out the canvas leaves with scissors.
4. Cut floral wire the length of each leaf plus 8 to 10 inches using wire cutters.
5. For each leaf, place the two matching front and back pieces primed side down onto wax paper. Apply thick white glue to each piece and distribute the glue over each piece with a wallpaper smoothing tool or old credit card.
6. Center a wire down the length of one glue-covered leaf. Place other side of leaf on top of wire, sandwiching the wire inside.
7. Fold wax paper over the leaf. Lay a heavy object on top of the leaf and allow to dry flat overnight. The glue will not stick to the wax paper. When dry, scrape any excess glue off the edges of the leaves and trim any excess canvas that may not match perfectly.
8. Squeeze acrylic paints onto a paper or plastic plate. Using a foam brush, pick up the dark and light green paints, mixing them slightly, and apply the paint to one side of the leaf. Continue adding color to the leaf until it is covered with a blend of colors.
9. Add a stroke of cream paint along the center stem and blend it toward the outer edge of the leaf. Paint the other side of the leaf. Remember that no two leaves are the same in nature; each painted leaf should look different. Stand the stems of leaves in a tall heavy container to dry.
10. Spray each side of the leaf with a thin coat of satin acrylic finish or clear shellac. Let dry.
11. Apply a coat of clear paste wax to all leaves using a soft cloth. Let dry approximately 30 minutes; then buff with a clean cloth to a soft luster.
12. To assemble the plant: Place floral foam or sand into the bottom of a ceramic or terra cotta container. Insert the wire stems of the leaves into the foam or sand.
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