Coat silk leaves in budget-friendly plaster of Paris to create sleek napkin rings and place cards for your Thanksgiving table.Sam Henderson, Today's Nest
This project can get messy; be sure to protect your work area with a drop cloth.
Our napkins rings came from a discount store. They were very inexpensive, but blue. Look for simple rings that will make a good backdrop to your finished leaves.
This project requires your full attention. Have your materials ready and choose a time to do it when you'll have minimal distractions.
The plaster thickens quickly and the less water/glue mixture you have to add to it, the better.
Mix 1 cup of water and 1/3 cup of glue together. Prepare another bowl with the remaining water and glue and set aside to use as needed. Using your fingers, apply a thin coat of school glue to each side of the leaves.
Place 2 cups of plaster in a deep container. Add one batch of water and glue mixture and mix until smooth and creamy (Image 1). Dip each large leaf fully into the wet plaster (Image 2). Gently shake off excess and clip the leaves onto a hanger with the points facing down (Image 3). Repeat for all leaves.
Once leaves have fully dried, cut off any remaining wire stem. Using a very fine-grit sandpaper, smooth any imperfections or bumps, then dust off any loose plaster and spray both sides of the leaves with matte sealant. Paint napkin rings to coordinate with plaster leaves, if necessary.
After sealant has dried thoroughly, remove adhesive letters from sheet and place carefully on the middle of the big leaf to spell out your guests' names (Image 1).
For the napkin rings, attach the small leaves to the napkin rings using strong adhesive following manufacturer's directions (Image 2). Tip: Use a small amount of painter's tape to "clamp" the leaf to the napkin ring until the glue dries.