The Perfect Gift: Gold Leaf Plaster Votives

April 15, 2013

DESIGN MOM: Gold Leaf Plaster Votives. Easy DIY.

Text and images by Amy Christie for Design Mom.

Spring is the season for bridal showers and baby showers (raise your hand if you’re hosting one in the next few weeks). So I thought it would be fun to come up with a really pretty party favor that feels special and a bit glamorous, and these gold-leaf plaster votives are just the thing! (Bonus: they’re easy to make.)

Clean white and sparkly gold leaf makes a fresh combo. Plus, plaster offers a nice, soft white and it is so much fun to work with — it can be molded into whatever we choose! And then to make it more candlelight friendly (read: candlelight can shine out), a power drill works wonders, while gold leaf makes it shine.

DESIGN MOM: Gold Leaf Plaster Votives. Easy DIY.

You can use any type of disposable container for a mold — paper cups, cleaned out food containers — the shape is up to you. And keep in mind, you’ll need two — for these votives, an outer and inner mold is needed to create the shape.

DESIGN MOM: Gold Leaf Plaster Votives. Easy DIY.

A steady hand and an ability to handle a little mess (it’s a bit dusty) is all it takes to tranform plain plaster into peaceful little lights.

DESIGN MOM: Gold Leaf Plaster Votives. Easy DIY.

Come see how it’s done!

DESIGN MOM: Gold Leaf Plaster Votives. Easy DIY.

Supplies:

-plaster – I use Plaster of Paris
-water
-mold containers in outer and inner sizes – any kind of holding form you’d like works
-gold leaf
-gold leaf adhesive
-hand drill
-drill bits of various sizes
-brushes
-wooden sticks
-honing tool (if you don’t have one, a wooden stick, spoon or butter knife works too)

DESIGN MOM: Gold Leaf Plaster Votives. Easy DIY.

Mix enough plaster for your container according to the directions of the manufacturer.

DESIGN MOM: Gold Leaf Plaster Votives. Easy DIY.

Once the plaster is mixed, pour into the outer mold and then put the smaller mold on the inside, holding it or weighing it down to keep it in place until it sets and hardens.

DESIGN MOM: Gold Leaf Plaster Votives. Easy DIY.

Once it’s hardened enough so it’s not smushy anywhere, remove the molds. The plaster will still feel cool and damp to the touch.

DESIGN MOM: Gold Leaf Plaster Votives. Easy DIY.

Smooth out any rough edges or wrinkles.

DESIGN MOM: Gold Leaf Plaster Votives. Easy DIY.

Then comes the drilling! Any design or pattern works — it’s completely up to you. Whatever you decide, it’s best to start with a smaller, pilot holes to keep the plaster from cracking.

DESIGN MOM: Gold Leaf Plaster Votives. Easy DIY.

Then, if you’d like, use the different size bits to make various larger-sized holes.

DESIGN MOM: Gold Leaf Plaster Votives. Easy DIY.

Add the gold leaf on the inside, brushing away the excess and clearing out each hole.

Note: Idid try adding the gold leaf before hand and then drilling. Because a bit of the plaster pulls away from each hole on the interior, the gold leaf pulls away too.

DESIGN MOM: Gold Leaf Plaster Votives. Easy DIY.

Once everything is dry, drop in a votive and enjoy the golden flickers.

These little party favors are sure to be well received — but definitely make some extras, because you’ll want a few for your own house.

———

THIS IDEA WOULD ALSO BE GREAT FOR:

- A small gift to cheer a friend.
- A sparkly holiday gift for your neighbors.
- Make a set or 3 or 5 as a hostess or housewarming gift.
- Table decor for a dinner party.

P.S. — We love making gifts! You can find all the posts in this series here.

DESIGN MOM: Gold Leaf Plaster Votives. Easy DIY.

Related Posts with Thumbnails
Share and Enjoy:
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Kirtsy
  • StumbleUpon

{ 7 trackbacks }

Just Moms » Blog Archive » The Perfect Gift: Gold Leaf Plaster Votives
April 15, 2013 at 1:08 pm
The Perfect Gift: Gold Leaf Plaster Votives
April 15, 2013 at 1:40 pm
Perfect Gift with Design Mom: Gold Leaf Plaster Votives | this heart of mine
April 17, 2013 at 1:01 pm
74 fun things // 14 - 74 Lime Lane | 74 Lime Lane
April 18, 2013 at 10:58 pm
momma gifts and diys
April 29, 2013 at 3:20 pm
רעיונות ליצירה עם גבס | הדרכות מצולמות
August 5, 2013 at 2:21 am
DIY: Ρομαντικά Κηροπήγια Από Γύψο | Misswebbie.gr
November 8, 2013 at 8:53 am

{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Rachel April 15, 2013 at 11:35 am

Oh these are so pretty!! The gold leaf is just gorgeous.

Reply

2 Graciella April 15, 2013 at 11:50 am

These are beautiful and actually very ‘Thai looking’.

Here in Thailand gold leaf is used for many many things, including being rubbed onto Buddha statues to ‘make merit’ and to help to bless the giver.

It’s also used inside small votive candle holders similar to these as it looks just gorgeous, as you have illustrated, at night when that lovely yellowy-orange reflection from the gold hits the darkness.

Would never have thought of using plaster and a paper cup to make a votive candle holder, though, What a great idea :)

Reply

3 Lena April 15, 2013 at 3:32 pm

Gorgeous! Love the combination of gold and white!

Reply

4 sarah April 15, 2013 at 3:37 pm

A question primarily for Amy :
Would it be possible to make the holes with small finishing nails? I ask because I am an elementary school teacher, and I think these would make lovely Mother’s Day gifts – but it will be easier to rustle up hammers and nails than enough drills for all the students !
Thank you – they are lovely !

Reply

5 amy c April 17, 2013 at 9:00 am

Great question Sarah! I’m not sure the finishing nails will work. I think the hammering will most likely crack the plaster, especially if not all the swings it their mark. :) I’m not sure of other options off the top of my head but they would be a neat gift!

Reply

6 JustGail April 18, 2013 at 12:03 pm

Hammering and finish nails won’t work. That will lead to cracked and shattered votives. Not to mention hammered fingers. And shattered dreams of lovely presents for Mom.

But fresh plaster is fairly soft, and hardens more the longer it stands around. I suggest looking for “pin vise” at the hardware store. Then you can use small drill bits to drill by hand. They will still need to watch out for how hard they press while drilling though. Maybe keep the inner mold to slip back in while drilling, if it’s fairly sturdy?

Reply

7 Dawn January 28, 2014 at 11:21 am

A similar project that you might consider that would work with hammer and nails: fill clean, empty tin cans (soup, veggie, fruit cans) with water and freeze. Then the kids can use hammers and nails to punch designs into the can. The ice keeps the cans from collapsing when being punched. Once the ice melts they are cute candle holders. I did this with Girl Scouts and they loved it.

Reply

8 Danielle April 15, 2013 at 4:28 pm

These are so pretty! Thanks for sharing!

Reply

9 KelliO April 16, 2013 at 11:24 am

Amy, you are seriously tempting me with plaster! Both your votive projects are so pretty and on my “someday” list.

Reply

10 amy c April 17, 2013 at 9:00 am

Thanks KelliO!! I hope you get on that ‘someday’ list soon!

Reply

11 tere April 17, 2013 at 9:03 am

lovely!!!!

Reply

12 AC April 18, 2013 at 9:41 pm

May I ask where you got the specific gold leaf you use here?

Also, is it real gold leaf or imitation? I just wonder if the fake stuff oxidizes in your experience, so that real gold leaf is necessary.

This is a beautiful project. So lovely!

Reply

13 Asha May 29, 2013 at 6:52 am

wow !! beautifu pretty itea … those are very lovely…
never thought it was like that to do.. it is good for the candle
not to burn too.

thanks for the pattern..

Reply

14 Asha May 29, 2013 at 6:55 am

Gabriella ,
May I ask where you got the specific gold leaf you use here?

Reply

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: