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.
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.
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.
Come see how it’s done!
-plaster – I use Plaster of Paris
-mold containers in outer and inner sizes – any kind of holding form you’d like works
-gold leaf adhesive
-drill bits of various sizes
-honing tool (if you don’t have one, a wooden stick, spoon or butter knife works too)
Mix enough plaster for your container according to the directions of the manufacturer.
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.
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.
Smooth out any rough edges or wrinkles.
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.
Then, if you’d like, use the different size bits to make various larger-sized holes.
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.
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.