Fake flowers take on classic Renaissance look with plaster of Paris

Do you have a dime store budget, but you're a royal wannabe? This project may help create the illusion of Renaissance wealth. Plaster of Paris, or gypsum, was developed at Montmartre, France, and similar materials were used in the great frescos of Europe. Happily, the modern DIYer will find plaster of Paris easy to work with — and, when you apply the straightforward method presented here, you'll give fake flowers an enduring-as-marble look.
The arrangement makes a lovely centerpiece but could also grace a mantle or even enliven a corner lampstand. It looks gorgeous in the living room or bedroom, too. These flowers could be a gift for someone who loves roses and doesn't want to see them wilt, but doesn't like the look of fake flowers. Putting them in a silver dish or on an antique plate will add to the impression of a classic, carved arrangement.
- Latex gloves for hands, or other protective gloves
-Five to seven faux rose buds with stems cut to 6 inches
-Plaster of Paris — we used Falling in Art
-Scrap paper
-Plastic mixing bowl
-Measuring cup
-Styrofoam cup with hole poked in the bottom
-Styrofoam flower base — small pyramid shape works best
-Spray paint in blush color
-Floral clippers
-Work surface for painting
DIY Everywhere
1. Mix 1 cup plaster of Paris with 1/2 cup water in a plastic bowl.
2. Poke a hole in the base of a Styrofoam cup, and turn it upside down.
3. Dip each rose into the plaster mixture, and coat completely.
4. Place the stem of the flower into the hole of the upside down Styrofoam cup. Allow time to dry.
5. Trim the stem of the first rose. Cut it to 3 inches.
6. Slit the shortened stem of the flower, and remove the plastic sheathing, leaving just the wire up to 1 inch from base.
7. Push this flower into the center of the top of the Styrofoam flower base.
8. Cut the remaining flowers to 3 inches and 4 inches. Strip the sheathing all the way off.
9. Arrange the flowers in the sides of the Styrofoam base.
10. Spray paint your floral arrangement lightly from all directions in an open area.
Your arrangement is now ready to place on a pretty plate for display!

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