Looking for an idea to make some original wall art with a natural vibe? Well, I have the perfect project! Today I am going to show you how to make pressed flower clay plaques.
Steps to Make Pressed Flower Clay Plaques
The inspiration for this project came from something I saw in the Magnolia Spring line. It’s no secret that I love the look and style of everything Joanna Gaines!! You don’t believe me…well take a look through my Visiting Magnolia posts when I stayed at one of their rental homes!!
The Magnolia pressed flower plaques are $48 each!! They are lovely but pricey…so I did what I love to do…take an expensive idea and make it budget-friendly!!
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For my flower plaques, I am using DAS air-dry modeling clay in the Terracotta color and a couple of wood frames from a Hobby Lobby set.
Later in the project, I will be using acrylic craft paint & pens, and a hot glue gun.
Roll out the clay
The first step is to roll out the clay. I’m using my pastry rolling pin for this…no special tools are needed!
Measure & Cut The Clay
After I had the clay rolled out to around 1/8 inch in thickness (eyeball measurement) the next step was to take the piece of clay and lay it over one of the wood frames.
Then I used my fingertips to push the clay down against the edges of the frame to make an outline of the space. After that, it was easy to take a knife and run it down the sides of the wood frame.
Then I wet my fingertips and smoothed out the rough edges of the clay.
For this project, I wanted to make 2 frames so I repeated the steps to make a second clay piece.
Choose The Flowers to Press
Since the plaques that I’m making are on the smaller side, I am going to use small but detailed flowers to press. Well, I am using dried flowers and one artificial piece of greenery.
For the dried options, I have a piece of seeded eucalyptus that I have leftover from my Flower Keepsake Shadowbox project, a sprig of white waxflower that I had from my last Trader Joe’s flower run, and another dried plant from my garden. I pulled off a small piece of artificial greenery from a larger stem to press too.
Press the Flowers in the Clay
Now the fun part..figuring out how I wanted to lay down the flowers on the clay for the prettiest outcome. I did play around with the arrangement a bit before deciding. I wanted some of the pieces to run off the edges of the clay and made sure that the stem part of each one made it onto the clay.
Once I had my arrangement finalized I took my wood rolling pin and slowly went over the clay and flowers.
I pressed down hard enough to press the flowers into the clay without going through the clay. You don’t need to use much pressure at all!
After the flowers were pressed I pulled the stem out gently from the bottom. Some of the little pieces of the flowers and seeded eucalyptus fell off in the process so I used a soft paintbrush to gently prod them out of the clay.
Once I lifted the ends out of the clay I could grab them and remove them without messing up the project.
Now, a very important step!! Once I had pressed the flowers into the clay I picked up the clay and put it inside the frame to make adjustments so that it would fit.
The top of the clay from rolling over it needed to be trimmed again (and I wet my fingertips to smooth the clay edges a bit afterwards)
If you wanted a perfectly straight piece of clay then use a small X-Acto blade, I wanted an organic look to the edges.
After I was finished with both plaques I put them on a drying rack (one of my baking ones) to let the clay dry. It took a little more than a day for the clay to be completely dry.
Paint the Frames
While the clay was drying I painted the frames. If I ever make this project again I think I will stain the frames for sure! It was about 6° out in my garage and way too cold to work or stain anything out there!
The frames were painted with a coat of dark brown acrylic craft paint and once they dried I went over the frames with the Waverly Antique Wax. For the wax, I brushed it onto the frames and then used a paper towel to wipe it off after a minute. This wax has the consistency of thick paint and is super easy to work with…plus you can get a small bottle for under 2 bucks at Walmart (over in the craft paint aisle).
Paint the Pressed Flower Clay Plaques
Now, this would be an optional step. The clay plaques look beautiful just the way they are but I wanted to add a little color to my set,
For this part, I grabbed some leftover paint from a kit and a few paint pens. You could definitely personalize the paint to fit with your surroundings or the colors that you love!
I used a teeny paintbrush to add small amounts of paint into the impressions left by the leaves. I wasn’t trying to fill in every part of the leaves with paint…just a light touch.
When I was using the paint pen, I added a little paint from the pen then used the tiny paintbrush to spread it through the flower impressions.
Putting the Plaques Together
Once I had both pieces of clay painted it was time to put this project together!
If you want to hang your plaques this is when you would add sawtooth hangers to the backs of the frames for hanging, you would want to make sure that you attached the hangers to the thickest part of the wood at the top of the frames.
Using my hot glue gun (I use the Gorilla brand of glue sticks and they are worth the slightly more expensive price!! ) I put a zigzag of glue on the back of the clay and pushed it down onto the wood frame.
Finished Pressed Flower Clay Plaques
And here are the finished plaques!! Just in time to use in my Spring decorating…but they are really an all-season craft project.
This Spring my entire vibe is natural elements and using lots of plants and greens along with organic colors… I might need a houseplant intervention soon!!!
…And isn’t this Better Homes & Gardens propagation station just adorable??!! It was under $15 from Walmart.com. It will look so sweet with small flowers later in the Spring too.