It’s no secret that I love rustic, tactile materials – from Harris tweed and Icelandic wool, to plywood and chipboard. There’s just something about these materials I can’t get enough of… is it the quality, or how hard-wearing they are? Or just the feel of them; that slightly course tactility? I don’t know. But I do know that I wanted to incorporate these kinds of materials to my Christmas decor this year!
With this in mind, I decided to make some concrete and plaster Christmas tree decorations. I’ve only photographed the plaster ones (at the time of writing, I’ve not quite finished off the concrete ones – but I’ll share them on my Instagram).
I used my Mayku FormBox to create these DIY hanging decorations – but don’t worry if you don’t have one; I’ve also included a method to make them without this machine.
DIY Concrete and Plaster Christmas Tree Decorations
Supplies and tools
- Option 1: Mayku FormBox, cast sheets and a raw potato (yes, a potato!)
- Option 2: Scrap cardboard and tape
- Christmas cookie cutters
- Concrete powder
- Plaster of Paris powder
- Weighing scales
- Wooden skewer
- Course sandpaper
- Twine or string
PART 1, OPTION 1: If you have a Mayku FormBox
- Before you can use your FormBox to create a cast, you need to make the mould. To do this, we’re going to carve some potatoes! Yep, potatoes. Simply take a large, raw potato and cut a flat piece from the centre, approximately 2-3cm deep.
- Use a Christmas cookie cutter to carve out the shape of your concrete tree decorations. Alternatively, you could draw a template onto some card and use this to carve your shape with a knife.
- When you’ve finished carving your pumpkin shapes, pat them dry with kitchen paper.
- Place the dry potato shapes onto your Mayku FormBox and follow the normal process to cast your mould.
PART 1, OPTION 2: If you do not have a FormBox
- Sketch a Christmas shape onto some cardboard (top tip: use a cookie cutter as a template!). Cut this out.
- Cut out a long strip of cardboard. It should be approximately 3cm wide, and slightly longer than the circumference of the shape you cut out in step 1.
- Using strong tape, stick the long cardboard strip (step 2) to the edges of the Christmas shape (step 1). This long strip will basically create the walls of the mould, into with you will pour your concrete or plaster.
PART 2: With or without a FormBox
- Mix up your concrete or plaster, according to the instructions on the packaging. Carefully pour it into the mould you made in part 1.
- When the mould is filled approximately 1cm deep, give it a gentle shake or tap to remove all air bubbles. It’s best to keep shaking/tapping for a few minutes.
- Leave the concrete or plaster to dry for approximately 30 minutes, then insert a piece of skewer into the top of the shape. This will create the hole to thread the twine to hang up your concrete and plaster decorations. You might need to use a piece of masking tape to help keep the skewer upright.
- Leave the decorations to dry completely (at least overnight), then gently remove them from the mould.
- Remove the skewer from the decorations and sand down all of the edges with medium grit sandpaper.
- Finally, thread a piece of baker’s twine through the hole and hang up your decorations.
The best thing about these concrete and plaster tree decorations is that the moulds can be used over and over again. This means it’s really easy to whip up a batch of them over a few days, so you can decorate your whole Christmas tree!
If the muted white look isn’t for you, try adding hand-painted details to give them a splash of colour. You could even use glitter or gold leaf for an extra luxe look! – Mike.