Nothing says Christmas like Plaster of Paris!
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One of my favorite Christmas traditions is to buy new ornaments every year that represent our human family. Our “family” of course also includes all of the furry members as well. This year my daughter and I thought it would be fun to make Paw Print Ornaments for each one of our three Chihuahuas plus her two Bull Terriers. I will tell you right now that our DIY project went from the two of us plus the dogs to adding our two husbands. Their extra hands were much needed, especially when it came to wrangling her Bullies :).
- 4 lb bucket of DAP Plaster of Paris.
- Various shapes of cookie cutters.
- Glitter paint in multiple colors.
- Various sheets of bling or rhinestone stickers.
- Paint brushes.
- Christmas ribbon.
We also added some items that we already had at home. Here is that list.
- Silicon snow flake muffin pan (We bought this pan on Amazon).
- Paper plates.
- Wax paper
- Drinking straws.
- Black Sharpie Pen.
We decided to start with the little pups first figuring they would be easier then my daughter’s crew. The silicone snow flake muffin pan would be perfect for their little feet. The muffin pan also has a pretty pattern on the bottom that we thought would look great on an ornament.
We made up a batch of the Plaster of Paris following the 2 to 1 instructions on the package. We used 1 cup of plaster to 1/2 cup of water. You will want to adjust how much Plaster to make up based on the size of your ornaments. All six of our snow flakes ended up about a 1/2 inch think. Do not make up more than you can work within a few minutes because the plaster will set up quickly. We learned this the hard way.
After pouring the plaster into the silicon mold we let it sit about 5 minutes. Using a small bowl full of water we dipped our pup’s paw into the water, shaking it of slightly before putting it into the plaster. We found that this helped make a clearer paw print. This is where two people come in handy. My husband held our chosen Chihuahua as I gently pressed his paw into the plaster cast. You will need to use some pressure but you don’t have to submerge the paw.
After the paw print is pressed into the plaster, slowly remove the paw and immediately wash the plaster off of your pet. Plaster can burn but washing it prevents any harm to you or your pet. Since our muffin pan had six cavities we made two prints of each petite tribe member. Once completed we set the pan aside to work on my daughter’s dogs.
For my daughter’s dogs we decided to use cookie cutters because they have such large paws. Instead of making a big batch of plaster we chose to make smaller amounts working only one cookie cutter at a time. Again the amount of plaster needed for this will all be determined by the size of cookie cutter you use. My daughter used a paper plate with a sheet of wax paper on top and then placed the cookie cutter on top of that. The wax paper was to make sure that the plaster would release from the plate.
My daughter held the cookie cutter down while her husband poured the plaster into the mold and until it set up slightly (about 5 minutes). Then the two of them repeated the steps we did with our tribe. Wet the paw with water, shake off, gently press the paw into the plaster. The bigger dogs used their own weight to press the print, so be ready for this. Remove the paw and wash off the plaster. Set the cookie cutters aside to fully set up before removing them.
When the plaster was poured for both set of paw prints (muffin pan & cookie cutter) we placed drinking straws into the plaster to help form holes for the Christmas ribbon to go through. Leave the straws in until the plaster is a bit firmer but not all the way set. We figured somewhere around 8 minutes. Gently twist and pull the straw out. Don’t fret if they get stuck. Our muffin pan ornaments got stuck but my husband was able to use a small drill bit to get the straw out and the hole through after the prints were removed from the mold.
After about 20 minutes of drying we removed the ornaments from the silicone mold and the cookie cutters. Carefully work them out of the plaster mold you have chosen to use. All of ours came out fairly easy but still be careful. Our paw prints were not completely dry so we left them over night to make sure that they hardened fully.
On day two my daughter and I came together to paint and decorate our paw print ornaments. This I will leave up to you as everyone has their own creative side.
Because I used the muffin pan my ornaments already had a pattern on the back side, so I primarily used glitter paint with just a few pieces of bling. My daughter also painted hers but used bling to add more sparkle and design. After the paint completely dried we put ribbon through the holes, wrote puppy names and the year with a Sharpie and placed them on the Christmas tree. Voila! Fabulous DIY Paw Print Ornaments!!!!!! Merry Christmas from all of us at the Rocket Dog Blog.
We would love to hear from you. If you make these Paw Print Ornaments please share your thoughts and pictures, If you have made Paw Print Ornaments using a different media we would love to hear about that too!!