I am a huge fan of white art and sculptural objects, I find myself drawn to them like moths to a flame. Over the years I’ve highlighted favorites, like how much I love the botanical relief or that time I made this clay jewelry holder. I even found myself sculpting ceramic bowls to look like ripples in the sand.
I set my mind on making little corners of our house glow, specifically the wall above the family’s laptop table. I wanted to add some art prints but also something eye-catching and dimensional. In my quest for something more than framed art, I saw this shadow box botanical art at Pottery Barn and thought I’d make a much cheaper DIY version.
My version turned out to be very similar, but I used faux boxwood branches instead to create my art.
The process is pretty simple, there’s only a few things you’ll need to recreate this art project: a set of 8″ shadowboxes, boxwood (or similar) faux plant stems, plaster of paris, white spray paint or white spray primer, a mixing bucket, and hot glue.
Once the box of shadows arrived (2 day shipping on Amazon), I went to Michaels to find herbs to suit my frames. I chose a $5 boxwood stick, took it home and cut it into thirds.
I dipped the stems in plaster of paris and let them dry on waxed paper. A little tip for dipping, make sure you shake the rod gently for about 60 seconds so that the excess drips back into your bucket of plaster. You may have to repeat this two or three times to get full coverage.
Next line the dipped stem on a piece of waxed paper trying to make it as wide and even as possible. After the plaster has set for about ten minutes, transfer the rod to a second piece of waxed paper to dry completely. I let mine dry for a full 24 hours until stiff.
Be careful when moving it, the tape will break if you are too rough with it. Once the plaster had dried, I transferred the rods onto small pieces of cardboard then spray-painted them with a white primer to give it a matte finish, and also to fill in any gaps where the plaster wasn’t adhering, so the rods would turn all white. more.
Another tip: if there are cracks in the spray-painted plaster rod, squirt some spray paint onto the lid and touch the plaster-soaked rod with the paint on a brush.
Once the spray paint was dry, I used hot glue to attach the sticks painted with plaster to the back of the shadow box, then carefully reattached them. I posted a video on Instagram so you can see the process there too.
This is my final setup with the set, one on the shelf and one hanging on the wall. I added additional plaster-dipped boxwood sticks as sculptural art on the shelves.
I love the way they look and they’re only $30 for a pair, a lot cheaper than Pottery Barn’s $79 each!