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Easter Bunny ©Stephie McCarthy

Chalkware Easter Bunnies from Candy Molds

Making Peter Rabbit and Other Beatrix Potter Type Figurines from Plaster

by © Stephie McCarthy

— watch the video here —

Watch the video here

Our chalkware bunnies were easy and inexpensive to make. They look like vintage collectibles but cost about $10 each. They remind us of the watercolor illustrations of Peter Rabbit characters in stories by Beatrix Potter.

Make Your Own Peter Rabbit figurine

We got the watercolor effect with artist's chalk and eyeshadow blended onto the plaster with swabs. Later we sanded the colors to get the worn vintage look. It's easy — we promise!

How to make a Beatrix Potter figurine

We show you how we tinted the plaster chalkware here.

DIY chalkware Easter bunny

How to Make Plaster Chalkware Bunnies

Our coloring techniques will work on other ceramics too!

How to tint ceramics with chalk

But first, let's make some plaster chalkware!

Plastic Candy Molds for Making Chalkware

The vintage-looking candy molds are designed for making chocolate bunnies for Easter. We found them at Walmart.com ... they are also available on Amazon.

Easter decorations from candy molds

Check the price of candy molds on Amazon:

check the price of plastic candy molds on Amazon

check the price of plastic candy molds on Amazon

Our 3rd bunny mold is hard to source, but here is a similar design —

check the price of plastic candy molds on Amazon

Be sure to use a mold that includes both sides of the character. The plan is to glue the two sides of a plaster figure together to create one full bunny.

The plastic releases the plaster easily. You can also use silicone molds, but may want to spray them first with a mold-release agent.

Crafting with candy molds

Before mixing the plaster, you can pour water into your mold to get an idea of the volume of plaster needed. Our molds each held about a cup of plaster.

How to Level Your Molds

Plaster craft

We used small blocks under the molds so that they will be level. This is how the molds looked when filled and ready to dry.

How to Make the bases

We used lids from food containers to create bases for the plaster figures, shown on the left, above. We used square, round, and even small dog food containers to make bases.

Plaster Brand for Making ChalkWare Figurines

We used DAP Plaster of Paris from a Walmart SuperCenter for about $5.00. If you'd rather mail order the plaster,

— check the price of DAP Plaster of Paris on Amazon here —

Check the Price of Plaster Mix

RECIPE for Plaster of Paris ChalkWare

The DAP Plaster of Paris recipe calls for two-parts plaster to one-part water. Add the dry plaster to the water a little at a time. We experimented with a few recipes and liked the plain plaster mix with no additives, room temperature water, and adding dry-to-wet method best.

How to make plaster chalkware

Add a bit more mix or water as you like, to create a pourable plaster, not too thin. A bit like melted milkshake.

How to mix plaster for craft

This method of adding dry-to-wet will lessen the chance of air bubbles in the plaster.

DIY Easter bunnies

Gently stir the plaster as you go.

Make the plaster the consistency of thick cream, adding a little more plaster or water if necessary.

DIY Easter bunny decorations

Pour the liquid plaster into the molds and allow it to dry until solid.

It will become solid quickly, but it is less likely to break or crack if you let it dry much longer, even a few days.

We overfilled this mold shown above, but were able to trim the edges with a plastic sculpting tool before unmolding.

How to duplicate vintage chalkware

The plaster will feel cool to the touch and pops out of the plastic mold easily. However, even when you are careful, a figure may break like the one shown below.

Make DIY Chalkware

Broken pieces are no problem. We'll glue all pieces together when we assemble the bunnies.

Prime Plaster with Paint on Surfaces that will be Glued

How to create original chalkware decorations

We primed every surface that will be glued with chalk paint (you can also use acrylic). This will eliminate the powdery surface that will inhibit the effect of the glue. Don't paint the outside of the figure if you want to use our chalk and eyeshadow coloring technique.

Check the price of Waverly Chalk Paint at Walmart.com

Check the Price of Waverly White paint

Check the price of AmericanaDecor Paint on Amazon

Chalk Paint

Assembling Plaster Chalkware Easter Bunnies

Be sure to prime parts of your figure with paint as described above. Leave the outside of the figures unpainted for now.

When paint on inside surfaces has dried, apply glue and press together. Wipe off any glue which drips from the cracks.

How to create chalkware with plaster of pairs

We used Titebond Glue (usually used in carpentry, but great for crafts as well.)

Easter Decor project

Allow the pieces to dry completely. When the bunnies are complete, you can glue them to their bases.

Check the Price of Titebond on Amazon

check the price of wood glue on amazon

Fill the Gaps in the Plaster with Spackling

This method of making figures will have gaps. If you're lucky they'll be quite small, but no matter the size, we'll fill all the cracks with spackling.

Easter chalkware

We use the type of spackling that goes on pink and turns white when dry, called DAP DryDex.

Check the price of DAP Spackling on Amazon

Check the Price of DAP Spackling

Easter Decorations money saving

We used plastic knives to fill the cracks and a small paint brush dipped in water to smooth the spackling. You can texture the spackling with the brush and feather it into the surface so that it will both blend and match the texture of the bunny.

How to make decorative chalkware

See above how we filled the crack between the bunny and the base and also textured it to look like grass. We did this by shaping it with a small wet paintbrush, mostly dabbing up and down.

DIY Easter Decor

We used lots of spackling, then smoothed and textured it. You can also sand it a bit later when dry (we recommend wearing a mask.) If it shrinks too much, fill a second time.

How to make vintage style Easter decorations from plaster of Paris

With spackling and air-dry clay you can customize plaster bunnies in a number of ways. We created some clothing in the spirit of fairy tale characters.

Check out the techniques below.

Creating Clothing for Figurines with Spackling or Clay

We made a hat for one of the bunnies by covering a ring of cardboard with spackling.

How to make figurines with spackling

Beatrix Potter decor and decorations DIY

When dry, it looked like a ribbon hat band. Use a light touch and play with the shapes. Accidental effects are often the best.

DIY Easter Bunnies

We also added eggs made with air-dry clay to some of the figures. Let the clay harden, then glue them in place. You may need to prime the plaster with a bit of paint first before gluing.

Check the price of air-dry clay on Amazon

Check the price of crayola air dry clay on amazon

To make a jacket for one of the smaller bunnies, we sketched it with a pencil directly on the chalkware.

How to make plaster of Paris chalkware

We added the spackling then smoothed it into place with a small, wet brush.

,Peter Rabbit decorations

The spackling can be scribed while still wet. Above we are adding a line to imply lapels using the edge of a plastic sculpting knife. Tiny dabs of spackling make the buttons.

Making a Benjamin Bunny Decoration

Make a Benjamin Bunny figurine

DIY Benjamin Bunny Figurine before and after painting

How to Make Beatrix Potter Art

With clay and spackling we shaped a kerchief and a tam o’ shanter for a second small bunny, inspired by Beatrix Potter's Benjamin Bunny — close friend of Peter Rabbit.

Check out the How to Color tutorial here.

Finishing the Chalkware Figures to Look Vintage

Here's "Peter Rabbit" in progress below as we create the vintage watercolor effect with chalk and eyeshadow applied with swabs.

How to color Plaster of Paris and Bisque with chalk and pencils

The chalk seems to bond to the plaster over time, however, if you'd like to use a fixative when complete, we recommend Grumbacher spray fix which can be found in shops like Michaels or HobbyLobby in the art supplies. We also found that we could continue coloring over the Final Fixative.

Check the price of Grumbacher WORKABLE Fixative on Amazon here

check the price of workable fixative

and a sculpting set here

check the price here

Our bunnies have a storybook quality we love! We can hardly believe the results ourselves. Be sure to check out the coloring section here.

DIY Beatrix Potter figures

But we didn't stop here! Next we're working on thrift shop ceramics and love the results!
Subscribe to our YouTube channel for the next steps!

Coloring thrift shop ceramics with chalk

watch the video here
watch the video here

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