Author: Emma Chapman,Budget: $$,Crafts,Home Decor,Homemade Gift Ideas,Office ,Weekend Project,

How to make your own crystal paper weightsLet me be honest. I never understood the use of paperweights until last month. I always thought they seemed kind of silly. I mean, who really uses those anyway?

So now that my desk is located under an air conditioning vent, and it's been around 100°F outside the last few weeks, all the papers on my desk blow around if I don't put my coffee mug or stapler or something on top of them. It's like musical office stuff on my desktop all day. 

And I found myself wishing for some cute paperweights. It finally happened.

How to make your own crystal paper weights  First I grew my own crystals inside an egg shell. And I loved how they looked, but they weren't quite heavy enough, and they are pretty fragile. So I decided to encase them in a geometric plaster mold. This turned out to be super easy, and I love how they turned out. They are pretty funky little paper weights, but they feel very me, sitting on my office papers. :)

Here's how to make your own plaster mold and how I made these geode paperweights.

Make your own plaster moldSupplies:
-cardboard
-tape (painter's, masking, or duct tape will work well)
-pottery plaster (sold at most craft stores)
-disposable container
-popsicle sticks
-fine sandpaper
-acrylic or craft paint

Step One: Make your own molds from cardboard and tape. I cut out three triangles, all the same size, and taped them together to make mine. I tried spraying one of the molds with nonstick cooking spray before pouring the plaster, but it didn't seem to do much better than the two molds that I didn't spray. So I say skip this step unless it makes you feel better. :)

Pour the plasterStep Two: Mix the plaster according to the package directions in a disposable container using a popsicle stick or disposable spoon. The plaster will heat up as you stir, so be aware of that. Pour the plaster into the molds, a little less than full. Place the geode egg into the plaster, gently pressing it into place. Allow that to fully set (check the plaster package directions for drying times).

Remove the mold once dryStep Three: Peel the cardboard mold off and allow to fully dry (I left mine overnight). Sand the surface and edges.

Paint the dry plasterStep Four: Paint the plaster any color you like! I used a metallic pearl color, as my desk is white, so I thought this would look best on my desk. I think a dark grey or black would also look awesome and make the crystals stand out. 

How to make your own crystal paper weights Notes: First off, keep in the mind that the eggs were originally completely soaked in food dye while the crystals grew. This means, if you didn't rinse and allow the egg shell to fully dry after growing your crystals then you may have excess dye that may seep into your plaster. I had a little of this happen. Once painted it wasn't a big deal, but be sure to get as much dye off the eggs before you move on to this plaster step. 

Second, you may notice that my crystals look a little duller than in the original post. Why? I decided to paint my crystals with thinned (Elmer's) glue. I was hoping this would make them less delicate. I don't think it really helped all that much, and it dulled the overall look of the crystals. So, I say skip that step (which is why I didn't include it).

These would also make a fun gift! I am already getting a lot of use out of them on my desk. :) Thanks for letting me share! xo. Emma

Credits // Author and Photography: Emma Chapman. Photos edited using A Beautiful Mess actions.

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