First, you will want to cut the leaves from the garland. Make sure the stem is long enough for you to hold onto for dipping and to tie onto for the garland.
Mix the plaster of paris according to the directions on the package. (We used 1 cup of plaster to a 1/2 cup of cold water which allowed us to dip 20 leaves.) Mix well until all clumps are gone. Also, remember that plaster of paris does not come out of clothing or dish cloths! (Eek! This must have been where my anxiety was?!?)
Dip the leaf in plaster and set on wax paper. Repeat for all leaves and let dry overnight.
If you would like to dip in paint (please do! it looks so much cooler...), we recommend using quart-size cans so that you are able to dip the entire leaf if desired. Make sure the paint is stirred REALLY well. And keep in mind that the leaves are very delicate and no longer bendable.
Dip the leaf was far as you would like and again place on wax paper. Let dry at least 2 hours between colors.
Once you are finished dipping all of your favorite color combinations, I suggest allowing 24 hours for the leaves to completely dry before stringing. Then string the dry, painted leaves onto twine with a knot around the stem. You can also use as a tag for a bottle of wine - or even a gift or place setting! (Chalk paint worked great too!)