Last year, I saw a post on-line about how to make concrete leaves and just had to try it. I made many and loved every one. Most of them, I gave to my Mother who fell in love with them and now has a yard covered in them thanks to my great pumpkin plants that provided the leaf.
I’ve learned a lot since that original first project and have learned ways to actually create curves in the leaves.
This year, I pampered my rhubarb plant with lots of care and fertilizer so that it would provide me with extra large leaves for my new passion. It hasn’t disappointed!
Start by creating a mound of dirt in your yard. The higher this mound is, the more curved your leaf will be around the sides.
If you dig a small “ditch” around the outside of this mound, you can bend the leaves right in to ditch to make your final concrete leaf “curl” on the edges.
Firstly, choose a leaf that has no tears and has great veining.
Place a garbage bag over the mound of dirt and place your leaf face down over the bag. (Vein side up).
I like to use “Cement All” Rapid Set concrete which is a casting concrete that comes in boxes from Home Depot or Lowe’s. This product has no rocks in it like Quickrete does and it’s boxes are convenient and easy to carry.
Put some of the concrete in a bucket and add water a little at a time. Stir with a garden shovel to the consistency of pudding.
Completely cover the leaf with a thick layer of concrete. I cover mine at least an inch thick.
Allow the concrete to set up completely. If it’s warm to the touch, the process is not yet complete.
Once cool, lift the leaf from the mound.
The original instructions say to let the leaf dry then use a wire brush to remove the dry leaf from the concrete. I found it MUCH easier to remove the moist leaf right away!
For deep veins, it’s sometimes necessary to use a small, flat head screw driver to pry the vein material out of the crevices.
Leaves can then be painted or left the natural concrete color.
Use these concrete leaves as pond ornaments (as I have done), candy dishes, bird baths, bird feeders, downspout water diverters or even bathroom soap holders (depending on the size of the leaf).
These are not only a blast to make, they also make fabulous gifts! Just ask my Mother who has 12 of them now!