Create cast cement or concrete leaves as sculptural decor for your garden. Use small cement leaves as decorative accents, and larger leaves for more utilitarian uses. Create wall hangings and table decor with small leaves. Create birdbaths, garden sculptures, bird feeders and stepping-stones with larger leaves. Leave them in the natural cement finish or spray paint them in any color. Once cured properly, cast cement leaves are durable and stay outside in the garden through any season.
Things You'll Need
- Scrap wood
- 1 bag sand
- Plastic wrap
- Large leaf
- 1 bag cement
- Chicken wire (size of leaf)
- Wire cutters
Place a piece of scrap wood onto a sturdy surface to use for protection. You will build the cement leaf on the wood, so use a piece that is 1-foot longer and wider than the size of your leaf to allow room to work.
Pour a pile of sand into the middle of the wood, mounding it in the middle. Pour enough sand to measure the width and height of the leaf, and to mound in the center. The sand is used to shape the leaf form. Mounded sand will create a bowl shape in your cement leaf.
Cover the sand mound with plastic wrap, leaving an outer border of a few extra inches past the mound. The plastic prevents the sand from getting on your finished piece.
Place the leaf, face down, over the mound and plastic wrap.
Mix the cement in a bucket using a shovel, according to the package instructions.
Spread a thin layer of cement, using a trowel, onto the backside of the leaf.
Cut a piece of chicken wire, using wire cutters, to the size and shape of your leaf. Lay the chicken wire over the leaf, while the cement is still wet, shaping it slightly to the form of the leaf. The chicken wire is a structure within the cement that stabilizes and adds strength to the piece.
Spread another thin layer of cement over the chicken wire, while the first layer is still wet. Use the trowel to shape the concrete around the edges of the leaf.
Cover the piece with plastic and allow it to dry for two to three days. Remove the plastic and leaf from the concrete after three days. The leaf will be dry within three days, however leave it to cure slowly for two to four weeks.
- Photo Credit Thinkstock/Comstock/Getty Images
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