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How to cast concrete Leaves

I'm still on the concrete kick!
Sorry these pics are blurry, it's always evening when I am making these, and not good for photography.


First start with some big, clearly veined leaves. Get some sand, and make a pile out of it, to lay the leaf on, bottom-side up. This will make your leaf cast more bowl-like. Cover the sand with plastic wrap, so the sand doesn't get on the concrete, and then lay the leaf down on it.
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I made the concrete using the pre-mixed sand/concrete mix this time. It's heavier than hypertufa, but I think stronger and more suited to being a bird bath. I mixed it relatively liquid, and used an old paintbrush to spread it over the top of the leaves. I made it about 1" thick in the middle, and maybe 1/2" thick at the edges. The brush helps when you are trying to follow the contours of the leaf edge, and lets you taper the thickness down around the edges too.
When the concrete was about 3/4" thick, I laid some hardware cloth mesh over it, and then covered that with more concrete for strength. I had read that you can also use drywall mesh tape for reinforcement, but I didn't have any of that lying around and I wasn't going back to the hardware store again.

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Let it cure for a few days, keeping it moist and in the shade so it doesn't dry too fast and become brittle.
when it is really set, turn it over, and peel the leaf off. I also used the high pressure attachment on my hose to sort of blast with water one leaf which wouldn't really peel off. Once the leaf is off you can carefully knock off the rough edges (they are thin) so that the edge is well defined.
You can use concrete stain or outdoor paint to color them, but I quite like them as is so far.

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and there you have it, another neat decorative garden thing.

cross posted to my journal and saucygardens

Comments

( 16 comments — Leave a comment )
a_wags
Jul. 31st, 2005 01:15 am (UTC)
those are AWESOME!
peregrinekt
Jul. 31st, 2005 10:11 pm (UTC)
thanks! up next, pumpkin leaves!
amhranaiochta
Jul. 31st, 2005 01:25 am (UTC)
Nice.
missedith17
Jul. 31st, 2005 02:11 am (UTC)
ooo, I love that, I just saw basically the same idea in a garden magazine with rhubarb leaves. I think i'm gonna have to try this!
peregrinekt
Jul. 31st, 2005 10:12 pm (UTC)
i've seen it a couple of places, but never got around to trying it. Its easier than I thought, but pretty messy. I'm going to have to set up some kind of concrete working area to do this...
kai_nimura
Jul. 31st, 2005 02:39 am (UTC)
thank you! My grandmother was looking fo rthis!
peregrinekt
Jul. 31st, 2005 10:12 pm (UTC)
you're welcome!
pamlivesinabox
Jul. 31st, 2005 04:25 am (UTC)
i'm in love!
peregrinekt
Jul. 31st, 2005 10:09 pm (UTC)
thanks! :)
breaksuchaheart
Jul. 31st, 2005 05:35 am (UTC)
that is so awesome. for some reason they remind me of dinosaurs... i watch too much jurassic park, i think.
peregrinekt
Jul. 31st, 2005 10:09 pm (UTC)
fossil leaves!

actually, it would be cool to do it with ferns or something on a paver, which would be maybe a little easier to do...just pour the concrete on the leaf and leave!
j_slice
Jul. 31st, 2005 03:20 pm (UTC)
I lvoe those. I know someone who made the middle part deeper and made a bird bath that sits in her garden.
j_slice
Jul. 31st, 2005 03:20 pm (UTC)
*love
peregrinekt
Jul. 31st, 2005 10:08 pm (UTC)
thats the plan for the next batch! These ones are mostly for decoration, next up is birdbath and a fountain.
grammardog
Aug. 1st, 2005 04:24 am (UTC)
Those rule all the schools. It is so neat to come here and see a neat, original, unique idea.
kalie_b
Nov. 11th, 2009 08:03 pm (UTC)
It's amazing and simple to do! All I need is concrete and some leaves and voila: perfection. I hope I won't need too many concrete tools, I only own a concrete screed...
( 16 comments — Leave a comment )

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