Concrete leaf castings

We had a good crop of rhubarb this year, with big gorgeous leaves.  I’ve been wanting to make a leaf casting, so we decided this was the year.  Our friend Karen joined us and contributed some hosta leaves from her garden.

We cranked up the cement mixer and mixed up a bag of mortar mix, which dries to a pale gray and is nice and smooth, with no gravel, just sand which makes a nice smooth mix for casting.  The leaf is smoothed over a mound of damp sand, shaped to form a bowl shape which will catch water and make a nice basin for a birdbath.

The mortar mix is patted over the leaf.  Dan came up with the brilliant idea of using another leaf to make an imprint on the underside of the casting.  Once as much mix as needed is added, the casting is allowed to set overnight. The next day, the leaf is removed and the veins in the back side of the leaf will have made an imprint of the casting.

I think they will look great tucked amidst the flowers gardens, providing a bit of watery respite for the backyard birds.


13 Responses to “Concrete leaf castings”

  1. Annie's Granny Says:

    Those are just gorgeous! Hmmm, I wonder where I can find some giant-birdbath-size leaves.

  2. Robin Says:

    I love them! What a neat idea.

  3. mangochild Says:

    Beautiful. Especially seeing them against the green grass. How big are they? I bet they could also make nice stepping stones if there was some way to make them thicker.

    • Ali Says:

      Mangochild, they will make good stepping stones, I have done that before. Plastic catering lids work great for that purpose. Arrange the leaf in the upside-down lid, add the mortar mix, tamping down as you go, and keep adding mix until you reach the desired thickness. Once it cures, just rip apart the plastic lid to remove it.

  4. O. Says:

    Those came out great!

  5. Laurie Meunier Graves Says:

    Wow! Beautiful! What a great project. I want to make some, too.

  6. villager Says:

    Oooh, we need to try this! We have hosta leaves, and this might be another reason to start growing rhubarb.

  7. julie Says:

    Ali, this project has been on my “to do” list for two months, you have now provided me with the inspiration to accomplish this project! Your “casts” turned out awesome! Your gardens by the way look wonderful!

  8. Angela Moll Says:

    Wow, gorgeous! Now we are doing a fair bit of concrete work around here, so I could use a bit for a similar project. Thanks for the inspiration!

  9. Stevie Says:

    those are beautiful! I want to make those now.

  10. Taylor Says:

    Oh my goodness- these are amazingly beautiful! So simple and elegant! I want one!

  11. Jeannie Says:

    What a marvelous idea! there beautiful.

  12. Diana Says:

    Oh, just beautiful! I’m feeling so inspired now, I’m going to totally copy you. :D

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