Making Garden Art & Birdbaths

48 Hours

Making bird baths & garden art out of concrete & leaves
Equal parts of portland cement mix,play sand & water ! Make sure it's portland & not quickcrete !
wire for supports
I used an elephant leaf off of this plant
Mixing the equal parts of portland cement,play sand & water until it is the consistency of icing. This does take some time to get it all mixed together !
plywood,dirt mound, then lay leaf with underside facing up
applying the cement to the leaf , I started in the middle & worked my way out to the edge of the leaf about an inch thick
adding the pieces of wire for support
I added another layer of cement about an inch thick over the wire supports
Now for the hard part ! not touching it for 48 hours !
Still waiting ........
48 hours later & Time to carefully turn it over
peel the leaf off
you can lightly sand the edges
All finished !
All finished ! You could paint or stain it if you want too & I would add some sealer since it is going to be outside
Smaller leaf I made
I used a smaller leaf for these
I added some metallic paint glaze to the smaller leaves,I used a light green & a darker one & dry brushed them
I added some metallic paint glaze to the smaller leaves,I used a light green & a darker one & dry brushed them
I added some metallic paint glaze to the smaller leaves,I used a light green & a darker one & dry brushed them
Playing with colors
Playing with colors
Playing with colors
Playing with colors
Added this cute little guy to the leaf
Added this cute little guy to the leaf
This little guy loves the concrete leaf !
This little guy loves the concrete leaf !
I made a fire bowl today
I made a fire bowl today

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Have a question about this project?

8 questions
  • Caleb P Grindstaff
    on May 15, 2016

    Any tips on how to make a concrete garden orb that I could turn into a mirrored gazing ball? I have heard rubber balls, styrofoam w/ wire mesh, or old light globes. Thought you may know a trick or two

    • Becky
      on Jul 6, 2016

      Google Shapecrete. Works like clay dries like concrete. Use this to cover balloon filled with water. You can find these instructions on web.

    • Jan17578064
      on Jan 15, 2017

      Check out Pinterest under DIY concrete balls - there's solid one and hollow ones

  • Ako8206529
    on Jul 4, 2016

    After mixing equal parts of sand, PortlAnd and water, how long do you wait before applying it to the leaf. My mix is really runny.

    • Kim Harmeyer
      on Nov 28, 2016

      I apply it right away .If yours is to runny you can add more of the portland a little at a time

    • Jan Turner
      on May 30, 2017

      can I use quick crete?
    • Susan
      on Jun 1, 2017

      The instructions state that quick crete is an appropriate choice for your cement.
    • Susan
      on Jun 1, 2017

      Oops! I meant to say that the instructions state that quick crete in NOT an appropriate choice for your cement. Sorry for the brain on vacation. 🤗
    • Stacia Boston
      on Jul 14, 2017

      Don't add equal water add it in a little at a time, it's much easier to control that way. Think of making mud pies as a kid.
  • Gue15323928
    on Nov 28, 2016

    Do birds actually come to drink from the leaf bird bath ?? We need a true Bird bath, on a pedestal, in this desert climate.

    • Kim Harmeyer
      on Dec 13, 2016

      yes they do

    • Linda Sikut
      on May 29, 2017

      In a desert climate, I would think it would be a good idea to make a lot of them. I'm actually thinking that I'd love to make a dozen or so of these to put in my garden, between the plants until they grow larger.
    • Landsharkinnc
      on Jul 31, 2017

      birds will come to any shallow body of water - I use Terracotta flower pot trays - BIG ones and smaller ones in various locations -- trick is to keep them clean! and put in various locations/heights/depths -- bigger birds, Jays, etc. like a deeper bath than the smaller birds -- and if you can - fix a mister or drip -- will take an electric outlet but Hummers love playing/bathing in a mist/sprinkler
  • Betty Delgado
    on May 29, 2017

    What paints do i use to paint the leave
    • Kim Harmeyer
      on May 29, 2017

      I used metallic craft paints then sealed with a clear paint that I got at home depot
    • Stacia Boston
      on Jul 14, 2017

      Use outdoor samples of house paint & 3 coats of marine varnish if you want it to hold up to ate. Also aft you peel off the leaf you need to cure the cement leaf covered in a garbage bag for 2-4 weeks depending on how big the leaf is. I pull my leaves off in 24 hours then file off the edges with a big metal file, otherwise it sets up and it's much harder to file.
    • Michelle
      on Jul 30, 2017

      jo ann fabrics patio acrylic paints and sealer
  • Anthony smith
    on Dec 20, 2017

    what are the other small concrete "molds" in the pic, I know one is a heart, but what about the other? What is the base of that one (looks like a frog maybe)?
  • One33665368
    on Jun 24, 2018


    • Ellen Morrison Kelley
      on Apr 24, 2019

      Portland cement is a kind of cement not a brand name. Make sure you use this and not other cement-based products like mortar.

  • Kim 'Kiewatt' Waknitz
    on Apr 16, 2019

    Could Quick Crete be substituted ?

  • Judy Pfister
    on Feb 5, 2020

    What paint and sealer did you use?

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