Making birdbaths for Christmas gifts

I am back from Michigan and enjoying the beautiful Texas weather. Working in the yard and whipping it back into shape after my three month absence. My children have inhereted my love of gardening so I have decided to make them birdbaths for their gardens.
I wanted a very old and rustic looking birdbath so I tried something new. I mounded up garden earth and chips of shredded mulch. I allowed the cement to drip off the edges of the castor bean leaf. I am very happy with the results.
Here I used an elephant ear. You can see where the leaf shrunk and left a border around the edge. This will be good when I apply the stain after the cement has cured properly.
Items needed; tarp, sand, gloves, cement, plastic bag, shovel and something to mix the cement in, I prefer a wheelbarrow.
Lay the tarp, mound your sand, cover with a plastic bag, and lay your leaf face down. Mound the leaf with your cement mixture being sure it is thicker in the middle and tapers toward the leaf edges. Cover with tarp for 48 hrs.

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Have a question about this project?

2 questions
  • Sandra K Salisbury
    on Jun 18, 2016

    I really like the natural and organic look of your birdbath, but I think I'm confused about some of the instructions. After laying the leaf down on the plastic which is on the mounded sand, we then put the concrete mixture on the leaf, is that correct? If so, how do we keep the concrete from sliding off the leaf? I didn't see any photos of the underside of the birdbath. Is this style of birdbath to be placed on the ground? I like the idea of finding this charming concrete "leaf" tucked in among flowers and shrubbery!

    • Victoria
      on Jun 18, 2016

      Yes you place the concrete on the back of the leaf so that the veins will show as this will become the inside of the bird bath. I have used them for placing in flower beds on the ground , on stumps, and I have mounded and shaped concrete "Stems" to be placed inside of large pvc pipe to make tall bird baths. You can buy concrete forms that are used for making posts and adding a short stem or post to the bottom of the bird bath and setting it into the ground.

  • Kelly
    on Nov 1, 2016

    living on the NNY Canadian border I don't really have access to that size leaf at this time of year.....any suggestions as to what to substitute?

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  • Kelly
    on Nov 1, 2016

    I love this idea but a couple questions; what type of leaf may I substitute for the one you've used...does it have to be a real leaf? Secondly after the concrete has dried 100% how do you peal the leaf away?

  • Victoria
    on Nov 13, 2016

    Hi Kelly. I have only used real leafs as they deteriorate and you can scrub them away with a hose and a brush. Any larger leaf will do, banana, elephant ear, rhubarb, or you can use smaller leaves and overlap them. Perhaps an artificial one will work if you grease it up first with something like vaseline.

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