6 Hours

Here's another DIY using leaves from your garden or yard. I love garden art and this is an inexpensive and easy way to create unique pieces for yourself or to give as a gift. It's also a perfect way to hold onto those summer greens into the winter. So hurry and try this before all the leaves turn color and fall.

The cement leaves can be used as bird baths, at the base of a downspout, as a stepping stone, to plant succulents or simply to add a touch of whimsy to your garden.
You don't have to use what's in your yard, take a walk in the woods and see what you can find. I'm lucky to live in the woods and I found the biggest leaves to use!
The creativity comes in how you mold them. You could lay them fairly flat or on a mound so they are concave and could hold water (when sealed) or birdseed.
The process is pretty straightforward. I share the steps below.
WHAT YOU WILL NEED: (Link provided if in light blue)
Cement Sand Plastic Wrap (Grocery)Leaf (Garden - Woods)Small plastic container to mix concrete (I used a rubbermaid food container)WaterWooden paint stirrer (I used a long stick)Piece of cardboard or scrap wood to spread the sand onRubber gloves
NOTE:For a bird bath or feeder, add a small pipe fitting with a flange into the cement. Then when it's dry you can attach to a small pipe so it's elevated in your yard or garden.
Pile the sand in the shape you like.
Cover with plastic wrap. Then place the leaf face down.

STEPS:1. Lay out your cardboard2. Pour sand onto the cardboard3. Mold the sand (wet if necessary) to the shape you would like 4. Place plastic wrap over the sand where the leave will lay5. Place leave face down on the plastic wrap6. Mix a small amount of cement and water 7. You want the consistency of brownie mix or a little thicker8. Begin to spread the cement with gloved hands onto leaf9. If it is running off the leaf, take it off, and add more cement10. Cover leaf completely, add additional if you feel it's too thin11. We your hands and smooth out the back of the cement on the leaf12. Wait 48 hours and peel the leaf from the cement. (Portland Cement = 48 hours). (Rapid Set Cement = 4 hours)

They came out super cute. I used two different types of cement. I preferred the second type. I like to try a few so I can let you know what works best.The first was with Portland cement and the second was Rapid Set Cement All. This one dried in hours. Of course that's my preference.
I was also able to smooth that concrete out even more. See?I still need to polish the edges a bit then seal but just it's great looking as is.
The smaller leaf above was from a plant I had in the ground last year and then put it in a pot over the winter, it survived and now is back out in it's pot. It seemed ok sacrificing a few leaves for my project!
Remember the movie UP? Think SQUIRREL!!!
While I was making them my mind began to wander. I really do love working with concrete and my mind went towards fall and Thanksgiving.
I decided to try using smaller leaves as a place holder for name cards at Thanksgiving or they could be used as part of a tablescape for any fall event.
I was so excited how these turned out. I loved the look before I peeled the leaf off so I painted it after I took the leaf off and then covered with Mod Podge. Love it.

Of course after that I thought how fun to cover the small leaves and place a stick through the end and create concrete leaf tablecloth clips. Click here to see ones made from Oyster Shells.
I don't know why I enjoy crafting with concrete so much but I certainly do. I look back and see there is a theme...Click here to see my DIY Concrete Stool or here for my DIY Concrete Bowls...see what I mean?
Thanks so much for stopping by - I've included links to the products I used for your convenience. I definitely see more of these in my future. Soon I'll be remaking cement pumpkins and I might have to add some cement leaves this time!
XO, Regina

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  • Tablescapes
  • DIY
  • Event Inspiration

Regina @ Saved From Salvage
Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!

Frequently asked questions

Have a question about this project?

  1 question
  • Rc448657790 Rc448657790 on Sep 12, 2021

    The quickrete I used was too rocky, and the plastic wrap on top of the sand seemed to not let the veining show through well. I didn't wet the sand beneath the wrap, would that have made a difference?


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3 of 6 comments
  • Mor14531786 Mor14531786 on Sep 11, 2021

    Love your small leaves! I still collect fall leaves that I find, to put in a bowl for display. If you coat them with a very thin layer of vasoline, they will continue to look like 'just fallen' leaves for weeks! Thanks for great directions!

  • Hi. Did you put the leaf face down on the plastic wrap. The concrete goes on to of the leaf that is face down. The sand doesn’t have to be wet. Let me know and I can help direct you to have success.