organic leaf birdbath

Make organic art with leaves and cement

Follow these simple guidelines to make a leaf-shaped bird bath or garden sculpture with leaves and cement

What you need:

  • Cement
  • River sand
  • Leaves – larger leaves like this Colocasia (Elephant’s ear) are ideal. For bigger shapes you can use Gunnera
  • A piece of shutter-board or scrap wood to work on

Getting started:

Step 1
On the shutter-board shape a pile of sand into a mound. Place your leaf over this mound with the back of the leaf facing outwards.
Step 2
Mix 3 parts of fine river sand with 1 part of cement and water to form a stiff consistent mixture known as mortar.
Step 3
Smooth the mortar over the leaf until you have a layer at least 3cm thick. Don’t take the mortar right to the edge of the leaf – you need to leave a 10mm strip all the way around.
Step 4
Allow the mortar to cure (dry). NB. Cover the project with black plastic for more effective curing. After 3-4 days remove the leaf.
NOTE: It is advisable to reinforce the mortar/concrete and, if you want a taller water feature, embed reinforcing wire into the mortar/concrete so that you can attach the bird bath to a post.