Have you seen large concrete leaves decorating fountains and gardens? Photos of these unusual sculptural accents are showing up in all the gardening magazines. You may have wondered how they’re made. We (Pete and Dianne Havekost) are now providing an illustrated tutorial to show you exactly how to make your own concrete leaves. They are quite expensive if you buy them at a garden store, but it isn’t difficult to make your own.
Pete has been working with concrete for years, and Dianne is an interior designer who’s design skills really shine in the garden as well as in the home. It was natural for us to go home and start making their own concrete leaves after we saw one on a friend’s deck. We had no instructions to go by, so we “did it by feel.” We’ve sold concrete leaves locally to be used as garden accents and in fountains. We have also donated several concrete leaves to fundraising auctions presented by the Young Ambassadors gymnastic group in Tacoma, WA, where the leaves were a big hit. Others have been given to family and friends as gifts.
Throughout the site you’ll find ideas for using concrete leaves in your garden decor. Be sure to visit our other pages.
How to Make a Concrete Leaf for Your Garden
To make your own concrete leaf, follow the instructions below:
You will need a table at a comfortable working
Choose a leaf with nice vein patterns in the size you want. You can use a small leaf or a huge leaf – It’s up to you.
On your table, build a sand mound about the size and shape of the leaf you’ve chosen.
Cover the sand with thin plastic to keep the sand out of your work.
Cut chicken wire the approximate shape and size of your leaf.
Lay the chosen leaf face down (back side of leaf should be up)
Put a fairly thin layer of concrete on the leaf. Then fit a precut piece of chicken wire to the back of the leaf.
Put another thin layer of concrete on and finish
Cover with plastic and allow to cure slowly. If the concrete dries too quickly, it may crack or be less strong. If it is very hot outside, you can mist the concrete before covering it with plastic.
When cured, peal leaf off concrete – and it’s done!