Decorative cement leaves make a unique porchside statement for any time of year. The how-to comes from in-house crafter Jim "Figgy" Noonan.
- Large plastic bin
- Sand, sifted to eliminate debris
- Spray bottle filled with water
- Large leaf (such as Alocasia or Hosta)
- Portland cement
- Rubber gloves
- Sandpaper and/or wire brush
- Acrylic paint and paintbrush (optional)
Fill a plastic bin with several inches of sand. Spray sand with water, then make a mound of damp sand in the middle of bin.
Place leaf facedown on mound of sand.
Make a mixture of one part Portland cement to one part sand. Add water until mixture is the consistency of thick mud.
Wearing rubber gloves, scoop some cement mixture onto leaf. Spread to cover back of leaf, pressing down lightly to remove air bubbles. Continue adding and spreading mixture over leaf until about 1 1/2 inches thick on middle of leaf, thinning to about 1 inch thick at the edges.
Let cement set for 12 to 24 hours, then lift from sand and peel off original leaf. Use sandpaper and/or a wire brush to smooth any rough edges.
Let cement cure for an additional week before painting, if desired.