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Project

Cement Leaves

Decorative cement leaves make a unique porchside statement for any time of year. The how-to comes from in-house crafter Jim "Figgy" Noonan.

Materials

  • 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)

Steps

  1. Step 1

    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.

  2. Step 2

    Place leaf facedown on mound of sand.

  3. Step 3

    Make a mixture of one part Portland cement to one part sand. Add water until mixture is the consistency of thick mud. 

  4. Step 4

    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. 

  5. Step 5

    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.

  6. Step 6

    Let cement cure for an additional week before painting, if desired.

Source
The Martha Stewart Show, October 2010

Reviews (5)

  • OldStonePots 21 Sep, 2012

    I learned how to make these cement leaves in my master gardener class! Love them SO much.. & get so many wonderful compliments on them all. I especially love the very large ones (almost 3 ft!) and use them as birdbaths and eye catching table centerpieces. Simply B. EAUTIFUL!!
    I am making them for flower & garden shows.. and hoping to be a vendor at the Trade Secrets CT show in 2013.
    I also make hypertufa pots.. very cool as well. Check them out at oldstonepots.com :)
    ~Kate

  • Mawmaw022351 14 Apr, 2011

    I would also like to know what to put on these so that you can serve food on them or eat off them

  • stephz818 25 Mar, 2011

    These are awesome. Is there something you could spray over them to make them food safe? I thought they'd be a great way of putting out hor d'oeuvres or snacks at a party.

  • nacaw1 24 Mar, 2011

    OLD CRAFT...I HAVE BEEN MAKING THESE FOR YEARS THE IDEA ORIGINATED IN A GOOD HOUSEKEEPING MAGAZINE I BELIEVE OR MAYBE BETTER HOOME AND GARDEN...RHUBARB LEAVES ARE THE BEST ..OR ELEPHANT EAR ..YOU CAN MAKE A FOUNTAIN OUT OF THEM OR BIRD FEEDER...I JUST DUMP MOUNDS OF SAND ON GROUND AND MAKE THEM...LOVELY TO SEE AGAIN THOUGH..BUT HE SHOULDN'T TAKE THE CREDIT..OF THE IDEA...

  • craftypillbug 11 Oct, 2010

    just watched the segment on the cement leaves. My mother has been making these for years. She makes small bowls, plates. stepping stones and bird baths. My father built her a box especially for the sand and molds, She uses hosta, rubarb and castor bean leaves. thanks carolyn