Monday, May 3, 2010

Hosta Leaf Bird Bath

Here's a fun project for you to make! I subscribe to Birds and Blooms Magazine and in the February/March issue, they had a tutorial on how to make a hosta leaf bird bath. I have some hosta's that have huge leaves and thought that this would be perfect to make.

Materials Needed:

Large Leaf

Bag of play sand

3 to 4 cups of contractors sand (fine grade)

1 to 2 cups of Portland cement

Concrete fortifier (you can get this at Lowe's)

Rubber gloves

water

The size of the hosta leaf that I used was 13" long and 9" wide. You can also use rhubarb, burdock, gunnera, castor bean, caladium and elephant ear leaves. Make sure you cut the steam off your leaf.


Spread out a piece of plastic. I just cut open a large plastic bag from Target. Pour some play sand into a bucket and add enough water so the sand sticks together, like you were building a sand castle. Form a mound about the size of your leaf.
Once the sand is piled, cover it with a piece of plastic. You are now going to lay your leaf vein-side up on top of the plastic.



In a plastic container (I used a kitty litter box) mix three parts contractor's sand to one part Portland cement. I used 4 cups of contractors sand and 2 cups of Portland cement. Mix in a 1/4 cup of water and 1/4 cup of concrete fortifier, add slowly to the sand until it reaches the consistency of a thick brownie mixture. Mix in a little more water and fortifier if needed. Use your hands with rubber gloves to mix thoroughly.


Now pick up a handful of the sand mixture and plop in on the center of the leaf and spread to the edges. Smooth out so you get out all the air bubbles. Slowly build up the thickness so its between 1/2" and 1" thick over the whole leaf.



When your leaf is completely covered with the mixture, cover loosely with plastic. You don't want it drying to fast as it may crack. I let mine sit for 2 days before peeling off the leaf.


After your leaf has dried for a week, you can paint it or seal it. Or you can leave just as it is. I haven't decided if I am going to paint mine or not. It's still in the drying process.


14 comments:

lisa said...

What an aweseome thing to do..maybe while it is soft to make holes in it to hang it for the birds...Thank you for sharing..Lisa

lakeffect said...

My garden club made these two years ago. We used rhubarb leaves and they turned out great. The ribs are large and make deep ridges and nice interest.

WoolenSails said...

That is a wonderful idea and so beautiful.
Thank you for showing us how to make them.

Debbie

Tomatoe Creek Prims said...

I love it!!! How neat and the birds will love it too:)

Rondell

West Side of Straight said...

good tutorial. Can't wait for my hosta leaves to get bigger. I've seen it done w/rhubarb leaves, but I like this better. thanks. jo in MN

A Primitive Place Magazine LLC said...

What a great project to do!

Linda said...

I took a class years ago making these hypertufa pots for the garden and forgotten all about it until I read your post. You have inspired me to make a leaf bowl now!
Linda/simplycountryseasons

Cat Haven Crafts said...

Love this! I want to try it, too. As soon as my hosta leaves get big enough (would love to make three in different sizes.)

Dog Trot Farm said...

I too saw that idea and thought it was a perfect project. My hosta leaves are not large enough, but I wondered if maybe I could improvise with Rhubarb leaves, what do you think?

Doreen said...

Good morning Tam. I absolutely LOVE this and am definitely going to make it...I love having bird bath's scattered around and what a beautiful and wonderful idea to help me do just that :). Thank you!

Wishing you a wonderful day,
Hugs, Doreen

Gayle said...

I've wanted to make one of the leaf castings forEVER! Maybe this will be my summer to actually do it! Yours turned out wonderfully!

cat bounds said...

http://catbounds.blogspot.com/
Thanks for visiting my blog. You made a leaf almost identical to my first one! :) I'll be posting more as I get into the hypertufa, and I'll come back here to see what you're doing. Beautiful blog.

Braskey Powell said...

Hello. I want to try this project. What is the difference in play sand and contractors sand? Is the contractors sand what they use for paver blocks? Please someone reply, as my Hostas are perfectly ready for this project and it's gonna rain all week, giving me an excuse to work indoors on this neat project. Thank you!!

rockriverstitches said...

Braskey, contractors sand is the sand used between blocks. It's a finer sand. Play sand has tiny pebbles in it. That is what I used. Really it doesn't matter what kind of sand you use. Thanks for visiting my blog! Good luck with this project!

Tammy